September 5, 2018 / 1:41 PM / 18 days ago

Trump says Congress should pass farm bill with food stamp work requirements

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the final agriculture bill that the U.S. Congress sends to him to sign into law should include work requirements for people receiving food stamps, the grocery subsidies officially called “SNAP.”

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks before signing an executive order on strengthening retirement security in America at Harris Conference Center in Charlotte, NC, U.S., August 31, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

“#FarmBill with SNAP work requirements will bolster farmers and get America back to work. Pass the Farm Bill with SNAP work requirements!” Trump tweeted, as the two chambers of Congress begin reconciling separate bills that they recently passed into a single piece of legislation for him to sign.

Later, he said to journalists before a meeting with Republican lawmakers and members of his administration: “I strongly support a common-sense work requirements in the food stamps in the farm bill. We’ll see if we can get that. The farmers would like to get that.”

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump makes an announcement about a presidential proclamation placing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports while surrounded by workers from the steel and aluminum industries at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

A large bicameral committee will meet on Wednesday to begin negotiating the final bill, with the hope of completing its work before the current law expires on Sept. 30.

More than 40 million eligible, low-income Americans use SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to subsidize their groceries. Authorization for SNAP funding is included in the sweeping agriculture bill that also covers crop subsidies, rural development, and conservation.

The House of Representatives has passed a farm bill that would expand the work requirements for those receiving SNAP and limit governors’ ability to waive the requirements.

The Senate version of the bill made minor changes to the SNAP program, as well as other tweaks.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Bernadette Baum and David Gregorio

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