Conaway: ‘Yes, of course we’re going to compromise’ in farm bill conference

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway says neither the Senate Farm Bill nor the House Farm Bill will be what is eventually signed by President Trump.  The Texas Republican says it will be a blend of the two measures after conference consideration.  After the bill’s narrow House passage Thursday, Conaway told Brownfield he looks forward to working with colleagues from both chambers to get to the final bill.

“That’s the part of that conference process that I’m looking forward to, and I’m hopeful that I’ll have a colleague in Collin [Peterson (D-Minn.)] that will help pitch in as well on the stuff that he’s interested in,” Conaway said Friday, “and we’ll make this work, but yes, of course we’re going to compromise.”

In a conference call to reporters, Conaway said it’s premature to say what might happen to the House Farm Bill’s SNAP, or food stamp, work requirements that Democrats oppose and that are not included in the Senate version.

“I’ve got three-and-a-half years invested in this SNAP issue, and so I personally believe it’s the right thing to do and it’s the right way to go,” said Conaway, “but I’m willing to have any kind of a conversation with someone who can propose something that would be better.”

Since the House bill was debated in Conaway’s committee, he and Collin Peterson, along with every Democrat on the committee, have been at odds over the proposal to require able-bodied SNAP recipients to work or to receive job training.

“That’s behind us now,” stated Conaway, of the disagreements.  “Now [the objective] is to get to a bill that he and I can get to ‘yes’ on and we can find the votes in the House necessary to get this thing done.”

The full Senate is expected to consider its version of the farm bill within the next week.

AUDIO: Chairman Michael Conaway (20 min. MP3)


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