GOP Stoops to New Low on Farm Bill

Yesterday, the House GOP stooped to a new low, abandoning a long history of bipartisanship and rural-urban community partnership to pass a Farm Bill that ignores the health and economic security of millions of Americans. As one senior Republican told Politico, “Farm bills have been bipartisan for generations, and we made it a mess.”

Not one House Democrat voted for the bill.

Politico: Farm bill 2013: House narrowly passes pared-back version

…the decision to jettison the nutrition title breaks with nearly a half-century of precedent. And the GOP victory came at a huge political cost, splitting American agriculture and driving a wedge between urban and rural lawmakers who have long worked together on farm legislation.

All 196 Democrats voted in opposition, and there was a genuine fury displayed by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who repeatedly delayed the emotional floor proceedings…

“Farm bills have been bipartisan for generations, and we made it a mess,” said one senior Republican.

Washington Post’s Dana Milbank: Oh, snap! The GOP misfires on food stamps 

There was a rare moment of candor on the House floor this week.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.), a committee chairman and the man who led House Republicans to their majority in 2010, was explaining why he and his colleagues decided to drop the food stamp program from the farm bill.

“What we have carefully done is exclude some extraneous pieces,” he said.

Extraneous? For almost 50 years, food stamps have been part of the annual farm bill, and the $80 billion spent on the program keeps tens of millions of Americans, about half of them children, from going hungry…

But as a political matter, the food stamp folly shows just what a difficult situation Republican leaders find themselves in. For the second time in two days, they had been forced to placate conservatives in their own ranks by taking a position that alienates crucial segments of the electorate.

MSNBC: ‘The death knell of the food stamp program’

After weeks of pitched battle on Capitol Hill and in the media, the U.S. House of Representatives finally passed a farm bill on Thursday. The latest incarnation of the bill, which narrowly passed with zero Democratic votes, includes no provisions related to funding for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps)…

Now that Republicans have successfully passed a version of the farm bill without SNAP funding, they will likely introduce a separate food stamp bill which is expected to include even deeper cuts than the $20.5 billion originally proposed…

“I would have said it’s one of the worst things you’ve done, but there’s such stiff competition for that honor,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

New York Times: House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps

Republicans muscled a pared-back agriculture bill through the House on Thursday, stripping out the food stamp program to satisfy recalcitrant conservatives but losing what little Democratic support the bill had when it failed last month. It was the first time food stamps had not been a part of the farm bill since 1973…

Even in a chamber used to acrimony, Thursday’s debate in the House was particularly brutal. Democrats repeatedly called for roll-call votes on parliamentary procedures and motions to adjourn, delaying the final vote by hours and charging Republicans over and over again with callousness and cruelty.

Republicans shouted protests, trying to silence the most strident Democrats, and were repeatedly forced to vote to uphold their own parliamentary rulings.

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