Stutzman Efforts to Split the Bill Gain Traction – Open Item
As Congress gets back to work after their Independence Day district work period, there was quite a bit of news regarding the farm bill and Congressman Marlin Stutzman‘s (R-Howe) efforts to split the bill for separate consideration of the agriculture and food stamp provisions. We’ll try to tackle these in order. First, Mark Peters and Corey Boles of the Wall Street Journal report under a Wolcottville, Indiana dateline about the apparent lack of interest from farmers in the farm bill. Rep. Stutzman is quoted in the article indicating he received a good deal of support from farmers in the district after voting against the farm bill a few weeks ago.
The Heritage Foundation hosted Rep. Stutzman for their bloggers briefing to discuss his efforts to split the bill. You can watch the livestream of the Heritage Foundation briefing on their website. During the event many of the questions focused on how splitting the bill would impact efforts to reform various provisions of the legislation. An interesting element of the debate is that if he’s successful in his efforts to split the bill the only provisions that really need to pass are the agriculture provisions. Rep. Stutzman said, “While if we fail to pass a farm bill would revert back to a fairly communist-like program from the 40′s. Food stamp program advocates were smart about how they set up the program because it will continue without reauthorization.” When asked about the “endgame” for this legislation, Rep. Stutzman admits, “We’re not going to get the endgame we want with this administration.”
Interestingly enough, as Rep. Stutzman was sitting with Heritage Foundation for this discussion, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) indicated his support for the idea of splitting the bill. Erik Wasson reports in The Hill that Chairman Lucas would entertain splitting the bill if it would mean getting a vote. They also report that the caucus leadership has not indicated they are willing to schedule a vote and that splitting the bill is actively opposed by agriculture industry and nutrition group lobbyists. The idea also has opposition from Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Colin Petersen (D-Minn.), who believes that efforts to split the bill would actually kill off the farm bill.
We’ll continue to follow how this issue evolves in the weeks ahead. With Congress back in session you can expect more news on this as they try to get a bill passed before the outdated price control provisions come into effect.
In other news, if you missed coverage of the Indiana Republican Party‘s dinner featuring Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R), be sure to check out our Twitter feed. Our team of editors provided ongoing updates throughout the night. One of the highlights included outgoing party chairman Eric Holcomb and interim chair Sandi Huddleston both being recognized by Governor Mike Pence with Sagamore of the Wabash honors.
Finally, Scott Tibbs contributed an item early this morning discussing Indiana’s fireworks laws and his suggestions as to how it should be reformed. Don’t forget to send us you submissions for Tweet of the Week via our contact form or Twitter account. Also, feel free to weigh in on these or any other issues in the comments section below.