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Trump calls for food stamp work requirements in farm bill

Trump calls for food stamp work requirements in farm bill

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report 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!”

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.

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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 McConnellElection Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout Sanders: Democrats ‘absolutely’ have chance to win back rural America  Trump privately ready to blame Ryan and McConnell if Republicans lose midterms: report 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.