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Speaker's support should have impact of getting more GOP votes for coming House farm bill vote
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters today that he will vote for the farm bill, even though he does not like everything that's in it.
Boehner's support comes as GOP leaders whip to see how many votes are possible in favor of the farm bill. His support, sources say, will likely bring some additional GOP members to the approval column.
Boehner said the following:
"I've got concerns about the farm bill, as I told our members, but doing nothing means we get no changes in the farm program, no changes in the nutrition program, and as a result I'm going to vote for the farm bill to make sure that good work of agriculture committee, whatever the floor might do to improve this bill, gets to a conference so we can get the kind of changes that people want."
Boehner did not reveal when the farm bill would come up for floor debate. One source this morning said the bill should be voted on "by the July Fourth recess."
Earlier this week, Boehner said he will oppose dairy policy provisions contained in the underlying House bill. "I oppose those provisions and will support efforts on the House floor to change them appropriately," he said in a Monday statement. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and David Scott (D-Ga.) will offer an amendment to alter the dairy provisions - some sources say Boehner may add his name as a co-sponsor. They are up against Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) who support the current dairy language contained in the bill. Both the Peterson and Goodlatte/Scott provisions would eliminate existing milk subsidies and replace them with a new form of insurance. The major difference, however, is the Peterson approach would force insured farmers to commit to limiting their production as a cost-saving factor.