Trump was in favor of the bill. But the Freedom Caucus and conservative members of the House voted against the Farm Bill, not apparently because of much dispute over its contents, rather over immigration.
The farm bill itself became practically a sideshow, despite its importance to agriculture and the significant changes it would institute to food stamp programs.
What I do not understand is, if they want to debate and legislate immigration, they have the ability to do just that. They are the Majority. The GOP has proven yet again that they are utterly incapable of governing.
Conaway pleaded for the legislation before the vote. “Times are not good right now in the heartland. Many of our nation’s farmers and ranchers, who have been struggling under the weight of a five-year recession, are just one bad year away from being forced out of business,” he said. “And in the face of these serious challenges, the last thing they need is the uncertainty of a prolonged debate over the 2018 farm bill.”
How will this potentially impact the midterms as well? There are plenty of potentially vulnerable seats that are toss-up or lean-R across the Heartland, where farmers have been watching this unfold, as it directly impacts their lives. The failure here could depress their turnout, for those who typically vote Republican.
GOP leadership doesn’t want the debate on immigration. Freedom Caucus used the leverage it has.
The “embarrassment” to the GOP is to the leadership, and to the GOP Establishment. If the GOP wants the Freedom Caucus to dance with them, they ought to start playing some music that the Freedom Caucus want to dance to.
True. But Leadership has suggested that they too want to hold a vote on the Goodlatte bill, which is what the FC seemed to also want. But it appears the sticking point was Leadership also was willing to allow floor votes on other proposals, and the FC wouldn’t compromise. So, what should Leadership have done?
On immigration, Scalise described a deal that would ensure a vote on a conservative immigration bill by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) — while also allowing moderate Republicans the opportunity to negotiate on legislation that could win the support of President Trump and resolve the status of immigrants who face losing protections offered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
“We came to an agreement that I think gives everybody what they want,” Scalise said ahead of the farm bill vote. “That’s a vote on Goodlatte-McCaul as well as an opportunity to try to work with the president on an alternative that can pass on DACA. We want to solve the DACA problem and secure the border and I still think there’s a path to get there working with the president.”
If you were in Leadership, what would you have done, if not compromise with all members of the Republican caucus?
The conservative members are a small minority of Congress.
They did not support the bill because they were using this as leverage to try to get the leaders to do something about protecting our borders and considering changes to our immigration laws.
This would have had zero affect except that Democrats blocked the bill, chiefly because they are opposed to a work requirement for food stamps.
Lets not pretend that conservative Republicans are the only ones who blocked this bill.
Leadership offered them a vote on the Goodlatte bill. But they opposed the Farm Bill because Leadership was also going to allow votes on other immigration legislation. They were offered a compromise, by getting the vote on the legislation they wanted. The GOP is the Majority, so yes, it was squarely on the GOP that this bill failed. You can blame the minority party in Senate, but in the House, it is Majority rule.
I’m wondering if the FC’s decision to dig their heels in on this, will mean that Leadership will be less likely to work with them in the future? Assuming they maintain the Majority, which seems unlikely but not impossible.
Sure. However, the discussion is in relation to US farmers though, and how this could impact the midterms. When they are feeling the pinch from a decline in agriculture exports due to a trade war, and see the GOP fail to be able to govern on an issue that is important to them, will there be an impact across the Heartland where many of these normally reliable Republican voters reside? I believe there will be, which could further damage the GOP’s chance at retaining the House, and could even imperil the Senate.