House Agriculture Committee Democrat Jim McGovern of Massachusetts says he would “rather have no farm bill this year than a lousy farm bill.”
McGovern told the Hagstrom Report he has not seen the House draft of the farm bill, but he would work to defeat the bill if he does not like it, in hopes for a better farm bill in 2019. Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (TX-R) has sent the farm bill draft to the Congressional Budget Office for review. McGovern pointed out Conaway has not shown him a draft of the nutrition title even though he is the ranking member on the Nutrition Subcommittee. A spokesperson for Conaway says the Congressman has received scores on some titles of the farm bill, but not all, and does not want to share drafts of the bill “before we know what we can afford.”
The Republican leadership is expected to need Democratic votes to pass the farm bill this year because conservative Republicans are unlikely to support it.