Conaway Releases ‘Chairman’s Mark’ Farm Bill Draft

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House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway released his draft of the next farm bill Thursday, known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. Introducing the bill, Conaway stated: “Except for the SNAP portion, this a bipartisan bill.” He says the legislation would be open for amendments. Conaway says his draft of the bill “keeps faith with our nation’s farmers and ranchers,” and also “keeps faith” with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program users by “offering SNAP beneficiaries a springboard out of poverty to a good paying job.” However, opponents to his plan say millions would lose SNAP benefits under his legislation. The Conaway bill would require all SNAP users to work or be in job training programs except for children, seniors, the disabled and women who are pregnant or taking care of children under six-years-old. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who announced he will not seek re-election, said he would like to see action on the farm bill this spring. However, Republicans could opt to replace Ryan as Speaker before his term is finished. Markup of the farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee is planned for this coming Wednesday.