Fortunately, Our GOP Congress is Still Dysfunctional

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

House Republicans were unable to pass their own farm bill that contains work requirements for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients because of internal party squabbling over immigration policy.

If House Republicans couldn't pass their own bill, that obviously makes it unlikely that such a bill could make it through the Senate where Democrats could filibuster it, but Senate Republicans also have their own plans.

Senate Republicans are moving their own farm bill that does not include work requirements.

The Senate plan boosts funding for pilot programs that study the effectiveness of job-training for food-stamp recipients, but doesn’t change work rules nationwide. That House version changes eligibility rules for food stamps and shifts funds from food aid to job training in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Senate’s farm bill also would lower the adjusted gross income threshold at which farmers are no longer eligible for farm subsidies to $700,000 from $900,000. In addition, it would increase funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture trade-promotion initiatives. [Senator Pat Roberts] said more money is necessary to help maintain exports as Trump threatens to impose new tariffs against major U.S. agricultural buyers such as Canada, Mexico and China.

The bill unveiled by Republicans on the Senate Agriculture Committee increases subsidies for the farm industry, which I think is a mistake, but it at least makes more sense than the deeply hypocritical House Republican plan which calls for increasing subsidies for farmers who don't work while imposing requirements on food stamp recipients.

It would be nice if our Republican-controlled Congress performed their constitutional duty to serve as a check and balance on Trump, but at least their dysfunction is preventing terrible policy from becoming federal law.

It's the least they could do.

  • Badgerite

    How in the world are they going to “boost exports” of agricultural products when trump is actively and rather viciously attacking our closets trading partners who purchase those goods? And he called Bernie ‘crazy’.

    • Scopedog

      Yeah, one can’t export when tariffs are basically screwing everyone over.

      But then again, the entire GOP is fucked up in the head. At least in the Senate, there are some GOP who, while being slimebags, at least have something of a working brain. That’s not the case in the House and with Trump.

  • muselet

    Congressional Rs hate those people (or, as the unspeakable Rick Santorum called them, “blah people”) so much they’ll even cut subsidies to farmers. That’s … well, it’s colossally dickish, but it’s also short-sighted. Small farmers vote R fairly reliably, but taking away their gummint munnies might change that.

    “Dysfunctional” understates the state of the current Congress.


    • Scopedog

      Small farmers vote R fairly reliably, but taking away their gummint munnies might change that.

      Narrator: It will.