The U.S. House could take a step forward on moving farm bill talks ahead by voting to send the bill to conference. However, Politico says Thursday was the latest indicator that the bad blood between House Ag leaders is one of the many issues that need to be fixed. House Ag Chair Mike Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson met for the first time in two months. Their working relationship burst into flames over proposed changes to the food stamp program, which Democrats say won’t happen. Peterson vowed to team up with Senate Ag counterparts Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow during the conference negotiations. Both of the Senate Ag Committee leaders say they won’t play ball with any significant adjustments to the program outside of what they try to do in their version of the farm bill, which is combat fraud.
Peterson says the face-to-face got heated on Thursday. “I was not easy on him and told him bluntly what I think, which I always do,” he says. “He didn’t like it, but I said I’m just telling what I think and I’m trying to be helpful.” Peterson adds that when the bill goes to a conference if people are “sensible,” it won’t take long to get it done.