SNAP! Goes the Farm Bill
Jun 20, 2013
SNAP! That was the sound as the House voted down the Farm Bill Thursday. A shorter than expected debate led many to predict the bill's passage. Passage of a dairy amendment favored by Speaker Boehner seemed to be a positive sign for passage too but in the end the deal breaker was the same issue that kept the bill from even coming to the House floor for a vote last year. The nutrition program, which makes up about 80% of the bill's spending, proved to again be the deal breaker. Some wanted bigger cuts, others none at all and an employment amendment seemed to be the final straw. No one was going to get everything they wanted but passage would have at least allowed a conference committee to improve the bill even more. Conventional thinking says the nutrition program is needed to get a farm bill passed. So how's that working out? Maybe agriculture needs to rethink that position. As we have seen with numerous other issues, extreme views in both parties have produced gridlock. While the chance to pass two major bills in the same year (farm & immigration) remains, the chances seem a lot slimmer now. Instead we get more of the same finger pointing and political pontificating that Congress has become infamous for.