GOP dooms its own bill to failure.

On Thursday, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives managed to kill the $940 billion dollar farm bill. GOP lawmakers were quick to blame Democrats for the failure, because they did not deliver 40 votes. However, Democrats pointed to huge cuts to food assistance, and a poison pill amendment from Florida Representative Steve Southerland as their reasons for voting against the bill.

Congressman Southerland's amendment would have allowed states to subject SNAP recipients to drug-tests, and additional work requirements. Republicans attempted to paint the amendment as beneficial “reform.” But, Democrats noted that the so-called “work requirement” amendment provided no funding for job training, and said it would have unfairly included disabled people and low-income parents of young children.

Fifty-eight of the Republicans who voted against the final bill also voted to accept Representative Southerland's amendment, which they knew Democrats would reject. So, House Republicans doomed the bill they had no intention of supporting, by voting for a poison pill knowing that Democrats wouldn't swallow it. If the GOP leaders had been able to get full support from their own party, the bill would have passed even without any Democratic support. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer rejected the GOP's blame-game, and said, democrats “will take no blame for the failure of the farm bill. None. Zero.”

After the votes were tallied, it was Republican dysfunction that spared our nation's most needy from being hit with these heartless cuts and work requirements. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now calling on House Speaker John Boehner to bring the Senate-passed version of the farm bill to a vote, saying, “nutrition assistance should not be held hostage to Republican incompetence.” Many Americans rely on the vital food assistance program in the farm bill, but it's anyone's guess as whether House Republicans can get it together.


ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 49 weeks ago

Tonight's Moyers program (PBS) is an hour on ALEC and the damage already done to our democracy by an organized plutocracy.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 49 weeks ago

I remember sitting in 3rd grade class and listening to fellow students repeatedly interrupt the teacher with innocuous and ridiculous questions designed only to disrupt the progress of the lecture. I remember how infuriated I was at the disrespect and insolence my peers had toward their own education and betterment. I thought that this negative experience would end at puberty; and, for the most part I was right. However, it seems obvious that some of our red state representatives haven't matured past the 8th year of life. They have no sense of responsibility or public betterment.

I strongly hope and pray that our neighbors in these red states are taking notes and are ready to kick ass when the time comes to vote these imbeciles out of office. If they aren't--and they don't--I strongly hope that we, their neighbors, take the time to vote these red states out of the union. The only solution for treating cancer is to remove it from the body. These congressional sessions are proof that this nation suffers from a deadly disease and needs immediate treatment!

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 9 years 49 weeks ago

With the Clintion administration, WI decided to require all seriously ill/disabled people (SSI/SSDI) who happened to have minor children to "find jobs." As a result, the disabled became the fastest-growing group of homeless people -- and they did quite poorly on the streets. Who would have guessed it, there is no great demand among employers for disabled/seriously ill workers. Most were stuck into "sheltered workshops," too often with no choice but to do disability-inappropriate work, for a fraction of the minimum wage. Now, there's a formula in place that reduces disability benefits according to any wages. But in this situation, those paid as little as $1.00 per hour by these "workshops" had their benefits reduced as if they were being paid at least the minimum wage. What this amounted to was that the disabled got poorer by working. These policies were, in short, an utter failure, and caused significant suffering in the process. Unfortunately, it's also an issue that was largely ignored by media, mainstream and otherwise, so it continued until President Obama was elected. The bizarre thing is, one qualifies for disability benefits (contrary to ignorant rumors) only if it is medically determined that the person is unable to be gainfully employed, due to disability, so requiring them to work - regardless of what condition they are in -- defies all logic.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 9 years 49 weeks ago

This isn't the first time that the plutocracy gained a dangerous degree of power. In the past, the poor and middle classes united to push back, to the benefit of both. But this time, the middle class was pitted against the poor, deeply dividing the "masses." Anything can happen, but I'd be surprised if, this time, the people can adequately push back. That's scary.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 9 years 49 weeks ago

What words strike dread into the hearts of the American masses? "For the common good."

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 9 years 49 weeks ago

The Republican Congress can act at will because they have "free rein" or "free reign" and they know it! The Corporate Media, all of our information news, is owned by a hand full of 5.

PLSzymeczek's picture
PLSzymeczek 9 years 49 weeks ago

We've gone, in the space of 48 years, from the War on Poverty to the War on the Poor. That does not speak well of us.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 49 weeks ago

"We looked upon the year 1929 as the year too much food was produced for the people to consume."

"Why in the year 1929 did it appear we had too much? Because the people could not buy the things they wanted to eat, and needed to eat. That showed the need and duty of the government then and there, to have forced sharing of our wealth, and a redistribution, and Roosevelt was elected on the pledge to do that very thing." Huey P. Long...... United States Senator..... statement of the Share Our Wealth movement, May 23, 1935.

The working class then and now created this wealth, but sadly, due to a lack of capitalist regulation and union power, all fueled by Reaganomics, an elite few, have been allowed to hog the lion's share of the fruits of our labor.... and it's up to us to take it back......and if our government refuses to help..... why not try labor slow downs, wildcat strikes, civil disobedience, blockade imports, boycott the monopoly capitalists, whatever it takes? Fight for gods sakes! Redistribution of wealth, from the pockets of the hard working many, to the offshore bank accounts of the very few, needs to be reversed.

Everybody a king, but no one wears a crown!

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 49 weeks ago

Response to your Thursdays post DANNIEMARC where you speak again about a class action lawsuit against our Government for failing to abide, protect, and preserve, the Law of the United States of America aka The U.S. Constitution...I agree with your sentiment regarding this matter. My question to you is; How do We the People go about fileing such a suit?

