September 20, 2012
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of our 1st District deserves praise and encouragement for his gutsy stand on getting a new federal farm bill written into law. Rep. Adrian Smith of the 3rd District deserves something else.
House Republican leaders and the miserly Club for Growth are pressuring members, including Fortenberry, to refrain from backing a measure that would force a floor vote on the long-awaited reforms in a new five-year revision of U.S. farm policy, according to reporting by The Hill, a respected D.C. monitor of Congress.
GOP leaders have refused to allow a vote on bipartisan legislation that cleared the House Agriculture Committee, 35-11, in July. The GOP leaders believe the bill lacks support to pass the House, because conservative members, urged on by the Club for Growth, want to cut even more money than the committee has from nutrition programs in the $900 billion bill.
Fortenberry was among a handful of Republicans who have signed a "discharge petition" to push for action. Speaker John Boehner and his lieutenants are pushing back, according to The Hill.
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