Campaign 2010

Nov 22, 2013

“Farm bill talks stumble”  Thanks To Rep. Southerland’s Dysfunctional Politics

Congressman Steve Southerland – who earlier this year “killed reauthorization of the farm bill with a controversial last-minute amendment” – was tapped by Washington Republicans to play a leading role in the newest round of farm bill negotiations--  but thanks to Congressman Southerland’s dysfunctional politics Politico reports that “Farm bill talks stumbled.”

It’s no surprise that Congressman Southerland’s reckless and irresponsible agenda is scuttling farm bill negotiations for the second time: the Miami Herald wrote that Congressman Southerland’s controversial farm politics represents a “huge political dogfight that could sink the entire bill,” while AgProfessional.com explained that Congressman Southerland’s mere presence on the conference committee “suggests that House leadership will continue to insist on much bigger food stamp cuts than those likely to be readily accepted by the Senate.”

“Congressman Steve Southerland’s dysfunctional Washington politics already torpedoed the Farm Bill once – but now Congressman Southerland’s irresponsible agenda is standing in the way of solutions to solving this problem again,” said David Bergstein of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “North Florida farmers and rural families deserve the stability and security of a new Farm Bill signed into law. But from the shutdown to jeopardizing the Farm Bill, it’s become clear that Congressman Southerland can’t be trusted to tackle even the most pressing problems and that Congressman Southerland’s reckless politics represent everything North Floridians hate about Washington.”

BACKGROUND

Tampa Bay Times: “Southerland Effectively Killed Reauthorization of the Farm Bill.”  “Southerland effectively killed reauthorization of the farm bill with a controversial last-minute amendment aimed at increasing work requirements for food stamp recipients.” [Tampa Bay Times, 6/30/13]

On October 1, Farm Bill Expired for the Second Time Under Republican Leadership. “Overshadowed by the government shutdown, the U.S. farm subsidy law expired for the second time on Tuesday with lawmakers still deadlocked over how to confront cuts in food assistance programs for low-income Americans […] With expiration, the Agriculture Department lost authority to run agricultural export, global food aid, livestock disaster relief and some conservation programs. Crop subsidies, crop insurance and food stamps, the big-ticket programs, are permanently authorized and remain in business.” [Reuters, 10/01/13]

Politico: “Farm Bill Talks Stumble.” “Farm bill talks stumbled badly Thursday and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) said it would be ‘very challenging’ now for him to meet the Republican leadership’s schedule of having a final agreement back on the House floor by Dec. 13. ” [Politico, 11/21/13]


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