tv Catherine Boudreau CSPAN May 12, 2018 6:17pm-6:25pm EDT
[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] texas senators ted cruz and john cornyn recently spoke at the nra leadership forum in dallas. can watch the full event tonight at 8:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> as the house gets ready to debate the farm bill catherine , boudreau joins us. she is a reporter for food and agriculture from politico pro. what are the key details of the farm bill and how long is this authorization for federal farm
program funding? catherine: the bulk of this sweeping legislation is geared towards a supplemental nutrition assistance program for food stamps. this is certainly the most controversial aspect of getting the farm bill pass. nutrition accounts for eight -- 80 percent of this bill so the chairman has proposed imposing stricter work retirements between five and seven million people that are able bodied adults and enrolled in the snap program and then of course, the other 20 percent of the farm bill is spent on commodity subsidies for farmers, also crop insurance programs that they pay into but their premiums are subsidized so that is where the government comes in. then that pays out when there is a disaster, like hurricanes or wildfires that we saw last year. of course, there is also assistance with implementing land conservation practices and
funding for rural development. those are really key aspects of the farm bill. >> you mentioned snap of course, the food stamps program and the fact that the farm bill usually gets quite a bit of bipartisan support. but the food stamps are something that seems to be splitting the parties mostly along party lines. tell us more about this issue. catherine: certainly, yes. the snap program has 42 million recipients. and house agriculture chairman conaway wants to have stricter work requirements on a subset of the people on the program. between five and 7 million people would be subject to the stricter work requirements. they would have to work at least 20 hours a week or be enrolled in a job-training program and states would be required, mandated, that is new, to offer spots and job-training programs. of course it is very expensive. they would say probably $9 billion over 10 years on
food stamp benefits and then some of that money would be spent going towards the state work program. but that is pretty controversial because i think that there is a lack of data on the success of the state work programs and they estimate it would take upwards of a decade to get this up and running and be able to offer all of the spots required. democrats have rejected this proposal pretty much. during the committee, they did not vote for it at all. it is on party lines and usually the farm bill is tasked with -- is passed with this coalition with rural democrats and republicans. also lawmakers who do care about the snap program but not necessarily have farmers in the district, so that seems to be broken and i think we can expect that the farm bill had to be passed in the house with mostly gop members. >> let's take a quick look at your article. the headline conaway races to
nail down farm bill votes before the house floor debate. as you mentioned they will need some support from mostly republicans. how exactly does that break down? democrats have been pushing their members to oppose it. what are republicans saying to their team? catherine: house leadership is certainly selling this as a way to get a component of overhaul welfare programs. something to energize the midterms. we get that is not just falling on deaf years but taking a bit of persuasion to get the gop on board. and some members of the house caucus on thursday spoke to the chairman, he says there are concerns about the work requirements of snap and has concerns about the agricultural components of it.
the dairy program and there are small dairy producers in his district. i think they're looking to offer some amendments to the bill . they want to be able to offer this amendment in order to have greater support in favor of the bill and i mean it is possible that rural democrats could peel off and vote for it but i think it remains to be seen and is hard to gauge at this point. of course there are members of the republican committee and some persuading as well. it is something that the chairman mike conaway is working on throughout the weekend because the boat is coming up pretty quick next week. >> and president trump hosted a meeting at the white house recently with both the house and the senate agriculture committee chair. also agricultural secretary. what came out of that and do you think that the house and maybe later the senate version would change? because of the white house meeting? i think that the white house meeting between
chairman conaway and that roberts and secretary purdue, they were talking farm bill specific and interactive. they said trump didn't talk but the veto threat, which was walked back by the white house director of legislative affairs. and then conaway after the meeting, said that some of the. work requirements and that is some of the pressure for the gop in the house. at the end of the day, the house and senate farm bill does need to go to conference. it will be interesting to see whether that version can get back to the house because you know, the senate has, the chairman has said he is not interested in doing a large overhaul of snap because it would be extremely challenging to get 60 votes for something.
of course that begs the question that if conaway is he having trouble getting support for this version which is the most conservative it will ever be. can you get a more modern version through? of course, democrats will probably have to come up i think at that point and his relationship with those on that committee have been soured through the process i think there are a lot of questions about how this will work and the importance of the chairman has asked the president to treat in support of the bill -- tweet in support of the bill. we are keeping and i on whether there will be a presidential tweet on the farm bill. we will continue to follow you. thank you so much. catherine: thanks, stephanie. week the white house did not release a presidential address. theigan delivered democratic address. she talked about ways to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.