Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says they House could vote on a Farm Bill yet this week that would split the SNAP, or food stamp program from the other provisions of the bill.
“It is also going to include, we understand, provisions that would prevent the Farm Bill from being taken up on a five-year basis, and prevent it from reverting to the original Farm Bill if Congress refuses to act,” Braley says. The Senate has passed its version of the Farm Bill, but a vote on a House version failed. Braley doesn’t like this new option.
“This is the latest example of a piecemeal approach to legislation that’s an example of what’s wrong with Congress,” Braley says. Braley says a split bill could also split support in the House and he is still pushing to have the Senate version of the Farm Bill brought up for a vote in the House.
He says there are questions about whether there are enough votes to pass the split bill in the House, and how the bill would then move forward. “But assuming they were to pass something, then it would still be up to the speaker to determine whether he sends that to the Senate for a conference committee and totally ignores the SNAP program that wasn’t addressed in the house. And then what would happen if they appointed conferees to deal with two bills that are so dramatically different in nature,” Braley says.
The current Farm Bill extension is set to expire in September.