Pelosi: Republicans responsible for farm bill failing, calls it 'amateur hour'
In a blow to House GOP leaders, the House on Thursday rejected a five-year farm bill that would have cut $20.5 billion from the federal food stamp program.
Members voted down the $940 billion bill in a 195-234 vote that only won 24 Democratic votes. Most Democrats stayed away from a bill that they say cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) too deeply.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is blaming the surprise defeat of the bill on Nancy Pelosi even though she publicly warned Republicans not to count on Democrats. The fact that Cantor actually believes that blaming Democrats for defeating a bill loaded with unpopular cuts to food assistance programs for the poor will make Republicans look better is rather hilarious, but that's today's GOP for you.
"I'm extremely disappointed that Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership have at the last minute chosen to derail years of bipartisan work on the Farm Bill and related reforms. This bill was far from perfect, but the only way to achieve meaningful reform, such as Congressman Southerland's amendment reforming the food stamp program, was in conference.
"I strongly supported the Southerland amendment which built on successful welfare reforms that have worked in the past to give states more flexibility and encourage self-sufficiency by increasing workforce participation among those enrolled in the SNAP program. I commend Chairman Frank Lucas and the House Agriculture Committee for their efforts, and am sorry that Democrats shamefully chose politics over progress and meaningful reform."
Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein gave his take on today's display from House Republicans: “They’re pathetic.”