Obviously: White House issues veto threat on a farm bill without food stamps; Update: House passes agriculture-only bill, 216-208

posted at 2:41 pm on July 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

This farm-bill debacle really is turning into quite the — er, interesting? — case study of American politics. On Wednesday evening, House Republicans did indeed come up with some legislation that stripped food stamps from the farm bill, the intention being to split them up into two more easily scrutable issues and end the usual omnibus political momentum their pairing produces. Their new legislation is purely concerned with, ahem, what I will very generously refer to as “agricultural policy,” and the CBO just came out with their new scoring on the split bill, via The Hill:

The CBO said that the bill would reduce the deficit by $12.9 billion over 10 years compared to current law.

This is far less than President Obama called for in his 2014 budget, which would cut $37.8 billion from farm subsidies. It is also about $1 billion less than the Senate gets from its farm program cuts. …

The CBO said the bill cuts $18.7 billion from the commodity subsidy title and $4.8 billion from environmental programs, though $8.9 billion of the savings would be spent on expanded crop insurance. …

The House farm bill does away with direct farm payments, which have come under attack because they are based on historic production and can go to people no longer engaged in farming. The bill replaces that with new revenue and price supports as well as expanded crop insurance.

And House leadership is seeing if they can’t round up the votes:, via Politico:

Rolling the dice, House Republicans pushed ahead toward floor votes Thursday on a pared-back farm bill that strips out nutrition programs to appease conservatives and reduces the net 10-year costs to about $195.6 billion.

Behind the scenes, the GOP worked relentlessly to line up the last of 218 votes to avoid a repeat of last month’s embarrassing collapse. By a 223-195 margin the bill survived a first procedural test. But the whole strategy remained a political high-wire act uniting Democrats in opposition even as it left the agriculture community badly split. …

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) insisted that the goal was simply to “bifurcate” the legislation and get one piece — most relevant to farmers — to conference with the Senate. But he was met with a blast from Rep, Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who said backroom deals had been made to “gut” the nutrition title in the months ahead.

Powerful cotton, rice, peanut and sugar cane interests were working with the GOP to round up votes. But the two leading agriculture groups — the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union — came out strongly against the GOP strategy, which breaks with nearly a half-century of practice in farm bills.

There’s going to a be a floor vote this afternoon to try and take the thing to conference with the Senate (which will open up a whole other can of worms), but the Democrats and the White House are having the predictable hissy fit, because of the lack of assurance now surrounding their highly precious food-stamp budget:

The White House has threatened to veto a Republican-drafted farm bill, scheduled for a vote in the House on Thursday, that expands the taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance program but omits food stamps for the poor. …

In a statement late on Wednesday, the White House said it would veto the 608-page farm subsidy bill because it “does not contain sufficient commodity and crop insurance reforms” and it omitted food stamps, formally named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“This bill … fails to reauthorize nutrition programs, which benefit millions of Americans – in rural, suburban and urban areas alike,” said the White House. “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a cornerstone of our nation’s food assistance safety net, and should not be left behind as the rest of the Farm Bill advances.” …

“Republicans are determined to de-fund nutrition assistance. Shame on you,” said Congressman G.K. Butterfield, North Carolina Democrat, when the House opened debate for the day.

More to come.

Update: Heritage is totally owning on this issue, and isn’t shying away from calling out the House Republicans for the hypocrisy that is helping to perpetuate a so-called agricultural policy that isn’t much more than a complex raft of special-interest serving and completely unnecessary price supports, subsidies, and a complex crop-insurance system that basically functions like a federally-sponsored cartel. The whole point of splitting the farm bill up, as I said, should have been to make the two traditionally coupled food stamp and agriculture issues more scrutable — but did they scrutinize the new agriculture bill? …Not really, no.

farmRecipe_v3

And:

FarmBill_RichandFamous_600pixels

Update: This afternoon, the House voted to advance the new-but-definitively-not-improved agricultural portion of the traditional farm bill to conference with the Senate, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor just mentioned on the House floor that they plan to bring forward the food-stamp portion in its own legislative version reasonably soon. There was a chance to, if nothing else, at least make a real stand here about our costly, inefficient, and expensive agriculture (i.e., agribusiness) policy, and most Republicans declined to take it.


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What? Veto a farm bill?

Can’t wait for the farmers with their manure spreaders to show up and paint the WH with their doodoo guns.

BobMbx on July 11, 2013 at 2:48 PM

FoodStamp President not happy..

Electrongod on July 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Obama is just trying to get in on the show when he’s really an outside interloper, a non-player. He prefers not getting his hands dirty, but he hates feeling ignored all the same. Besides, the Senate will never pass the House bill in the first place.

