On-time Farm Bill Passage Uncertain

House and Senate ag leaders are working to quickly iron out differences between their two versions of the 2018 Farm Bill, but many believe the conference committee needed to wrap up this week to get a bill passed before the current law expires on September 30.

The Senate adjourned Wednesday night until Monday, and the House is scheduled to be out for recess all of next week. Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts told Politico talks could continue next week if Mike Conaway and Collin Peterson of the House Agriculture Committee return to Washington. “Next week might be the final time that we have to reach some kind of agreement,” said Roberts.

The biggest difference is the House version’s inclusion of work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The work requirements are facing steep opposition from Roberts, Peterson, and top Senate ag Democrat Debbie Stabenow. President Trump attacked Stabenow and other Democrats via Twitter, saying they are “against approving the farm bill.”

Stabenow and Roberts have said work requirements will not pass the Senate.