Gasp: The House might be considering splitting up the farm bill, and the Ag chairman might be okay with it

posted at 3:21 pm on July 9, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Could the time actually be ripe to end the perennial pairing of the federal food stamp program together with U.S. agricultural “policy” (hem, hem) into a single “farm bill,” and thereby break up the perverse urban-rural synergy that usually ensures the bill’s passage and deliberately obfuscates its many moving parts? On Monday night, National Review reported that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor got pretty frank about his perturbation with GOP chairmen over the unexpected and epic fail of the House farm-bill proposal in June; nevertheless, Roll Call reports today, House leadership has been moving forward with their plan to whip-count the possible separation of the ever-expanding food stamp program and the agribusiness lobby’s corporate-pork menu into two (relatively) standalone pieces of legislation. Even more surprising, the House Agriculture Chairman says there’s at least a possibility he could be okay with it:

House Republican leaders have decided to drop food stamps from the farm bill and are whipping the farm-only portion of the bill for a vote that will likely come this week, according to a GOP leadership aide. …

Rory Cooper, a spokesman for Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said leadership has not yet decided to schedule a vote.

“There has been no decision made to schedule a vote on a farm bill, in any form,” he said in a statement to CQ Roll Call.

House Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas said Tuesday morning that he would support splitting the farm bill — as long as it can pass the House.

“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.”

Asked whether it was fair to say he supports splitting the farm bill, the Oklahoma Republican replied: “It’s fair to say that Chairman Lucas is at a point where he has got to look outside the box, and splitting the farm bill is certainly outside the traditional box.”

That’s some progress, I suppose, but I’ll admit I’m not getting too excited, because I don’t know that splitting the two up will get either of them done. Too many Republicans manage to sum up excuses to suddenly justify cash payouts, subsidies, and big-government market interference against which they so often rage when its their rural districts that stand to get the leg up, and I wouldn’t think stripping away the ballooning food stamp program from what is essentially a love note to the agribusiness lobby will make that any less awkward. We shall see.

Update: A few more details from Politico, a little more negative in tone:

In a members-only meeting of Republicans, senior lawmakers on the Agriculture panel continued to express reservations to the Oklahoman. Early soundings by the House whip organization Tuesday afternoon indicated that the leadership still had an uphill climb to get to 218 Republican votes.

Lucas may have anticipated this when he told POLITICO after his committee meeting: “If there are not 218 votes, if there is no assurance of success, why try the effort.” …

Of the two bill strategy — which he had resisted when first promoted by Cantor — Lucas told POLITICO, “It’s contrary to the conventional wisdom since at least 1965 so that’s outside the box… We’re at a point in time where we have to think outside the box. I have to pass a farm bill. Whatever combination of events gets us ultimately to that farm bill is worth trying.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

No, not really happening. More kabuki.

Bmore on July 9, 2013 at 3:28 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Here’s hoping.

Mohonri on July 9, 2013 at 3:32 PM

It would be nice if they could do something worthwhile with their majority.

myrenovations on July 9, 2013 at 3:37 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Why not? They mostly pay for food stamps.

sentinelrules on July 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Why must govt be the solution to everything?

nobar on July 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

That’s some progress, I suppose, but I’ll admit I’m not getting too excited, because I don’t know that splitting the two up will get either of them done. Too many Republicans manage to sum up excuses to suddenly justify cash payouts, subsidies, and big-government market interference against which they so often rage when its their rural districts that stand to get the leg up, and I wouldn’t think stripping away the ballooning food stamp program from what is essentially a love note to the agribusiness lobby will make that any less awkward.

Sadly, I’m in the same boat.

rbj on July 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I wouldn’t think stripping away the ballooning food stamp program from what is essentially a love note to the agribusiness lobby will make that any less awkward.

If it makes it more awkward for them to vote for it, then I see zero problem with it.

Mohonri on July 9, 2013 at 3:44 PM

********* Compromise Babyyyyyy *********!!
(sarc(

canopfor on July 9, 2013 at 3:51 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Yep, that’s exactly what they just said. Can you ever state truths or is that impossible for you?

D-fusit on July 9, 2013 at 3:59 PM

101 million US Americans are on one or the other form of food assistance. Have you no shame?

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

OR cutting corporate welfare….

