The top four congressional negotiators of the massive, must-pass farm bill announced an “agreement in principle” on Thursday, paving the way for passage by the end of the year.
While details of the deal were not released, CNN confirmed that stricter work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — colloquially referred to as food stamps — will not be included.
The controversial work requirements were part of a House bill passed this summer but were not part of a Senate bill.
While the farm bill expired on October 1, certain elements are funded through the end of this year. But Congress must pass the new farm bill before the next session of Congress starts in January.
The chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture committees — Rep. Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican, and Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican — and the top two Democrats on the committees, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, released a joint statement announcing the agreement.
“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 Farm Bill. We are working to finalize legal and report language as well as CBO scores, but we still have more work to do. We are committed to delivering a new farm bill to America as quickly as possible.”
The five-year farm bill is a huge piece of legislation that sets the eating and farming policy of the United States — including crop insurance and SNAP — as well as proposed changes to federal forest management policies.
The House and Senate separately passed their versions of the farm bill in June, and have been locked in conference for months hashing out the final version.