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The compromise package could be considered by the House as soon as Wednesday.
The U.S. Senate approved a compromise farm bill on Tuesday that doesn't include provisions requiring states to impose expanded work requirements for food stamp recipients.
The proposed requirements, which also would have required states to beef up worker training programs, were one of the most controversial parts of the 2018 bill written by House Republicans, but generally considered unpalatable in the Senate. In the end, senators approved the final measure 87-13.
One evaluation of other proposed program changes in the House version of the bill estimated that as many as 1.1 million households would have seen reductions in the amount of benefits they received each month from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. But Robert Greenstein, president of the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said that those cuts and program changes had been removed.
"The conference report represents a solid bipartisan compromise that maintains and modestly strengthens SNAP, a program that helps 1 in 8 Americans afford food," he said in a statement. Around 40 million people are covered by the food stamp program.
Current rules mandate that adults between the ages of 18 and 49, who don't have children and aren't disabled, must work at least 20 hours a week to receive benefits, although states can receive waivers for those requirements. The House bill would have broadened those mandates to some parents and older single people.
The bill now moves to the House, where it is expected to be considered as soon as Wednesday. In a statement issued Monday, after House and Senate negotiators signed off on the conference report, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue expressed his support for the compromise, while President Trump told reporters Tuesday that the bill was in "very good shape."
"This legislation maintains a strong safety net for the farm economy, invests in critical agricultural research, and will promote agriculture exports through robust trade programs," Perdue said. "While we would have liked to see more progress on work requirements for SNAP recipients and forest management reforms, the conference agreement does include several helpful provisions and we will continue to build upon these through our authorities."
Laura Maggi is the Managing Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.