Democrats prepare for miffed MAGA Republicans' next fight after losing debt battle
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).

Washington Post political columnist Greg Sargent highlighted recent reporting that the House Freedom Caucus is furious with debt ceiling negotiations between Speaker Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) and President Joe Biden – and he expects their anger to affect future bills coming before Congress.

While the debt ceiling deal is likely to garner enough GOP and Democrat support to pass, there are still members of the far-right MAGA Republicans that could push to remove McCarthy from the speaker's chair. The New York Times specifically cited Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) as considering whether to lead a revolt against the speaker.

But Sargent thinks a darker battle is building on the horizon: the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. It's the legislation that deals primarily with food programs like school lunch funding and food stamps, while also funding farmers and ranchers.

“I don’t think the conversation is over,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) told Sargent. She is among the Democrats on the House agriculture committee. “Food security programs within the farm bill are under threat.

The agreement on the debt ceiling had Democrats agree to some work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – though they did so reluctantly and managed to get some critical exemptions. That's what angered the far-right. Roy, in particular, tweeted that the win was "minor." Rep. Keith Self (R-TX) called it a "slight of hand."

The Farm Bill reauthorization will give those MAGA members another chance to kill the SNAP funding.

"For months, Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee, which is key to passing the farm bill, have salivated for an expansion of work requirements, with some calling for imposing them up to age 65 and applying them to more people with kids," the column explained. "That’s far more draconian than what’s in the debt limit deal."

Coming out of a global pandemic and the collapse of the U.S. economy, Sharon Parrott, president of the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), called the restrictions "hurtful" to the elderly, veterans and other groups that depend on SNAP funds.

“It is critical to reject any such doubling down on these ineffective policies, which increase poverty and hardship and have no impact on employment," she wrote.

"Failed work-reporting requirements never should have been a part of the debt ceiling discussion. These policies are steeped in racism and unfounded stereotypes about people with low incomes. They ignore the reality that most people who can work do work and that many people receiving assistance are working, are between jobs, or have reasons — like health or caregiving — they aren’t able to work, at least temporarily," she added.

Republicans are embracing those racist stereotypes again, Sargent explained, by crafting a picture of the lazy welfare recipient in urban areas. "Yet large numbers of rural Americans also rely on SNAP," he wrote.

Former Senate aide Liam Donovan told Sargent if the far-right can get the rest of the GOP to make a harder bargain, “it could mean a united front to push for stricter measures in the farm bill that would complicate the traditional coalition.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is among them. She chairs the Senate's agriculture committee.

“We are not entertaining any other changes in the farm bill,” Stabenow declared. "That debate is over.”

Sargent closed by saying that he doesn't anticipate the MAGA Republicans will be giving up any time soon.

Read the full column at the Washington Post.