• House Rejects Farm Bill
  • June 24, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • It is rare that the Speaker of the House brings a bill to the floor and that bill fails to garner the votes for passage. This week, however, that is exactly what happened to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the farm bill.

    By a vote of 195 to 234, the farm bill failed, as 62 Republicans joined all but 24 Democrats in voting against the measure. Speaker Boehner encountered a perfect storm of political opposition to the bill. Conservatives, led by outside groups like the Club for Growth, railed against the bill and urged its defeat. Conservatives argued that deeper cuts needed to be made to the bill, particularly to the SNAP program (better known as the food stamp program).

    While conservatives urged deeper cuts, Democrats opposed the bill because of those exact cuts. Indeed, it was two amendments that passed on the floor, one cutting dairy subsidies and one implementing work requirements for the SNAP program, that finally reduced the number of Democrats willing to support the bill to a number insufficient to overcome Republican defections.

    It is unclear what is next for the farm bill. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) suggested a cooling off period for “healing” before taking the issue up again.