Morning Round-up: "Fiercely Divided" Edition

Jobs & the Economy
Republicans could have worked with Democrats on a bipartisan Farm Bill, but instead they are doing what they do best: fighting over an unpopular, controversial bill that no one on their side of the aisle likes. House GOP leaders are hearing it from all sides – hardline Members are outraged that the bill doesn’t go far enough, other Members are arguing that the nutrition assistance cuts are too extreme, and the President is threatening to veto it. Here’s a look at how the chaos is playing out. These headlines can’t be making Chairman Conaway too confident about the bill’s prospects:

National Journal: The Farm Bill’s Tough Path
“House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway appears determined to bring the farm bill to the House floor next week, and he may get the 215 Republican votes needed to pass it.”
“But the continuing uncertainty within the Trump administration over trade policy and the Renewable Fuel Standard, as well as the growing criticism of the changes to the food-stamp program, mean that the process of passing this bill is likely to be lengthy—if it passes in this Congress at all.”
The bill’s farm-program provisions are another matter for conservatives. Representatives of the Heritage Foundation, Citizens Against Government Waste, Taxpayers for Common Sense, the R Street Institute, and the National Taxpayers Union all joined a call hosted by the Environmental Working Group on Tuesday to complain that the new bill is worse policy than current law…”
Conservatives hope for amendments to address those concerns, but Conaway is trying to stop what he fears would be poison pills.
The Hill: Food stamp revamp sparks GOP fight over farm bill
“A Republican-led effort to overhaul the federal food stamps program in this year’s farm bill has sparked a bitter fight in the House, which could derail the measure’s chances for passage.”

“While the provision has helped woo conservatives who would normally oppose the farm bill, the stricter eligibility requirements have repelled moderate Republicans and nearly all Democrats.”

“‘I have concerns regarding SNAP [the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program],’ said Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), who is facing a tough reelection bid. ‘Those from New Jersey who have come into my office have said they would be unable to fulfill the requirements.’”

“…The GOP conference is fiercely divided over the food stamp changes.”

Wall Street Journal: Trump Expected to Threaten Veto of Farm Bill Without Tighter Work Requirements
“President Donald Trump is expected to tell senior lawmakers in a meeting Wednesday that he will veto the farm bill if it doesn’t include tighter work requirements for people receiving food stamps, according to two people familiar with his deliberations.”

…Such a stance would also complicate passage of the farm bill in the Senate, where bipartisan support will be needed.”

“Some conservatives have been wavering on the farm bill over concerns about the cost of the federal safety net for farmers.”