House farm bill proponents are actively meeting with individual members to press their case for the controversial bill, while a House vote on another controversial measure dealing with immigration reform must take place before some conservative GOP holdouts decide whether or not to change their prior no vote for the farm bill to yes.
The House now has until June 22 to reconsider the bill (HR 2) in its present form. Some congressional sources say another vote will likely take place before June 22.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in an interview with the Wall Street Journal noted what was already very likely – the Senate’s version of a new farm bill does not have to include expanded food stamp work requirements to pass that chamber, even though McConnell said he is personally in favor of such rules.
“We need to have a farm bill with or without the food-stamp work requirements,” McConnell told the WSJ.
Meanwhile, Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., continues to negotiate with the panel’s ranking Democrat, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
Also, the White House remains optimistic about getting a farm bill done. White House legislative affairs chief Marc Short said Friday the White House would likely need to play a role in helping the House and Senate iron out differences. Short also said that work requirements, which were opposed by House Democrats, were a “critical issue” to many Republicans — and one that they believed was popular with voters.