July 28, 2012

Another View: House ducks responsiblity to pass a pre-election farm bill

Lawmakers should to stand up for their principles before going to the voters.

Dallas Morning News

What, precisely, John Boehner is thinking, we don't know. But we do have a message from the heartland for the Republican speaker of the House: His actions, which are delaying the House's consideration of the farm bill, are an example of why Americans want to throw both parties out of power.

The House Agriculture Committee passed a bipartisan renewal of the farm bill earlier this month. But Boehner has not scheduled a time to bring the bill before the full House.

Our phone call to the committee Wednesday confirmed that the measure remains in limbo.

The Washington Post reports that the speaker doesn't want to schedule a vote because the bill may create Election Day problems for some members of the GOP-led House. Some rural legislators don't want to be seen as curtailing subsidies to farmers, which the bill calls for; other lawmakers don't want to vote before November on a major spending bill.

Never mind that some Republicans previously tried to limit subsidies in general, including to farmers.

The speaker is playing politics. Shame on him, especially since he recently acknowledged that many farmers and ranchers are currently gutting it out because of merciless droughts.

While this piece of legislation can't get them out of their bind tomorrow, they need to get some idea about what Washington has in store for their future.


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