Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts used bipartisan consensus building to pass the 2018 farm bill, but GOP critics say the costly bill betrayed conservative values.
McClatchy Newspapers reports that as the 82-year-old Roberts decides whether to seek another term in 2020, observers say his style of traditional work across party lines might now be a liability in a polarized political world.
Roberts chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. Critics say the farm bill should have increased work requirements for recipients of food aid and reined in farm subsidies. Neither provision was included in the bill.
Roberts has said he is consulting with family and supporters about seeking another term. No one has announced a primary challenge against Roberts, but conservative activists see him as vulnerable from the right.