Liam on July 11, 2013 at 2:57 PM

The only reason food stamps & farm was paired was so there’d be “pork for everyone” – that’s what it took to get it through.

I’d be happy to see it all go down.

BD57 on July 11, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Can’t wait for the farmers with their manure spreaders to show up and paint the WH with their doodoo guns.

BobMbx on July 11, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I’d pay real money to see that!

CurtZHP on July 11, 2013 at 2:59 PM

The President is worried certain people would starve
to death..especially if their Food Stamps were buried
under their Work Boots.

ToddPA on July 11, 2013 at 3:01 PM

The EBT when it first came out was an OK idea, and supposedly more fraud-proof than paper stamps.

And then, stores installed self-checkout. Charlie Cashier could see that a 6’2 200 pound black guy is unlikely to have the name Mei Ling Chan. But the self-checkout doesn’t care.

Some folks are “losing” their EBT cards constantly. More like, handing it over as payment for something illegal or off the books, and giving the payee a week to run through a self-checkout at Wal Mart before reporting the card missing.

If we do a food stamp bill, there should be incentives for states to insist on photo ID for EBT use, and a yearly limit on card replacements.

Sekhmet on July 11, 2013 at 3:01 PM

It’s time the House GOP stood up to Obama. The Senate GOP is pretty much a lost cause.

bw222 on July 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM

What, he will veto the farm bill if food stamps are taken out? And that is supposed to improve the chances of getting food stamps passed exactly how?

Don’t throw me into that briar patch…….

Upstreamer on July 11, 2013 at 3:07 PM

bw222 on July 11, 2013 at 3:02 PM

here here.

They need to grow some testiculars and FINALLY make a stand.

RealMc on July 11, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Note that the GOP didn’t say they were not going to pass a food stamp bill. Just that it wouldn’t be linked to a farm bill.

This, of course, has pork barrel politicians hyper-ventilating. Along with Democrats. But I repeat myself.

Chris of Rights on July 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM

No freebies for homies?! Howzabout no “farm bill” period. The whole thing’s welfare up and down the line.

Akzed on July 11, 2013 at 3:13 PM

“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a cornerstone of our nation’s food assistance safety net Democrat voting block”

shanimal on July 11, 2013 at 3:16 PM

An obviously racist attempt at humor by the folks at Heritage.

abobo on July 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Call him on it, make him do it, then tell everyone it’s his fault they didn’t get jack – pretty simple

PJ Emeritus on July 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

They’ll vote up as much farm and agricorp welfare as they can.

In the second half of the separated bill, they’ll try to help Bush 44 overtop Bush 43 on EBT growth.

Maybe they can fool people on Fox.

kunegetikos on July 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Obama promised to change Washington. Keeping the Farm Bill and SNAP together in one package is business as usual in Washington.

Why does Obama want to continue with business as usual after promising change?

Why does Obama hate farmers?

weaselyone on July 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Call. His. Bluff.

Mohonri on July 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM

There is no place in this administration for “White Welfare”. Kill it all!

trs on July 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

food stamps, formally named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Should be formally renamed the “Allows Me To Use My Welfare Check And Income Tax Refund To Buy Crack and Pimp My Ride Program”.

cornbred on July 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

I noticed that little graphic about “where your farm bill money actually goes” chose not to include Michelle Bachmann and others.

Just the people we can all say we don’t like, right?! Better try to keep a lid on the rest.

;)

Genuine on July 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Call. His. Bluff.

Mohonri on July 11, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Sure….Weepy will get right on that…..top priority.

hawkeye54 on July 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM

food stamps, formally named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Should be formally renamed the “Allows Me To Use My Welfare Check And Income Tax Refund To Buy Crack and Pimp My Ride Program”.

cornbred on July 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Meh, everybody already knows that’s what it means. It just has to sound nicer to make pols feel better about allocating billions of our tax dollars to support the program.

hawkeye54 on July 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Those aren’t Food Stamps, those are “Vote Democrat” cards…

albill on July 11, 2013 at 3:37 PM

I think some of you are missing the big picture because of your justified feelings toward our usually dismal preezy.

The CBO said that the bill would reduce the deficit by $12.9 billion over 10 years compared to current law.

This is far less than President Obama called for in his 2014 budget, which would cut $37.8 billion from farm subsidies. It is also about $1 billion less than the Senate gets from its farm program cuts.

Food stamps is only half of the issue — Obummer actually proposes to cut subsidies even more than the GOP. Call me Pollyanna, but I think we should give him a little credit for that.

PS – that 2nd Heritage graphic is awesome!

KS Rex on July 11, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Call him on it, make him do it, then tell everyone it’s his fault they didn’t get jack – pretty simple

PJ Emeritus on July 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I would bet $10,000 that Obama would not veto the bill. He knows which side his toast is buttered on. The problem is that the GOP has never nailed Obama to his word. Jugears is more bark than bite.

timberline on July 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

KILL IT!

