WASHINGTON — The Republican Party’s new point man on food stamps, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), insists that he doesn’t want to cut nutrition assistance benefits. Instead, Conaway is leading a multiyear review of the program, just to make sure it’s the best it can be.
But it might not be up to Conaway. Republicans could push food stamp cuts this year through a parliamentary process known as “reconciliation.”
The GOP has discussed using reconciliation as a way to repeal Obamacare or to do tax reform. Now, some Democrats and food stamp advocates are warning that the Republican-controlled Congress could use the obscure budget maneuver to reduce food stamp assistance.
“I think there’s a good chance that the Republican budget resolution that’s adopted in April will have reconciliation instructions to the agriculture committee with the assumption that there’s cuts in SNAP,” Greenstein said.
“I think the chances are better than 50-50,” Farm Bureau lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher agreed.