No Farm Bill

Here’s a word that could sum up what happened yesterday in the U.S. House: disappointing.

At the end of a fairly short three day session, The House Farm Bill failed to pass by a vote of 195-234. What this means is the Farm Bill cannot advance into a full conference even though the Senate passed its version just two weeks ago.

Is the Farm Bill dead? Was it dead upon arrival anyway?

So what went wrong? 

At the end of the day, just before the final vote, a separate and controversial amendment (#102) was presented by Rep. Steve Southerland (Fla.). The amendment would have applied federal welfare work requirements to the food stamp program (SNAP) as a state option. This passed by a 227-198-vote count.

Prior to introduction of this amendment, the majority of Democrats and Republicans supported passage of the House Farm Bill.  But Democrats believed the last minute change could significantly limit access to food stamps and decided to withdraw their support of the overall bill. As a result they lost Democratic support and an additional 62 Republicans which is about a quarter of the GOP conference.

Some have suggested certain Republicans voted for the food stamp work requirement to tank the bill. What’s for sure is the amendment turned a bipartisan bill– necessary for our farmers, consumers, and for the people of America– into a partisan bill.

Both sides of the aisle are blaming the other:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) made the following statement “I’m extremely disappointed that Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership have at the last minute chosen to derail years of bipartisan work on the Farm Bill and related reforms.” While House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), said “The farm bill failed to pass the House today because the House Republicans could not control the extreme right wing of their party.”  To Quote Minority Leader Nancy Peolsi “What is happening on the floor today was major amateur hour.”

You can read more commentary in articles from The Hill, Politico, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

What’s next and how do we move forward?  It’s murky, and nobody knows for sure, but there appear to be three paths.

The Republican leadership in the House could bring a new version of the Farm Bill to the floor, with a new slate of amendments designed to garner additional Republican votes.  If the House does pass a Farm Bill, then the House and Senate passed Farm Bills would proceed to conference later in the summer.

Second, the Senate-passed Farm Bill could be attached to a piece of legislation that must pass the House, such as an appropriations bill, in an attempt to move it through. This is an unlikely path forward, though, because the Senate-passed bill is not palatable to a majority of the House of Representatives.

Third, the House can do nothing, and Congress can yet again allow the Farm Bill to expire at midnight on September 30.  It is likely that Agriculture Committee leaders would then move to a strategy for passing a short-term extension.  This last path would be disastrous for American agriculture and, more specifically, to several organic programs that were left out of last year’s extension.

This is the first time in 40 years the House has voted down a Farm Bill.  It leads me to ask “Is Congress a governance body or an opposition party?” What do you think?

21 thoughts on “No Farm Bill

  1. Thanks Melody, great analysis. Ione Conlan Ranches California _www.conlanranchescalifornia.com_ (http://www.conlanranchescalifornia.com/) Marin T (707) 876-1992 F (707) 876-1894 PO Box 412 Valley Ford, CA 94972 The information contained in this communication is confidential, may be pri vileged pursuant to the attorney-client privilege and/or the work product doctrine, may constitute inside information, and is intended only for the use of the addressee. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, be advised that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender by return email or by calling (707) 876-1992 and delete this communication and all copies, including all attachments.

  2. Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll
    forward this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m not sure why butt this site is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a
    issue oon my end? I’ll chrck back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  4. Simply wish to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your post is just spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with
    forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  5. The growing shift to a vibrant data center is causing many IT organizations to reevaluate their IT operations, support, and management methods.
    The actual designing core of Citrix classroom training could be
    to keep students in the classroom, which brings rising cost of
    the Citrix 1Y0-A16 in the materials as well as your own expenditure
    in class. Blue – Stacks cost nothing and works very well that it gained itself CNET’s
    coveted “Best of CES” title at this year’s show.

  6. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave
    iit to my 4 year old daughter and said You can hear the
    ocean if you put this tto your ear. She placed the shell to her
    ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entieely off topic
    but I had to tell someone!

  7. I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this kind of area .
    Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website.
    Reading this information So i am glad to convey that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed.
    I such a lot for sure will make sure to do not disregard
    this web site and provides it a look regularly.

  8. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing problems with
    your site. It appears as if some of the text within your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to
    them too? This may be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had
    this happen before. Kudos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s