House Ag Committee Chair Conaway and President Trump on Same Page on SNAP Reform in 2018 Farm BillFri, 11 May 2018 03:35:49 CDT
The Chairmen of the House and Senate Ag Commitees met with President Donald Trump on Thursday at the White House- talking Farm Bill. After the meeting, Chairman Mike Conaway of the House Ag Committee indicated that the President did not offer a veto threat but is " a really strong proponent of the work requirements being improved in SNAP, strengthening SNAP because he believes that work is a pathway to prosperity and that our program should help people get on that path and not trap them in some sort of public assistance program." Chairman Conaway came away from the meeting saying that what he is proposing to do with the nutrition program is in line with what the President wants. This is the same issue that resulted in no Democrats supporting the farm bill when it was marked up in the Committee this past month.
The Committee provided audio of a short Q&A with Chairman Conaway on the White House meeting- you can listen to that Q&A by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below- or you can read the transcript that follows:
"How’d the meeting with the president go today?
"Well it went really well. The president is very smart and it became crystal clear right off the bat though that he has a real heart for the folks living in rural America, the folks in production agriculture, the men and women who grow the food that we eat and the fabric that we use to wear in our clothes. He wants to help them and he said that multiple times.
"He’s also a really strong proponent of the work requirements being improved in SNAP, strengthening SNAP because he believes that work is a pathway to prosperity and that our program should help people get on that path and not trap them in some sort of public assistance program. So good meeting with the president and covered a lot of things that he had on his mind: trade, some other kinds of things. He understands that there’s some turmoil in rural America as a result of some trade things going on but also understands that a good farm bill done on time would go a long way toward helping putting a little oil in the water in rural America.
"Do you have the votes yet to pass the bill next week?
"Well we believe we’ll get there. We’ve got several folks that are still “reading the bill” and coming to their own conclusions. We’ve got a lot of undecideds. I’ll be working with them over the weekend to get them to where they need to be, and get whatever information they need to so they’ll understand exactly what the bill does. A lot of misinformation in the public arena that we’re working through with various members as to what the bill does and doesn’t do. I believe we’ll be there next week and we’ll have it on the floor.
"Did the president offer a veto threat if there aren’t work requirements?
"No he didn’t, we didn’t go to that level. I just asked him for help getting my bill passed. Senator Roberts was in the meeting, he had conversation with him about what his bill might look like, but a little premature for that issue. We want to make sure what we can get out of the House that it’s supportive and he’s supportive of it. I asked him to use his prodigious social media array to help promote getting it out of the House and hopefully he will do that."
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