Thursday, July 11, 2013

Arizona Republican Delegation Split With Party Colleagues, Vote With Democrats Against Revamped Farm Bill

Three of Arizona's four Republican Congressmen bucked their GOP colleagues and voted with the Democrats against the revamped Farm Bill.  It passed by a close 216-208 vote.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD4) was the only Arizonan to vote "aye".  As noted earlier, Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD6) was absent due to the funeral of his birth mother;  however, he issued a statement indicating his strong opposition to the bill (below the jump).

Arizona's other two Republican Representatives, Matt Salmon (R-CD5) and Trent Franks (R-CD8) were among only 12 Republicans who joined Democrats to vote "nay".

The bill scaled back the nutrition portions of the bill in order to win votes from conservative Republicans, save face for the House Republican leadership and permit a conference committee with the Senate on a farm package.

Rep. Schweikert's statement:
“Due to a family funeral, I was unable to vote on today's ‘FARRM Bill’ legislation.  However, I want the record to show my strong opposition to the bill that was passed by the House.
“Despite the fact the welfare portion of the bill, in the form of SNAP, was separated, the bill that made its way to the Floor was rife with a permanent entitlement system in the form of farm policy.
“If this bill becomes law, there will be no incentive for our friends in the agriculture community to pass another farm bill for the next 30 years because Washington, in one fell swoop, pegged prices at all time highs.
“Further, under this bill, shallow-loss programs and wholly uncapped crop insurance have become a permanent backstop.
“We had an opportunity to shrink government and chose instead to continue down a path of unending subsides and market distortions.”

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