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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrats say Southerland helped kill farm bill



The Hill reports on the farm bill defeat in the House:

Republicans had expected Democrats to deliver 40 votes for the bill. But a GOP aide said at the last moment, Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said they could not produce that many because of pressure from Democratic leaders and the White House, which had threatened to veto the bill over the food stamp cuts.

Peterson blamed the approval of two amendments for the failure. 

One of the amendments — backed by Boehner — ended production limits on dairy producers that were a part of the underlying bill.  The second, osponsored by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), allowed states to require food stamp beneficiaries to either work or look for work.

"I told Cantor that Southerland cost us 15 votes," Peterson said, referring to Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). "A lot of people came up to me and said, I'm with you, but I'm out now."

In a statement, Southerland defended his role, saying the amendment “provided states with the voluntary option of following a proven path to self-sufficiency, while ensuring the most vulnerable among us receive the support they need in a more efficient and effective manner. 


“Unfortunately, some of my colleagues resorted to last minute political posturing and scare tactics that derailed an entire Farm Bill that America’s farmers and agricultural industries desperately need.  I remain committed to advancing a Farm Bill out of the House, and to upholding the value of work for able-bodied Americans.” 

[Last modified: Friday, June 21, 2013 3:17pm]


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