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Lucas supports separating SNAP from farm bill.
This morning at a meeting of the House Republican Conference Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) informed the Conference that they will proceed with consideration of the farm bill covering every title except SNAP and including amendments that were adopted as part of earlier House consideration. Importantly, the modified farm bill will also include a repeal of permanent law (’49 Act). If they have the votes, the bill will be considered under a closed rule as soon as Thursday. House Rules may post the text tonight and meet tomorrow to debate the rule for debating the measure.
Meanwhile, House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) said this morning that he would support splitting the farm bill - as long as it can pass the House. "I'm willing to do what it takes to get a farm bill done," Lucas said as he exited a Republican Conference meeting. "If that means doing it unconventionally, maybe we got to give it a try." Later he said, "It's fair to say that Chairman Lucas is at a point where he has got to look outside the box, and splitting the farm bill is certainly outside the traditional box."
On Monday, according to a National Review Online story, Cantor scolded Republican chairmen in a closed-door meeting for not voting for the farm bill when it suffered a surprise defeat, 195-234, in June. Cantor has privately been pushing to separate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps, from the farm provisions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, SNAP accounts for $743.9 billion of the estimated $972.3 billion cost of the House bill over the next 10 years.