Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) today announced that he has introduced an amendment to the 2018 farm bill that would permanently repeal the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The House is expected to debate the farm bill next week.
“WOTUS has been a burden not only to Hoosier famers and agriculture producers but also to our state’s economy as a whole,” said Banks. “While I applaud the EPA’s efforts to delay this damaging Obama-era rule, it is time to repeal it once and for all.”
Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, says Congress will take up the farm bill debate sometime within the week. The House schedule has the week’s session running from Tuesday through Friday. The House Rules Committee has issued a notice that it expects to “grant a rule that may provide a structured amendment process for floor consideration of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.” The Hagstrom Report says it’s not clear yet if Republicans have the required 215 Republican votes they’ll need to pass the bill. House Democrats say no Democrat will vote for the bill because of the changes it would make to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
After a meeting with President Trump at the White House on Thursday, House Ag Committee Chair Michael Conaway says he still doesn’t have the votes needed to pass the bill but will spend the weekend trying to convince more Republicans to vote for the bill. “We believe we’ll get there,” Conaway says. “We’ve got several folks that are still reading the bill and coming to their own conclusions. We’ve got a lot of undecideds. I’ll be working with them over the weekend to get them where they need to be, and provide them with the information they need to understand exactly what the bill does.”