House Farm Bill Update: June 12, 2013
-- Boehner says he supports House farm bill. In a major development on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that he will vote for the House farm bill despite having some "concerns" about legislation that is expected to see floor action by the July Fourth recess. "Doing nothing means we get no changes in the nutrition programs, and as a result, I'm going to vote for a farm bill to make sure that the good work of the Agriculture Committee ... gets to a conference," Boehner said at a press conference. The Senate passed its version of the farm bill on Monday. It’s rare for a speaker to cast a vote on legislation, and even rarer for this speaker, who acknowledged earlier this week that he has not traditionally supported farm programs contained in the farm bill. Boehner and the GOP leadership is under pressure from fiscal conservatives to make deeper cuts to food stamps and payments to producers. While the Senate bill would cut $4 billion from food stamps/SNAP over a decade, the House’s bill would currently cut $20.5 billion — a number many House Democrats reject as way too much and some House Republicans say is not enough. Boehner particularly opposes the supply-management component of a proposed new dairy program. In response to Boehner saying that he will support the House farm bill when it reaches the floor, Heritage Action announced new radio ads in the districts of three GOP members: Mike Conaway of Texas, Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania, and Austin Scott of Georgia. Heritage Action is strongly opposed to the food-stamp spending included in the legislation, will also continue airing ads against its four original targets: Reps. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Martha Roby, (R-Ala.) and Frank Lucas (R-Okla.).