JFKY on July 9, 2013 at 4:05 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Do you ever consider doing something because it is the right thing for the country(like fiscal responsibility) rather than how it will benefit a political party?

a capella on July 9, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Fingers crossed!

jimver on July 9, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Boyo,that Tricky New York,did a Re-Phrase:)
——————————————-

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is the new name for the Food Stamp Program
***********************************************

http://otda.ny.gov/programs/snap/

canopfor on July 9, 2013 at 4:23 PM

And somewhere on page 3006 will be a statement saying they were only kidding.

ctmom on July 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Ya know,one would think,that this belongs under Welfare..Programs,well,I guess Liberals must have
it figured out….with it in AGRILCULTURE!
(sarc)
======

http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap

canopfor on July 9, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Um. “cutting” food stamps from the bill =/= “cutting food stamps”.

Also, a program that has doubled in cost in 5 years could stand to have some fat trimmed. That’s pretty insane.

alwaysfiredup on July 9, 2013 at 4:33 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I would think your ilk would be in favor of separating individual welfare from corporate welfare.

Kafir on July 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I would think your ilk would be in favor of separating individual welfare from corporate welfare.

Kafir on July 9, 2013 at 4:36 PM

I’d like to hear a response to this libfreeordie. Please.

ChrisL on July 9, 2013 at 4:44 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

libfeeordie:

And the Student Loans Interest Increases Too,that the Democrats boinked the dog over,
then,blamed the GOP!

canopfor on July 9, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Obama is using “sequestration” to cut Defense like there’s no tomorrow. Why won’t the Republicans cut something dear to the lib’s base?

Iblis on July 9, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Um. “cutting” food stamps from the bill =/= “cutting food stamps”.

Also, a program that has doubled in cost in 5 years could stand to have some fat trimmed. That’s pretty insane.

alwaysfiredup on July 9, 2013 at 4:33 PM

We need investigations of the rampant fraud in SNAP. If citizens can report their neighbors for income tax fraud and get a reward from the IRS, why can’t we do the same for Food Stamps and SSDI?

slickwillie2001 on July 9, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Lucas told POLITICO, “It’s contrary to the conventional wisdom since at least 1965 so that’s outside the box… We’re at a point in time where we have to think outside the box. I have to pass a farm bill. Whatever combination of events gets us ultimately to that farm bill is worth trying.”

Just why does he have to pass a farm bill? He says it like it’s genetically programmed into his brain.

grahsco on July 9, 2013 at 5:25 PM

separate them or do nothing else, I’m good with that

how about taking the losses the farmers lost with Corzine and MF Global out of the food stamp side and making it available to them until the civil suits are settled?

DanMan on July 9, 2013 at 5:31 PM

The GOP is going to run on cutting food stamps? OK……..

libfreeordie on July 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Unfortunately, too many people believe they are getting a benefit from government that costs them nothing. Even if you don’t pay taxes that directly contribute to such programs, you pay in other ways, as high unemployment presently in this country demonstrates.

rickv404 on July 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM

101 million US Americans are on one or the other form of food assistance. Have you no shame?

Schadenfreude on July 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM

They have no shame, they are leeches, period.

Tim Zank on July 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM

I’m fine with them making noise about passing something…

…so long as nothing actually passes.

Let the food stamp program die the ignominious death it deserves, and kill farm subsidies while you’re at it.

DRayRaven on July 9, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Burying “Food Stamps, etal” into the USDA was and is the equivalent to talking a big broom and sweeping ALL the dirt under the rug to hide it. The problem is the crap under the rug is now the size of Mt. Everest.

Grocery stores and food processors are making bucket loads of money off the “food assistance” programs….. Always under the guise of humanitarian compassion, ALWAYS riddled with fraud and excess… Middle class citizens have been raped by ALL these programs taxpayers handed the bill are past the brink. The gateway to all other FREE services and programs are tiered off this massive pork barrel. Cut its head off! Decapitate the evil Siamese twin, make it a stand alone entity and make it sustainable.

If any of you are like me I give up so much so my family eats a decent meal, we eat out very rarely, my weekly grocery budget comes out of my household income budget, I have to make choices, sometimes it means very meager fare for that week….. I fume when I see woman and men filling up their grocery carts with overflow and xcess then pay with their magic card, they dressing name brands then push their heavy burden out current model cars! Now they can also use these cards at fast food chains…

We the PEOPLE …. Are getting tired of being screwed.

ActinUpinTexas on July 10, 2013 at 11:35 AM