ON THE HILL WITH DOUG CHRISTIAN
Washington — This week is cut short on Capitol Hill due to the Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah. When lawmakers return on Wednesday evening, a handful of important deadlines loom. Furthermore, as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the southeast coast of the United States, those deadlines — including negotiating a budget deal to prevent a government shutdown and passing a long delayed massive farm bill — become more pressing.
Because of the hurricane, House lawmakers may be forced to scuttle plans to be in session later this week. On top of that, the House is on recess next week, so lawmakers have just seven legislative days in which both chambers are scheduled to be in session before the government runs out of money at the end of the month.
The farm bill has been stalled amid a House-Senate clash over food stamps. House Republicans demand work requirements for low-income beneficiaries of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This conservative proposal has Senate GOP support, but there are not enough Democrats supporting the proposal to become law.
Republicans see a failure to pass either an upcoming budget or a new farm bill as political disaster.
Doug Christian, Washington