Trump support of Farm Bill hinges on SNAP work requirements

Trump support of Farm Bill hinges on SNAP work requirements

The president may veto the bill if it doesn't include tighter work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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May 10, 2018
Wall Street Journal
Legislation

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump is expected to tell senior lawmakers this week that he will veto the farm bill if it doesn’t include tighter work requirements for people receiving food stamps, according to two people familiar with his deliberations.

That stance would intensify the fight around work requirements, the most controversial element of the bill, and start a new debate over spending on federal safety-net programs ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Trump is expected to tell House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R., Texas) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kansas) in a meeting Thursday at the White House that he will support a farm bill as long as it includes tighter work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is used by around 43 million Americans.

Marc Short, the White House legislative-affairs director, said that Trump supports beefing up work requirements, but that it was premature to discuss veto threats.

Trump’s support for tighter work requirements could help House GOP leaders pass the bill in the House where some fiscal conservatives are balking at the bill’s agriculture subsidies.

But such a stance would also complicate passage of the farm bill in the Senate, where bipartisan support will be needed.

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Editor's note: AmericanHort's Director of Government Affairs Tal Coley expects Farm Bill legislation to dominate much of the May Congressional calendar, with the House preparing to bring its bill to the floor on May 14 and the Senate hoping to introduce its version by the end of the month, according to an AmericanHort press release.