Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Farm Bill's Future Uncertain After House Conservatives Reject Immigration Deal

Rep. Jeff Denham R-Calif. left speaks next to Rep. David Valadao R-Calif. and Rep. Will Hurd R-Texas during a news conference with House Republicans who are collecting signatures on a petition to force House votes on immigration legislation Wednes Farm Bill's Future Uncertain After House Conservatives Reject Immigration Deal
Patty Aguilar | 18 May, 2018, 15:42

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus told Politico May 17 the caucus will not support the farm bill until after a vote is held on an immigration bill, which could kill any chances of the bill's passage on time May 18.

"The vast majority of our members believe that we should have a vote on immigration before we have a vote on the farm bill", Meadows said.

The Freedom Caucus desires Home Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to carry ahead a invoice co-sponsored by Home Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Home Homeland Safety Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas. But there was no indication that GOP leaders planned to delay Friday's vote.

"Our Caucus was very supportive of continuing conversations with the leadership but at this point, there are not enough votes to pass the Farm bill", the North Carolina congressman added.

The sugar program was one of the key battles in this year's farm bill, a five-year renewal of federal farm and nutrition policy that is again proving to be a headache for Republicans controlling Congress.

The brand new invoice expands that requirement to use to all work-capable adults, mandating that they both work or take part in work coaching for 20 hours per week except seniors, pregnant ladies, caretakers of kids below the age of 6, or individuals with disabilities.

Democrats say the new requirements would slash benefits to needy families and the elderly, jeopardizing their ability to put food on the table. But this year's bill contains measures tightening work and job training requirements for food stamps, which have driven Democrats away.

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The House continues to move through procedural hurdles to vote on the Farm bill, which serves as the last must-pass piece of legislation before the October spending bill this week. "My farmers want us to tackle immigration".

As a concession to moderate Republicans, it would also provide temporary legal protections for the almost 700,000 so-called DREAMers, undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. That was when Trump said he was ending a program to help the "Dreamers", which former Democratic President Barack Obama created in 2012.

"We've been promised. many many months ago that we would have a vote on Goodlatte", Meadows said.

Conservatives aren't the only ones squeezing Ryan on immigration. Several moderate Republicans oppose the bill for the same reason.

This year, conservatives hoping to force progress on unrelated immigration issues are lining up to threaten passage of the overall farm measure. But so far, they have been unable to offer a solution that would satisfy all factions.

McCarthy said a bipartisan bill could depress the GOP base and cause Republicans to lose the House, according to Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., one of the discharge petition leaders. Denham said he expected more to follow. Moderate Republicans are as few as five GOP signatures away from forcing a series of votes on the House floor to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, including the conservative bill and a bipartisan proposal that is the one nearly guaranteed to prevail instead under that plan.

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