The House — in a major surprise — has rejected a 10-year farm bill costing almost $1 trillion.
By DAVE HELLING
Some Republicans thought the bill didn’t cut food stamps enough. Democrats thought it cut food stamps too much.
Local Reps. Kevin Yoder, Vicky Hartzler, and Sam Graves were yes votes. (All, by the way, have accepted, or are related to someone who has accepted, farm subsidies.)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was a no vote.
UPDATE #4: So was Rep. Tim Huelskamp. He blamed food stamps.
“I could not vote for a bill that locks in the massive expansion of the food stamp program and spends nearly 80 cents of every dollar on food stamps.”
Huelskamp’s parents have received more than $1.1 million in farm subsidies.
Huelskamp offered an amendment that would have increased the food stamp cuts in the bill by 50 percent, and added work requirements. The amendment failed 175-250.
No Democrats supported the Huelskamp amendment, and 57 Republicans opposed it as well.
Hartzler, Yoder, Graves, and Huelskamp all voted for the $31 billion food stamp cut. Cleaver voted no.
UPDATE: So was Rep. Mike Pompeo of KS-04, which is Wichita. He blamed food stamps and a “Soviet-style milk program.” (Note: The dairy provisions were stripped from the bill before the final vote. Pompeo sent out a corrected statement.)
What happens next isn’t clear. The Senate has passed a farm bill, but was waiting for a conference with the House. That can’t happen now.
UPDATE #2: Graves’ statement: “This cannot be the end of the process. I hope that the House will soon consider a revised bill that can pass the chamber and get us closer to working through our differences with the Senate.”
UPDATE #5: From Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a yes vote: “Too many Democrats and Republicans allowed politics to trump progress, and chose to defeat this bipartisan effort. I am truly disappointed by today’s vote to accept a badly broken status quo.”
UPDATE #3: Statement from Sen. Claire McCaskill: “This has gone on long enough, and the fumbling of the U.S. House leadership is only hurting our farmers and ranchers and the economic health of our state.”
Likely? Another one-year extension of the current bill.
A classic example of congressional dysfunction.