sheep farm bill

On Farm Bill, House GOP Prepared to Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

After the stunning defeat of the food stamp and farm bill last month on the House floor, multiple reports have surfaced that Republican leaders are considering separating food stamps from farm programs.  Now, thanks to unscripted, public comments by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), we know talk of separating the bill is nothing more than a procedural gimmick intended to perpetuate the status quo.

Asked about the so-called farm bill, Rep. Roe acknowledged he “thought the farm bill was about farming; it turns out its really not.”  He explained “for the first time, we’re going to separate the farm bill” from the food stamp spending.

Without being prompted, he outlined the strategy:  “We’ll take the farm bill and the food stamp bill and separate those two.  Vote both of those and send them to the Senate.  And then it’ll come back as one bill in a conference and we’ll hopefully get something…”

(jump to 2:30 for most relevant comments)

When Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) called for this approach last August in the Wall Street Journal, they did so because “The Orwellian language of Washington creates unnecessary confusion and makes responsible governing needlessly difficult.”

Needham reemphasized this point clearly last week:

The reason to end this unholy alliance is to have an open, transparent debate on real reforms.  To be clear, the House should start over and pursue real, free-market reforms; simply holding separate votes on failed policy is nothing more than a different path to the same failed policies.

It is increasingly clear lawmakers in the House have little desire to have an open, transparent process that produces real reforms.  A farm-only farm bill that perpetuates the status quo isn’t a victory, nor is a food stamp bill that perpetuates President Obama’s failed stimulus policies.

Will House Republicans squander this historic opportunity to change Washington, save taxpayers money and help those trapped by government?  If Rep. Roe’s comments are accurate, the answer will likely be yes.

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Please Share Your Thoughts
  • Pete Stevens

    The discussion should be about eliminating the Department of Agriculture. Congressman Roe clearly believes in government welfare and doesn’t believe in the U.S. Constitution.

    • STLstudent

      In my humble opinion we should eliminate all of the federal cabinet-level departments that have been created since the ratification of the Constitution. They are, strictly Constitutionally-speaking, illegal.

      • Pete Stevens

        In my almost-always-humble opinion, STLstudent, I’ll choose your proposal over leaving them all in place. To parse a bit, I’d eliminate Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security (including its FEMA), Housing & Urban Development, and Labor; along with 90% of Interior, 60% of Justice,70% of State (including all of its Agency for International Development [AID]), 80% of Transportation. I’d leave, but overhaul Defense.
        All of the administrative-bureaucratic-regulatory agencies would be dismantled, and all of the regulations and rules established by them abolished. Also gone would be the Federal Reserve Bank, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FDIC.

        • STLstudent

          I would not argue with you. However, I am afraid the two parties in power now are not interested in dismantling any part of the federal beast.

          • Pete Stevens

            The U.S. Government, STLstudent, has successfully committed a coup. Its primary enemy is We the People, and it has defeated us. In 1776 the Founders brilliantly designed the first government on Planet Earth to serve the people rather than rule them. Over the last almost-exactly 100 years, that Government has perpetrated a 180-degree turn. The Fat Lady has sung and exited stage right.

  • STLstudent

    That is the history of the modern Republican Party — snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Remember how after the Republicans had a stunning defeat of Clinton and the Democrats in-hand fighting against he so-call “Assault Weapons Ban” in the 1990s, Newt Gingrich surrendered and gave Clinton a tremendous victory?

    Do NOT count on the Republicans to ever do-the-right-thing. Why? When you believe in nothing (like the Republicans) you will fight for nothing. Things like individual liberty, the Constitution, and keeping our own private property are not of interest to the Republicans. WHY do we have to keep begging the Republicans to DO-THE-RIGHT-THING? It is because they do not believe in the right thing, be it the farm bill, immigration, regulation, or you name it.

    Sometimes when you are attacked on both sides (Dems from one side and Repubs from the other) you have no choice but to attack in both directions. It is time to recognize that BOTH political parties are the enemies of liberty.

    • Deborah Smyth

      The problem with the Republican Party is the Tea Party. The Tea party would love to dismantle the government and give all power to the states. I find this very disturbing because our government protects us from abuses with oversight. The tea party tries to pass legislation giving the government very little oversight. And we so need it!! Think of the Keystone XL, think of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, think of Wall Street and the banks, think of all the crooks, white crime, think about our right to vote. Democracy lives in this country whether they recognize it or not. We need a strong republican and democrat party that WILL work together. This Congress is dysfunctional. I find it very odd that some people still can’t believe that President Obama won again!

      • STLstudent

        Deborah, your response is a caricature. The Tea Party wants the federal government to operate within constitutional boundaries. For the federal government to operate outside the limits defined in Constitution is unlawful. And I do not understand your concerns listed.

        • Deborah Smyth

          Nor do I not understand why the tea party thinks the government is operating outside the constitutional boundaries when it is their ideas, visions that are all outside the boundaries of the constitution! They are a painful thorn for most republicans, the ones they like to call RINO’s.

          • 2ndchild

            Could you give me examples of what you are speaking of? You know, the ideas and visions that are outside the boundaries of the constitution . . .

      • 2ndchild

        Deborah – When was the last time you tracked a bill through the congressional process? When was the last time you called or wrote your representative to tell them that you agreed/disagreed with their vote? When was the last time that you phone banked for a candidate? Did you go to a town hall meeting when your congressman was speaking about the health care act? Have you ever donated to an out of state campaign (not a political machine) because you believed in the PERSON? True “Tea Party” citizens (it’s a MINDSET not a club) are interested and engaged in the political decisions being made. They want and deserve to have their voice represented – as do you. The truth is, people have been politically apathetic for too long. I WISH the Democratic party would have a “Tea Party” movement within THEIR party . . . you know, citizens that would actually question their politicians decisions, votes and motives from time to time. I think that many “generational party loyalist” would soon discover that the state of our country is more important than “winning”.

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