Some Conservative Republicans Call for Nutrition Title to be Carved Out of Farm BillSat, 29 Jun 2013 21:14:26 CDT
Ahead of the 4th of July recess - there was talk among House Republicans about splitting the farm bill into two measures. Several Congressmen who voted against the measure would like to split farm programs from nutrition programs. Indiana Representative Marlin Stutzman actually offered an amendment to the Rules Committee to split the FARRM Act apart - but it was ruled out of order. He said last week what has worked in the past didn’t work.
Stutzman told his colleagues during a House Republican Conference meeting that members could moan and groan and blame each other or admit times have changed, things are different and a different strategy is needed. Stutzman argued the best way forward is to separate the agriculture language of the bill from the nutrition program and work on them individually. According to Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina - a group of members told leadership they would vote for the agriculture portion with no problems if the bill were split.
But according to House Ag Chair Frank Lucas, splitting the bill is unacceptable. The Oklahoma lawmaker contends that splitting the bill simply means not having a bill. Lucas said that is the least acceptable option - but everything else is on the table and he’s working through the scenarios with his friends. Lucas had said earlier in the week that leaders have to decide if they need to try for more Republican support or seek to bring on new Democrats.
This past week- Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Lucas about the idea of taking nutrition out of the bill and he is firmly convinced that is the wrong approach when it comes to finding 218 votes to vote on a new five year farm bill. You can hear the specific comments that he gave Hays by clicking on the Listen Bar below.
Along with lawmakers like Stutzman, you have groups like the Heritage Foundation beating their chest on the need to carve nutrition out of the farm bill- click here for their statement from the latter part of this past week.
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