Campaign 2010

Jun 26, 2013

Congressman Latham’s Poison-Pill Amendment Kills Farm Bill, Creates Problems in Iowa

Congressman Tom Latham’s vote for a poison-pill amendment that killed the Farm Bill is playing badly at home with Iowa farmers. Republican Iowa Sec. of Agriculture Bill Northey said the House’s failure to pass a Farm Bill was “just one more complication in an already difficult year,” and that there is no clear path forward in the House for resurrecting the bill.

Time Magazine reported that Congressman Latham’s vote for a poison-pill amendment ultimately doomed the Farm Bill: “At 12:14 p.m., the House opened debate on an amendment introduced by Florida Republican Steve Southerland that would have allowed states to increase work requirements for citizens to receive food stamps…the amendment was approved in a near-party-line vote, 227 to 198…It was a partisan poison pill, the last amendment of the day. And it was enough to kill the measure.”

“Iowa farmers aren’t going to forget Congressman Latham’s vote for a poison-pill amendment that killed the Farm Bill,” said Brandon Lorenz of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “After 18 years in Washington, it’s clear that Congressman Latham is more interested in scoring political points inside the Washington beltway than doing what’s right for Iowa’s farmers.”

BACKGROUND

Latham Joined Republicans in Voting for Poison Pill Amendment That Would Gut SNAP. In 2013, Rep. Steve Southerland offered an amendment to the Farm Bill that would cut their SNAP caseloads by instituting work requirements and cutting off benefits for SNAP beneficiaries who do not work at least 20 hours per week – including the disabled, parents with young children who don’t have child care and those who are unable to find work because no jobs are available in their community. The amendment was approved 227 to 198. [HR 1947, Vote #284, 6/20/13]

  • Republican Sponsor of Farm Bill Said That Passage of the Poison-Pill Amendments “Could Contribute to The Bill’s Downfall.” “[House Agriculture Committee Chair Rep. Frank] Lucas and [ranking member Rep. Collin] Peterson had warned that adoption of those amendments could contribute to the bill’s downfall.” [Associated Press, 6/20/13]
  • Ranking Ag Committee Member: Poison Pill Amendment Doomed Bill. “According to House Agricultural Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN), House Democrats told him that their votes depended on the amendments. Democratic votes were lost on final passage because members opposed drug tests, work requirements and a felony-free record in order to reach SNAP eligibility – they had been previously willing to vote for the bill even with a $20.5 billion cut in SNAP funding. Members ‘went from being offended to being angry,’ Peterson said. His message to House Republicans was: ‘If you overreach you get nothing.’” [National Journal, 6/21/13]

Time: Poison-Pill Amendment Doomed the Farm Bill. “At 12:14 p.m., the House opened debate on an amendment introduced by Florida Republican Steve Southerland that would have allowed states to increase work requirements for citizens to receive food stamps…the amendment was approved in a near-party-line vote, 227 to 198…It was a partisan poison pill, the last amendment of the day. And it was enough to kill the measure.” [TIME, 6/21/13]