National WIC Association

Washington Update: Senate Releases Bipartisan Farm Bill, House Passes Rescission Package

June 8, 2018

Senate Releases Bipartisan Farm Bill

This afternoon, the Senate Agriculture Committee released the text of its proposed Farm Bill. The Senate’s bill is the result of bipartisan negotiations led by Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and it is expected to garner support from both parties. The Senate’s bill avoids the controversial and partisan provisions of the House farm bill. You can learn more about the Senate’s proposals in the Agriculture Committee’s section-by-section summaries (with any SNAP-related provisions being covered in Title IV – Nutrition).

NWA supports the Senate’s bipartisan work in negotiating this compromise legislation, rejecting the harmful SNAP proposals advanced in the House. The bill does not address WIC or other child nutrition programs, as those programs are authorized through the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) legislation, instead of the Farm Bill.

The Senate’s bill and any potential amendments will be considered by the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, June 13. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated his intention to bring the bill to the Senate floor shortly after the committee approves it, perhaps as early as the week of June 18.

House Passes Rescission Package in Attempt to Undo $14.7 Billion in Approved Spending

Last evening, the House passed a partisan measure to rescind nearly $15 billion in funds that had previously been authorized under February’s Bipartisan Budget Act. The vote was 210-206, with no Democrats supporting the rescissions and 19 Republicans voting against it. The proposed rescissions were developed by the White House, which flagged nearly half of the cuts (approximately $7 billion) from accounts linked to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The White House’s efforts to claw back previously authorized spending could exacerbate tensions on Capitol Hill and undermine future budget and appropriations negotiations. For that reason, it is unclear whether the rescissions will find support among Senate Republicans.