Failure of the Farm Bill

23 Jun

I have to admit, agriculture is probably not even on my Top 10 issues to follow on a national level.  When I lived in Southern California, it wasn’t really something that I even saw.  Now that I’m here in Indiana, I have tried to pay more attention to the issues affecting my state more than others, and agriculture is definitely one of them.

Over the past few weeks, I have heard more and more about it.  I knew that the Senate passed their version, and I was just generally surprised that the Senate passed something before the House.  Now one would expect that the House would pass their “Republican” version and then go to conference committee to iron out the differences.  But to see a farm bill, from what I’ve read, is usually very bipartisan, to be voted down is both surprising and not so surprising at the same time.  I am especially troubled that of the Republicans who voted against it, they voted for several amendments for it.

POLITICO writes, “This is what passes for “growing the vote” these days in Congress. Or in playground terms: taking your ball and going home.”  Additionally, the Republicans also got the following:

  • cuts to the SNAP program
  • capped total federal dollars for the farm safety net
  • imposed new payment limits on what large farms can get
  • blocked a new milk supply program favored by most dairy co-ops.

Now I don’t want to let Democrats off the hook for this.  There were just so many of them who didn’t vote for it.  I always figured that since they are less ideologically inclined, there would be a greater split for it.  I figured some of them were voting against it because it’d make Republicans look bad, which it does, but still, it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

From what I’ve seen of the complicated farm bill, there are a lot of things I don’t like, but I’m just me.  But I think that this failure is emblematic of the House for this session.  I can’t believe that I’m saying that the Senate seems to act more grown-up now, but I guess that’s easy when the House is just so bad.  I truly hate how bipartisanship and compromise don’t go hand in hand.   There is always lip service paid to ‘bipartisanship’, but the actions of compromise don’t follow those words.  I realize that you have to vote no because you think that it really is a bad vote, but it seems a lot of these politicians are just voting no because it’s easier, not because it’s right.

These are the times when I wished that my passion was enough to run for office, but I definitely don’t have that money.  For now, I’ll try to support, or criticize, those who deserve it.


3 Responses to “Failure of the Farm Bill”

  1. realtalkrealdebate June 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    Agriculture does not get an iota of coverage in comparison to other bills. I think in general they all suck. The bad ones far outnumber the good ones.

    As for running for office I’ve contemplated it as well. Don’t have the money as well. Plus I don’t even know where or how to begin. I don’t think money should be an impediment to public office

  2. Robert A. Vella June 24, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    The GOP farm bill would have cut $20.5 billion and 1.8 million poor people from the food stamp program. All but one of the 62 Republicans who voted against the bill wanted even steeper cuts. Some of those same Republicans, like Tennessee’s Stephen Fincher, own farms which receive substantial agriculture subsidies written into congressional farm bills. 177 of 201 Democrats said “no way” and I don’t blame them. Political compromise becomes meaningless when one side has become so radically extreme.

    • ronarruejo June 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      As a whole, I definitely agree that Republicans seem to be much more extreme, at least those with very safe districts. Democrats have also too, but no one can argue that it is as much as the Republicans.

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