As Congress is back in D.C., both House and Senate Ag leaders are promising to take action on a new farm bill during the upcoming lame-duck session. While the negotiations are in the stretch-run, questions remain on just how dug in the president is on stricter SNAP work requirements for program recipients. During a press conference, Trump blamed Democrats for farm bill delays because of their opposition to stronger work requirements. The president says he wants “work requirements” in the bill, a demand that some interpreted as a subtle veto threat. Many food and agricultural lobbyists are shrugging off President Trump’s latest comments. They’re betting Trump wouldn’t veto a farm bill without the new work requirements if it landed on his desk.
Bob Greenstein, founder and president of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, says Trump’s threat to refuse to accept a bill if it doesn’t contain those work provisions doesn’t make sense. “If he refuses to accept such a bill, the farm bill would then die in the lame duck, and the next Congress, with a Democratic House, will start over,” Greenstein says. The resulting new farm bill would be even less to the president’s liking.