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House Expects Farm Bill Vote Today

The House of Representatives continues its debate on the 2018 Farm Bill through Thursday evening, with the final vote on passage coming up on Friday. The Hagstrom Report says House Republican leadership and House Ag Chair Michael Conaway are still trying to round up enough Republican votes to guarantee passage.

No Democrats will vote for the bill because of changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Several moderate Republicans oppose the bill for the same reason. Hardline conservative House members says the SNAP changes aren’t strict enough and the bill is too generous to farmers, especially the larger farmers. House members first began to debate the bill on Wednesday and approved several non-controversial amendments by voice vote.

The Hagstrom Report says the most controversial amendment that’ll be discussed makes changes to the national sugar program. The House Rules Committee didn’t agree to allow consideration of some of the more controversial amendments, including forbidding SNAP usage to buy sweetened beverages, as well as removing the classification of hemp as marijuana.

One amendment was approved for debate that would affect crop insurance by phasing out all subsidies over time. The Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau sent a letter on Wednesday asking Congress to do no harm to crop insurance.

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