Morning Action: The Farm and Food Stamp Bill is Bad for America
FARM BILL. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) believes the so-called “farm” bill will pass in the Senate next week (sub. req’d):
Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is talking about the farm measure in her home state and reaffirming that it is on track to pass the Senate next week, with cautious optimism that the House will follow suit with its own version this year, unlike in 2012.
“We’re going to be passing the bill again next week in the Senate,” Stabenow told Michigan Live on Tuesday. “The committee in the House has reported the bill out. The problem has always been with the folks that don’t think we should be helping farmers at all.”
Stabenow and farm bill advocates in both parties will have to contend with opposition from the right, particularly in the House, as the process moves forward.
The passage of the farm and food stamp bill is extremely ill advised. Eighty percent of the spending in the bill goes to the food stamp program. Only 20 percent of the bill is actually for farms, and the farm programs are in great need of reform, with subsidies going to the rich and famous while driving out the competition of small farmers.
IRS. According to one recent poll, Americans say the IRS controversy is the ‘most important’ of three major controversies plaguing the Obama administration the past few weeks:
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, 44% of registered voters say the IRS probe of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status is the most important. A little fewer than a quarter – 24% – say the Obama administration’s handling of last year’s terror attack against a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, is of the most concern, while 15% say the same about the Justice Department’s seizure of phone records of Associated Press reporters.
The IRS controversy is no small matter. Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint recently said that “Obamacare puts the IRS on steroids.” The agency is already corrupt, and Obamacare simply gives the IRS new powers. Furthermore, Heritage explains that Obamacare increases the complexity of government regulation. Obamacare gives a myriad of bureaucratic offices and divisions within the IRS broad powers to carry out Obamacare.
OBAMA. President Obama’s approval rating has gone down a new Thursday poll showed:
Obama has a 45 percent approval rating and a 49 percent disapproval rating — compared with a 48 percent approval, 45 percent disapproval rating from May 1, according to the Quinnipiac University poll.
In particular, Obama plunged among independent voters. Only 37 percent of independents approve of him while 57 percent disapprove, Quinnipiac found. At the start of the month, 42 percent of independents approved and 48 percent disapproved. Nine percent of GOPers approve of Obama, 86 percent disapprove. Among Democrats, 87 percent approve, 8 percent disapprove.
HOLDER. The House Judiciary committee is investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied to the panel under oath. Though President Obama thinks Holder is “doing a good job,” Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals alike have criticized Holder:
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are investigating whether he lied to the panel under oath, while David Axelrod —Obama’s former chief political strategist — this week called Justice’s investigation of a Fox reporter “disturbing.” Liberal pundit Bill Press said Holder should resign.
Holder is dealing with the fallout of two press controversies.
The first involves Justice secretly subpoenaing phone records at the Associated Press over two months in a search for national security leaks. The records were for at least 20 employees.
Cries that Justice was going too far escalated with the news that DOJ had targeted Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator in its investigation of a separate government leak.
According to an affidavit that the court had not made public until recently, the DOJ spied on Rosen’s personal e-mail accounts and tracked his whereabouts at the State Department building using data from his identification badge.
But the crushing blow came when the DOJ told reporters that Holder had personally signed off on the Rosen case.
The revelation piqued the interest of the House Judiciary Committee’s Republican chairman, Bob Goodlatte (Va.), who promptly launched an investigation to see if Holder misled Congress under oath.