Update: Clearly there was some sort of problem for House leaders in whipping votes because as of Wednesday morning, there was no bill posted on the House Rules Committee website suggesting a new farm bill is coming to the floor.
CQ Roll Call reported today that House leaders are going to move ahead with the plan of culling away the food stamps from the rest of the farm bill and try to simply pass the agriculture portions of the legislation.
The farm portions of the farm bill will be sent to the House Rules Committee sometime today with plans for the Rules Committee to discuss the floor debate. Roll Call quoted House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., saying he is going along with the strategy.
“I’m willing to do what it takes to get a farm bill done,” Lucas said as he exited a Republican Conference meeting Tuesday morning. “If that means doing it unconventionally, maybe we got to give it a try.”
While conservative groups have driven the train to split the bill, Heritage Action, an arm of the Heritage Foundation, said that wasn't good enough. The group issued a statement immediately after news broke about the GOP move.
“The purpose of ending the unholy alliance that has dominated the food stamp and farm bill for decades is to allow substantive debate that would allow the House to show its conservative values," said Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham in a news release. "Unfortunately, this is nothing more than a naked attempt to get to a conference committee with the Senate. The end result of such a conference would be a perpetuation of subsidies and government intervention that will continue to harm consumers and taxpayers alike.”
House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., is reportedly criticizing the new GOP move, saying it means virtually no Democrats will back the bill.
The CQ Roll Call article: http://blogs.rollcall.com/…
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