Conaway “certainly expects some pushback” on SNAP, said Rachel Millard, the House Agriculture Committee’s communications director. She also noted that the committee majority is “not obtuse to the fact that there are elections that are going to happen” in November.
“But at the end of the day, there are a lot of good things to take home here,” Millard said.
Some experts aren’t convinced that the measure will move, not with midterms on the way. The upcoming elections exacerbate the whole process, said Jonathan Coppess, the University of Illinois’ agriculture policy program director and former aide to the Senate Agriculture Committee.
“They make it much more difficult” by truncating a process that is designed to be slow and deliberative, Coppess said. Midterms also inevitably “heighten the partisan atmosphere,” he said.
While the Senate version of the farm bill is currently in the drafting process, Axios reported Monday, citing sources, that the bill could be endangered.
The most substantive change Trump has brought to Washington so far may not involve legislation at all. The Trump administration appointed nearly two dozen judges to lifetime posts in 2017, including a Supreme Court justice and 12 U.S. Court of Appeals judges.
More nominations to district and circuit seats are coming down the pike in 2018. Even if the Trump administration’s short-term legislative prospects look thin, it could be laying the foundation for long-term Republican political dominance through the judicial branch.
— Giftofaservant’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.