Will Congress Pass a New Farm Bill This Year?
Congress began holding hearings on a new Farm Bill almost a year ago. Remember the current Farm Bill expires this fall. So, will the U. S. House and U.S. Senate pass a Farm Bill? Then the next question is, will President Trump sign it? The U.S. House did pass a new Farm Bill last week on a party line vote. The U.S. Senate will take up their version of a new Farm Bill soon.
Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse from Lake Crystal put together a very nice comparison table looking at the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill. It is broken down by each Farm Bill Title, Commodity Programs, Conservation, Nutrition, Energy and Crop Insurance. Looking over the comparison the only really big difference between the House Bill that was passed and the Senate version that will be introduced soon is the Nutrition title.
The House bill "would add a 20 hour per week work/training requirement to receive SNAP benefits for work-capable adults, as well as other requirements." Remember if a Farm Bill passes the Senate a conference committee must work out the differences and pass the Farm Bill out of the conference committee. Then the reconciled Farm Bill again must be passed by the U.S House and U.S. Senate. Finally President Trump must sign it into law.
You can agree or disagree with the SNAP work requirement in the House version of the Farm Bill. However, I suspect that will be a 'deal breaker" if it remains in the Farm Bill. Everything is so partisan these days. I am not sure Democrats and Republicans could agree that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west! With this being an election year, passing a Farm Bill will be even more difficult. I would not be surprised if a Farm Bill is not passed and the current Farm Bill is extended for a year.