- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
House drops food stamps, passes ag-only farm bill
Question of the Day
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.
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 2013 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.
- Buyers form trusts to get guns that are off-limits
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- Scientists could unlock mystery of life beyond Earth within a decade
- House Democrats give grudging support to 10-year gun ban extension
- Extending plastic gun ban just first step?
Latest Blog Entries
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Red Alert focuses on the hottest political topics in the nation and calls Americans to action.
History doesn't have to be grim; there is a lot to be learned from the pages of time.
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!