- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
- Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
- Tenn. woman receives two-year sentence for stealing $364K meant for homeless veterans
House drops food stamps, passes ag-only farm bill
House Republican leaders powered through a slimmed-down farm bill Thursday, dropping the food stamp program from the measure and leaving the rest of the bill, which maintains the farm subsidies system that props up U.S. agriculture.
The 216-208 vote delivered a much-needed victory to Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who saw their last version of the farm bill — which included the food stamp program, known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) — fail last month when conservatives said it was too generous and Democrats said it was too stingy.
Republican leaders still say the food stamp parts of the bill can be rescued either by passing a separate bill or by putting the provisions back in when the House meets to negotiate a final compromise with the Senate, which passed a farm bill containing both subsidy and food stamp language.
Rep. Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma Republican and Agriculture Committee chairman, pledged that his committee will work in a bipartisan manner on the nutrition measures left out, but added that “I can’t guarantee you what the product will look like coming out of the committee or across the floor.”
The bill would effectively end direct payments to farmers and cut farm subsidies by about $1.3 billion a year, according to the CBO. It also contains language to repeal archaic production and price provisions for some commodity products, such as milk and cotton.
Absent passage of that language, a decades-old “permanent law” governing such prices would kick in this fall that could cause commodity prices to jump.
Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas Republican and chairman of the Rules Committee, said splitting the bill “in no way seeks to marginalize the importance of the nutrition programs.”
But Democrats said the message from House Republicans was clear.
“Mitt Romney was right — you don’t care about the 47 percent,” Rep. Corrine Brown, Florida Democrat, admonished them on the floor. “Shame on you!”
Funding for food stamps can still be continued through the annual spending bills, even without the farm bill’s passage.
All of the Democrats present voted against the bill, as did 12 Republicans.
Mr. Cantor called the vote “a victory for farmers and conservatives who desired desperately needed reforms to these programs.”
But Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat and chairwoman of Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said the bill is “an insult to rural America.”
“We will go to conference with the bipartisan, comprehensive farm bill that was passed in the Senate that not only reforms programs, supports families in need and creates agriculture jobs, but also saves billions more than the extremely flawed House bill,” she said.
The White House budget office also issued a veto threat for the bill Wednesday evening, citing the food stamp issue and saying the bill doesn’t reform the commodity and crop insurance programs enough.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Supreme Court pushes consideration of N.J. gun case to April 25
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- Michael Bloomberg charts $50M challenge to NRA: 'Got to make them afraid'
- McAuliffe's PAC off to fast start, with $254,000 raised in two weeks
- Virginia Republican Bob Marshall stands by remarks that raise eyebrows
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Justice Dept.'s new clemency guidelines: Crack offenders most obvious candidates
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- EDITORIAL: Voting with one's feet shows folly of liberal economic policies
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014