Peterson unsure of his conference influence

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson says he’s not sure how much influence he’ll have in reconciling the House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill.

“What I’m going to try to do is be helpful in any way I can to try to get the two sides together to a point where we can get something we can pass,” Peterson told Brownfield Ag News Friday.

The House Farm Bill passed by a thin margin after first failing because of partisan differences connected to the GOP-led provision to include work requirements for SNAP recipients.  Peterson says House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway has to remove those provisions before the bill gets conference approval.

“The ball is in his court,” said Peterson.  “I don’t hold any hard feelings, I just still disagree with what they did.  This is, as I said, a right-wing fantasy and they just need to get off of their high horse and get back to reality; that’s what think.”

Brownfield reported following House passage of its farm bill that Conaway indicated a compromise is possible.

“I personally believe [SNAP work requirements are] the right thing to do and it’s the right way to go,” said Conaway, the day following House passage, “but I’m willing to have any kind of a conversation with someone who can propose something that would be better.”

The Senate Farm Bill passed Thursday with bipartisan support.  Conference committee work is expected to start following the July 4th recess.

AUDIO: Collin Peterson (6 min. MP3)


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