Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Farm Bill Defeated In House 

Yesterday the House of Representatives voted down a $940 billion farm bill. The House leadership faced a revolt from both sides of the aisle. Conservative Republicans were angry over too much spending on subsidies, and liberal Democrats were upset over how much was cut from food stamps. 

Speaker John Boehner was not able to keep his troops in line as 62 Republicans voted against the bill. Some conservatives are taking comfort in that fact, believing Boehner won't be able to keep them in line on the immigration bill or other key issues that stray too far from the conservative view. 

Here's another reason the bill failed. Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) offered an amendment that allowed states the option of adding a work requirement to receive food stamps. Every House Democrat but one voted against the Southerland amendment, and after it passed dozens of them refused to vote for the final farm bill. 

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said, "I had people that came up to me and said, 'I was going to stick with you, but this [Southerland amendment] is too much.'" Peterson later told reporters, "Because what they're upset about on the food stamps is the block granting that they did back in '96, and what the Southerland amendment does is exactly the thing that they're upset about." 

Ever since Obama took office, Democrats have tried to reverse successful welfare reforms. On Obama's watch there has been such an explosion in the use of food stamps that Republicans are trying to apply a modest, common sense reform to the program -- work for welfare -- but liberals in Congress don't want reform! 

More Bad News For Obamacare 

The past week brought more bad news about Obamacare. Here is a brief summary with links to each story.

  • They've already got our phone records and emails. Now, thanks to Obamacare, government bureaucrats will have access to your health data. 
  • Obamacare is hurting job growth and the economy. According to a recent poll conducted by the Gallup organization, 41% of business owners have stopped hiring because of Obamacare. 

    Thirty-eight percent said they had reduced "plans to grow their businesses," 24% said they were considering dropping their insurance coverage, 19% said they had "reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act" and 18% said they had cut back on hours. 

  • It's not just the private sector that is cutting back on workers' hours because of Obamacare. Local and state governments are finding that they can't afford it either. 
  • Obamacare's state exchanges are supposed to be up and running as of October 1st. But the Government Accountability Office doesn't think that is very likely.