President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE on Thursday urged House and Senate lawmakers to adopt strict work requirements for food stamps when they craft a merged farm bill.
“When the House and Senate meet on the very important Farm Bill – we love our farmers - hopefully they will be able to leave the WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD STAMPS PROVISION that the House approved,” Trump tweeted. “Senate should go to 51 votes!”
When the House and Senate meet on the very important Farm Bill – we love our farmers - hopefully they will be able to leave the WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD STAMPS PROVISION that the House approved. Senate should go to 51 votes!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2018
Both the House and Senate passed their respective farm bills in June. However, the House bill imposes new work requirements on the food stamps program and tightens overall eligibility on who can qualify for the federal assistance.
Conservatives have seized on the work requirement provisions as key to a final version of the farm bill.
The House version would require all adults aged 18 to 59 to work at least 20 hours a week or be enrolled in a training program in order to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
The work requirements are projected to cut SNAP enrollment by up to 1 million people and would decrease spending on SNAP by $20 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
GOP senators also tried, ultimately unsuccessfully, to add new work requirements to the Senate legislation. With a 60-vote threshold in the Senate, Republicans need Democratic votes, and Democrats won’t support a bill with work requirements.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE (R-Ky.) has repeatedly said he won’t end the filibuster, despite pressure from the White House and conservatives to get rid of the higher vote threshold.
House Republicans have insisted they will fight for their version of the legislation, and Trump’s explicit support for work requirements could complicate an already fraught process when the two chambers formally meet in the fall to merge their respective bills.
The current farm bill expires Sept. 30.