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 49 weeks ago


David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 49 weeks ago

The Twain Report
All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today

Today, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders revealed that feeding a senior or disabled person for a year costs less than one day in a hospital.

A prominent republican policymaker responded by saying, “We can solve that problem by cutting funding for feeding seniors and disabled people. Cesar Chavez will return from the dead and feed American seniors and disabled people. Of course, as Christians, we cannot go on record as supporting zombies feeding American citizens, but it is one of the many options we have. Or who knows, maybe the Nigerian government will feed our seniors and disabled people. Another very likely scenario would be the Vatican selling some of its trillion-dollar art collection to feed our hungry- that could happen."

“Besides, none of this would have happened if Obama had not lowered taxes on the rich when he was president in the 1980's… Excuse me, I have to take this call, it’s about my purchase of stock in a hospital corporation.”

“Ok, I’m back. Listen, during a two week policymaking session at a private game reserve in Idaho, we republican leaders laid out a comprehensive seven-point plan for winning full control of the White House and both houses of congress:

1. Regain the support of people who want peace, by having at least two wars going all the time.

2. Regain the support of people who want an education, by raising student loan interest rates.

3. Regain the support of hispanics, by destabilizing their countries and then blaming them for coming here.

4. Regain the support of blacks, by continuing to profile and imprison them for unimportant crimes.

5. Regain the support of people who would like a little privacy, by spying on them.

6. Regain the support of people who would like government accountability, by classifying all information about government.

7. Regain the support of the very few people who do not respond favorably to the above tactics, by continuing to cheat our way into office by rigging election computers.

ahenson's picture
ahenson 9 years 49 weeks ago

It would seem that most folks object to the types of things that people can buy using food stamps. Those things that don't qualify as a "meal" or a constituant thereof. Why not stop allowing people on food stamps to purchase such things rather than reducing the amount of money we spend on the program. Doesn't make sense to me.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 49 weeks ago

What "things" - AHENSON - are people buying with food stamps that raises such question and concern?
My familey and I depended on food stamp for 4 years, and I have several friends that also depend on food stamps to supplement their families monthly food cost; however none of us really understand as to what all the social fuss is over what a person can buy with food stamps. You can't buy alcohol or tobacco...are people upset because they see $200 (full food assistance amount per month) in groceries that tax money is paying for? Two hundred dollars doesn't go far but for those in need of food assistance it is HUGE!
In order for a person to qualify for food stamps they first must prove that they make LESS than 1,100 per month gross. That's less than $15K gross per year. In my opinion if the governement refuses to double the minimum wage, then they need to raise the income ceiling qualification for food assistance to 2k per month gross.

As a nation we are in dire economic straights...This is not the time to do away with or make it harder for someone to qualify for Government assistance and social programs for those that are economically down trodden, (houseless, unemployed, hungry, ill).
Christian, Jew, Musilm, Man, Woman, young and old...Whatever; We ALL need to be more empathetic and forgiving...Practice compassion for our brothers and sisters who have come upon financlely difficult times.

All too often it is easier to judge and condem another person for being poor...not living up to the so called "social norms" like evreyone else.
I use to be very judging of others who didn't maintain a fulltime job and couldn't pay their own way through life. Then I myself fell on really bad economic times. First I lost my teaching job after 12 years (42K per year plus bennefits). No I wasn't rich but that salary combined with my wifes 20K from her part time cleaning buisness we were living...Food on the table, Roof over our head, Clothes on our backs, bills paid, and a two familey trips a year.
After I was let go we were okay financle for 4 months, but I wasn't finding a fulltime teaching job and quickly things got worse and eventually I had to just take "a" job, any job. So I took a parttime position (28hrs/wk) on a Landscape Crew making $11/hr. I had to sell my car and share one with my wife. One year after I was fired we found out that my 8 year old daughter had cancer...With no insurance we couldn't get her the treatments she needed and she passed away 11 months later.

I do not mean to sound like"Poor me"...Life is hard and it yields to nobody...I just don't undestand why so many that are financley fortunate and live an affluent life can be so obtuse and condeming of those less fortunate. Being poor is not a disease, more so it is an adversity that stems from a commercialized culture that no longer understands what a true long term investment really is.
Not only have we as a society become increasingly more hostle and violent, but our "by any means necessary" ideology speaks volumes of our capitalist mentality...Putting profit before the wellbeing of a person...In fact killing eachother.
I don't have a problem with someone whoes tax bracket is 9 zeros; in fact I wouldn't mind knowing what that is like. However, that being said; I would be just as happy if I could "earn" a livable wage...One that provides for the basic necessities...A job that pays an honest living wage for an honest days work.
I don't mind working...Infact I much prefer it...What I can't stand though is when I bust my ass all week and I go to the grocery store and buy a weeks worth of food with my food stamps and someone disapproves that I purchased a package of cookies and a 2 liter of soda - usually the someone is a redneck jackoff with a NRA & Romney sticker on his BIG 4X4 or some rich old skank that never worked a day in her life.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 49 weeks ago

I wonder how much time the redneck jackoff and the rich old skank spend listening to Faux News. Faux news, where the very rich pay the rich to tell the middle class to blame their problems on the poor. The poor have no power. The poor have never brought down an economy in any country in recorded history. Faux news would like you to think the poor are the only cause of economic failure.

Being in the top 10%, thanks for sharing your real world experiences. It was informative.

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