House and Senate Drafts for Farm Bill Expected Soon

Agricultural committee leaders in the House and Senate are pushing for draft Farm Bill legislation to be released by the end of March. The president’s FY 2019 budget proposal urged Congress to consider significant changes to the Farm Bill, some of which may make its way into initial drafts.

These changes include:

  • Reducing SNAP by $214 billion over the next 10 years;
  • Making programmatic changes to SNAP, replacing some benefits with food packages and strengthening work requirements;
  • Limiting farm subsidies to those with an income of $500,000 or less;
  • Reducing the average premium subsidy for crop insurance to 48 percent; and
  • Cutting the conservation stewardship program.

We could also see the separation of SNAP from the Farm Bill, which Democrats and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue have previously spoken against.

NARC on the Hill: CDBG Coalition Meetings

Last week, NARC attended Hill meetings with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coalition on the Senate side to stress the importance of CDBG grants to local governments. In both the FY 2018 and FY 2019 president’s budgets, the administration recommended Congress to zero out CDBG’s appropriated funding. The House has already passed a bill for FY 2018 that allocated $2.9 billion for CDBG grants. The CDBG coalition met with Senate offices to urge them to appropriate at least $3.3 billion to CDBG as they as making final preparations for their FY 2018 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill, as well as for early consideration in FY 2019. NARC will continue to attend Hill meetings this week to advocate for adequate CDBG funding.