Respectable Farm Bill Is The Need Of The Hour

Republicans’ political theatrics are harming American agriculture, say Democrats.

Marcy Kaptur on Farm Bill
Tony Dejak / AP Images

Republicans’ political theatrics are harming American agriculture, say Democrats.

The House Farm Bill has failed over the immigration fight with Republicans. On Friday, several GOP lawmakers voted against the bill after failing to get concessions on spending and a future vote on immigration in exchange for their support of the Farm Bill, which now includes the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) or food stamps.

President Donald Trump and the GOP wanted strict work requirements for farmers, which the Democrats are against.

In a statement to the press, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur said that the Congressional Republicans continue to produce gridlock. “Republicans should do the job expected of them and pass a respectable Farm Bill,” she said, adding that agriculture and nutrition are fundamental to maintaining a stable society. She said that the parties must put their differences aside and produce a bipartisan bill that could help millions of Americans.

Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry of the RNC told NPR that more members were willing to vote in favor of the bill, but the Congressional Republicans chose to wreak havoc anyway.

“Republicans had a commitment on when we would vote on immigration but wanted to hijack the process to get an immigration vote before they actually fulfilled their pledge that they made to their constituents on the farm bill,” he said.

“America needs Congress to pass a bipartisan Farm Bill, not engage in political theatrics. Congress must immediately go back to the drawing board and produce a real Farm Bill that shows respect for our nation’s farmers and as well as consumers,” Kaptur said.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has also renewed his commitment to work with Republicans and Democrats to pass a bipartisan, five-year Farm Bill that he hopes will become part of the final Senate package.

“Ohio farmers, families and communities depend on the Farm Bill to support agriculture jobs, feed hungry families and help keep Lake Erie clean. They are counting on Congress to put partisan politics aside and work together, and I am committed to working with my partners in the Senate to get the job done,” said Brown in a statement to the press.

In a series of roundtable discussions across the state, Brown promised to take steps to pass a bipartisan bill that gives the farmers the relief they need to recover from tough economic times.