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Despite aggressive lobbying from House Speaker John Boehner, the House today rejected his proposal for a farm bill on a 235-194 vote. Democrats overwhelmingly opposed the legislation because it contained more than $20 billion in cuts to food assistance for the poor while hard right Republicans opposed it because they believe it didn't cut enough.
#Farmbill goes down 234-195. A victory for the hungry in America. #SNAP — @DWStweets
...but Republicans blamed them:
GOP Whips office putting blame for farm bill defeat on House Ds who they said promised 40 votes for final passage — @samsteinhp
That's complete bull. First, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made it clear earlier this week that Democrats weren't going to provide the winning margin. Second, if Republicans insist on doing things like trying to cut $20 billion from food assistance programs, they really shouldn't be shocked when Democrats don't enthusiastically jump on board.
On the other hand, if Republicans want to give Democrats credit for blocking a bill that would make deep cuts to food programs for poor people, Democrats should be eager to accept it. After all, the public is on their side in this battle. If we want to cut spending from agricultural programs, let's go after subsidies for big agribusiness that destroy our land and encourage the production of unhealthy food. But it's crazy to argue that our long-term fiscal problem is that we're too generous to people who need help affording food to put on their table.