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Reid delivers farm bill ultimatum

Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned House Republican leaders that there will be no more farm bill extensions. Last week’s House farm bill fiasco saw the bill lose 195 to 234; the first defeat for a farm bill since the farm programs was created in 1930. Reid called on House Speaker John Boehner to dispense with the drama and delay, and to take up the Senate farm bill now.

Speaker [Boehner] should have known he couldn’t pass legislation that amounts to a poisoned love note to the Tea Party. He’ll be forced to take up a more bipartisan measure, and he should do it now. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel; the Senate has done the work, it’s already necessarily done. We’ve passed a good, bipartisan bill here.

Reid pointed out the farm bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote in two separate instances, including last year, when his complaint consisted of Speaker Boehner’s refusal to bring up the House Agriculture Committee’s farm bill on the House floor.

Former Reagan-Era Ag Secretary John Block says it may be inevitable that farm programs and Food programs part company, a sentiment echoed by Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain, who says they’re already effectively two separate bills.

Each side, one is being held hostage over the other. Let’s work them independently, and then we will not have this type of situation. And they are separated in a de facto way now, because the nutrition title, that continues even if the commodity titles do not pass.