House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries accuses the chamber’s GOP majority of “hijacking” the farm bill in what traditionally has been a bipartisan effort. The New York Democrat was asked about Ag Chair GT Thompson’s latest reported comment that a farm bill extension may be needed.
Jeffries said, “Farm bill should not be a divisive area. It is fertile ground for cooperation and for common ground and for coming together.”
But the House Minority Leader charges that’s not what’s happened this year. “The only problem that we confront now is that the extreme MAGA Republicans want to hijack the farm bill and take it in a certain direction inconsistent with meeting the needs of farmers and the American people, and we will oppose that every step of the way,” according to Jeffries. He was alluding to GOP efforts to further pare SNAP food stamp benefits and possibly other programs. But Republicans are unbowed by the criticism.
South Dakota’s Dusty Johnson earlier proposed expanded SNAP work requirements and limiting federal waivers to states to require work.
Johnson said, “Were these work requirements extreme when they were put in place by Democrats and Republicans working together in 1996? Were those work requirements extreme when a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans stood together to renew them in farm bill after farm bill? Were they extreme when Senator Joe Biden said from the floor of the Senate, the culture of welfare must be replaced with the culture of work?”
But Democrats argue people who receive SNAP benefits are already working and struggling with surging food prices. The partisan food fight has spilled into the appropriations process, aggravating a bigger fight over spending that now threatens a government shutdown in just days.