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Stabenow Repeats Threat to Extend ’18 Farm Law if GOP Insists on Using SNAP for Title I

Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow repeated her threat to oppose a new farm bill if Republicans insist on taking funds from nutrition or conservation to fund it.

Stabenow told Agri-Pulse’s Ag and Food Policy Summit her earlier White House farm bill comments were “blown up and misinterpreted.” Then, she repeated them.

Stabenow, “I had said that I will not have my legacy cutting food assistance for Americans. If that’s the way you have to get a farm bill…or, taking conservation money away from farmers, if that’s the way you have to get a farm bill, then, you know, we’ll continue 2018 for another year.”

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), confronted with Stabenow’s quote, had this; “Either she budges, or we don’t get a farm bill, or she seeks to put more ‘farm in the farm bill,’ and that could be, wherever you get more money.”

But Grassley says that’s up to her and Ag Ranking Republican John Boozman (R-AR), who insists a farm bill like a House-advanced tax bill is still possible this year.

Boozman said, “That’s been worked on for a long time. All of a sudden, these things will come together. And I’m hoping that that’ll be one of those, you work hard, doesn’t look like you’re making a lot of progress, and then, maybe we get it done now, maybe we get it done in the lame duck, or whatever. But we want to get it done this year.”

Stabenow agrees. But after months of talks and the elapsed ’18 law, already extended one year through next September, both sides remain dug in on seemingly intractable ground.

Story by NAFB News Service and Berns Bureau Washington/by Matt Kaye

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