Perdue eyes post-farm bill rule on SNAP waivers


By Ryan McCrimmon, POLITICO



With help from Helena Bottemiller Evich and Sarah Zimmerman


IN THE HOPPER: The farm bill conference report isn’t expected to be released until early next week, now that the House has scrapped all votes for the week.


— Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tipped his hand on how the administration plans to assuage House conservatives who wanted stricter SNAP work requirements in the final legislation: Once the bill passes, USDA will issue a proposed rule to crack down on work-requirement waivers.


— Soybean sales to China could resume by January, Perdue said Monday, and retaliatory duties could start coming off quickly, per White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow. But without any hard numbers backing up elements of the Trump-Xi trade truce, it’s not clear how much farmers and ranchers will benefit.


— Trade aid update: USDA might not release details of its second wave of direct payments to ag producers until early next week.


PERDUE EYES POST-FARM BILL RULE ON SNAP WAIVERS: The delayed release of USDA’s proposed rule to rein in waivers that exempt some food stamp recipients from current work requirements could be an important selling point for the Trump administration as it looks to rally support for the bipartisan farm bill compromise.


Perdue said the rule will appeal to conservative lawmakers who are frustrated that House Republicans came up short in their push for stronger work requirements for millions of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients, Pro Ag’s Helena Bottemiller Evich and Sarah Zimmerman report.


— The new timeline: USDA will issue the proposed rule after the farm bill is passed, the secretary said. The rule has been in the works for months and many had expected it to be released before the midterms, but the administration held off. Perdue previously said he didn’t want to preempt Congress as they were negotiating the farm bill.


— USDA has been looking at ways to crack down on some 36 states that currently waive at least part of their SNAP populations from the existing three-month limit for able-bodied adults without dependents to receive benefits within a three-year period if they’re not working at least 80 hours a month.


“Through regulation we’ll be able to please those conservatives who expected more work requirements in the farm bill, as I did, as President Trump did,” Perdue said after an Illinois Farm Bureau event in Chicago.


— Change of plans ...


Congress is also getting set to punt ...




Reopening the soybean spigot? ...


But, but, but ...


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