House lawmakers to vote on debt ceiling

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on an agreement in principle that would raise the debt ceiling while reducing government spending.

The agreement, known as the Fiscal Responsibility Act, includes a temporary expansion of work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The updates would allow veterans, the homeless and others to qualify for food stamps and raise the age for work requirements to 54-years-old. The changes would sunset in 2030.

The Congressman from South Dakota, Dusty Johnson, a lawmaker who had proposed stricter work requirements for SNAP in the next farm bill, tells Brownfield he pushed for the work requirement expansion.

“I feel great about the fact there were reforms included and it will take some of the tension away from the farm bill to the extent nutrition is always a friction point. Getting a number of changes done outside the farm bill will do a lot to help us.”

The House Rules Committee met Tuesday to prepare the bill for floor debate and lawmakers say it’s not perfect. Ranking Member Jim McGovern says he is disappointed it took this long to reach an agreement and is not happy with the SNAP adjustments.

“Improving benefits for some doesn’t justify putting 700,000 older adults at risk of losing critical life-saving food benefits.”

However, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives CEO Chuck Conner says it is a bipartisan agreement and if lawmakers can pass it, this could clear the way to get a farm bill done this year.

“I see a big chunk of the work ahead of lawmakers being resolved and we can focus on other elements of the farm bill.”

If the House passes the bill, it will move to the Senate for consideration. The deadline to avoid a government default is next Monday, June 5.

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