White House urges support for House farm bill

White House urges support for House farm bill
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The White House on Tuesday issued a statement urging support for the House GOP's version of the 2018 farm bill, which has struggled to attract enough support to pass.

In a statement from the Office of Management and Budget, the White House praises the bill's work requirements for food stamp recipients, declaring a commitment to "ending dependency and promoting work."


"By including strong work requirements for able-bodied participants in [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program], H.R. 2 takes a major step toward the President’s vision of welfare reform," the statement reads.

The statement was issued a few hours after Trump visited the Capitol, where he had lunch with Senate Republicans and huddled with House Republican leaders on immigration.

The release goes on to highlight the bill's elimination of the Conservation Stewardship Program, which encourages farmers to work with the government on conservation efforts for worked land.

The farm bill, authored by Texas Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayEx-Rep. Mike Conaway, former aide launch lobbying firm Thompson named top Republican on Agriculture Bottom line MORE (R), has the support of Republican leaders but has failed to gain traction in the House, with members divided over what it should contain.

“We believe we’ll get there. We’ve got several folks that are still reading the bill and coming to their own conclusions. We’ve got a lot of undecideds,” Conaway said last week.

“I’ll be working with them over the weekend to get them to where they need to be, and get whatever information they need so they’ll understand exactly what the bill does.”

In the Senate, meanwhile, Republicans have indicated that they will form a joint committee with Democrats to pursue their own version of the farm bill, which would likely see the welfare work requirements watered down, if not eliminated entirely.

Democrats have slammed the provisions in the bill, calling it the latest sign of GOP dysfunction stemming from the Trump administration.

“The farm bill is another example of the division and dysfunction in the Republican Party. ... They eschew compromise and they continue to pander to the hard-line elements of their caucus,” House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Race debate grips Congress Watchdog: Capitol Police need 'culture change' MORE (D-Md.) said last week.

“It is my understanding they don’t have the votes on their side of the aisle.”