GarandFan on July 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM

I hate how the “taxpayer -subsidized crop insurance” drum is always beat when discussing these bills. My dad pays in exorbitant amounts each spring for crop insurance, and has collected on partial losses from hail twice in 20 years. Furthermore, during my grandmother’s last five years on earth, she paid in over 50% of her farm income in taxes as the owner of the home farm place. Yet, you can Google my dad’s name and find him listed on a site that tallies his total farm payments from insurance as if he’s some sort of free-loading criminal. Where are those kinds of sites for all the true free-loaders on the government dole??

Cornhusker on July 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Food stamps is only half of the issue — Obummer actually proposes to cut subsidies even more than the GOP. Call me Pollyanna, but I think we should give him a little credit for that.

PS – that 2nd Heritage graphic is awesome!

KS Rex on July 11, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Obama put his budget together with pie-in-the-sky items that he knew would not be accepted. That’s why it was DOA when he sent it to the DEMOCRATIC congress(Senate). Slick jugears was just making himself look good. He’s good at that. All talk…no walk.

timberline on July 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Some folks are “losing” their EBT cards constantly. More like, handing it over as payment for something illegal or off the books, and giving the payee a week to run through a self-checkout at Wal Mart before reporting the card missing.

Uhhhh, our Wal-Mart won’t accept EBT at self checkout.

Vince on July 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Don’t throw me into that briar patch…….

Upstreamer on July 11, 2013 at 3:07 PM

perfect said brer rabbit, my cousins that run down Houston as liberal are howling at the prospect of rice farming subsidy cuts

and the EDT card deal is ridiculous in my neighborhood in H-town

cut it all

DanMan on July 11, 2013 at 4:02 PM

EDT = EBT

DanMan on July 11, 2013 at 4:02 PM

What? Veto a farm bill?

Can’t wait for the farmers with their manure spreaders to show up and paint the WH with their doodoo guns.

BobMbx on July 11, 2013 at 2:48 PM

…with Bruce Springsteen accompanying them!

slickwillie2001 on July 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM

The Pork Bill needs to go. How?

Split food stamps from it. Deal with that sorry thing seperately. Can’t be impacting 25% of the population all at once now, can we?

End farm subsidies, concurrently end farm price regulation and onerous farm production regulation. Let the farmers grow food, sell it to a hungry nation, and make a profit in the free market.

Of course I’m dreaming.

NOMOBO on July 11, 2013 at 4:09 PM

This is a great story…Obama and the House arguing over who can cut more from bloated farm subsidies, and Obama winning. Is anyone embarrassed in the House leadership? Anyone?

Pawnd.

MTF on July 11, 2013 at 4:12 PM

This just shows how tough it is to cut anything. Obviously the whips counted votes – and to cut further meant not enough GOP votes – and by separating the bills (actually which I approve of) they could count on no dem support.

Need to keep trimming the GOP ranks of spenders and big govt lovers.

Interesting to see what comes out of the conference committee – if the senate and House cannot reach agreement then we have no more subsidies?

Zomcon JEM on July 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Yep, I can’t wait to watch O D*khead Reilly beat up on the do nothing Congress again. According to his worldly wisdom Congress is the reason nothing gets done in D.C.

DDay on July 11, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Late Wednesday, the House Rules Committee voted to waive the rule requiring pieces of legislation to be available to members for 3 days prior to a final vote.

House GOP Leadership is trying to force a quick vote on a re-packaged Farm Bill, so it waived its own rule.

11 Jul 2013, 9:27 AM PDT

The new 600-page version of the House Farm Bill was released on Wednesday. Under the GOP rule, the House would have to wait until Monday to consider the legislation. There is no reason not to wait.

Yet again, the House is going to have to pass a bill to find out what’s in it.

I’m confused. Did the House add the Food Stamps back to this bill they passed today? This article says “new” 600 page version.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/07/11/house-gop-waives-rules-to-rush-farm-bill

bluefox on July 11, 2013 at 4:48 PM

House Farm Bill

Time For A New Recipe:

Lol!

canopfor on July 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Passage of the bill allows negotiations to begin with the Senate over a final bill. Even though the House bill dropped the provisions related to food stamps, that program can be addressed in a conference committee with the Senate. This should provide a cautionary tale for opponents of amnesty.

Even if the House only passes legislation to increase border security, provisions to legalize current illegal immigrants could come out of a conference committee, as food stamp provisions certainly will.

If they are going to put the Food Stamp provisions back in during conference, then why all of this separate legislation?

Geesh, what a bunch of idiots.

bluefox on July 11, 2013 at 7:31 PM