Who's To Blame For Not Bringing Farm Bill For a Vote?
To hear Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, tell it, it's House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. In a statement released yesterday, King, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, said Pelosi is "encouraging her Caucus to oppose the bill because of its reforms of fraud and abuse in the SNAP program, making it difficult to get support from the other side of the aisle."
"Apparently, in the weeks leading up to Election Day, Nancy Pelosi sees a political advantage in opposing this bill and whipping a 'nay' vote," King said. "But the Farm Bill is too important to play politics. Our farmers and producers need the certainty that comes from a long-term Farm Bill, and they need it now."
For her part, Pelosi all but accused King of living in an alternate universe, saying to reporters today, "What could he be thinking? Does he still think I'm speaker? Does he think the Democrats still have 218 votes to pass the bill?"
She charged it was Republican leadership blocking the bill. "They have well over the votes they need for the bill," Pelosi said. "There would be Democrats voting for it as well. But they can't vote unless it comes to the floor."
Some Republicans, such as Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., have been pushing leadership to bring the farm bill to the floor but have been rebuffed, saying that they've been told the votes aren't there.
Pelosi hasn't been exactly enthusiastic about the current version of the farm bill either, having said that she can't support the cuts it makes to food and nutrition programs, but that it should still come to the floor for a debate.