Ag Today May 29, 2018

McConnell: Senate Farm Bill May Not Include Tighter Work Requirements

By Kristina Peterson and Siobhan Hughes
May 25, 2018 3:15 p.m. ET,  The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said the Senate needs to pass a farm bill even if it doesn’t include the tighter work requirements around food stamps that have become a flashpoint in the House.

While Mr. McConnell said he personally favored beefing up the work requirements for food-stamp recipients, he made clear he would be willing to pass the next five-year farm bill without them.

“I personally like that,” Mr. McConnell said of the proposed requirements in an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week. “Whether we can get that across the finish line remains to be seen, but we need to have a farm bill with or without the food-stamp work requirements.”

Both House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and President Donald Trump have championed strengthening the work requirements for the food-stamp program, which makes up a large chunk of the farm bill. But its passage in the Senate will require Democratic support since it needs 60 votes to clear procedural hurdles and Republicans hold 51 of the chamber’s seats.

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