Saturday, February 01, 2014

How TN Congressman voted on the $1 trillion central planning food stamp farm bill

Reposted from The Foundry:

Congress is very fond of two things: throwing a bunch of stuff into one bill and rushing bills through while Americans are focused on other news. While people were talking about the State of the Union, they’ve done it again with the $1 trillion farm bill.

The “farm bill” passed by the House yesterday has projected costs that are even greater than those of the Obama stimulus, and about 80 percent of the bill is just food stamps.
The bill is filled with special handouts to agriculture special interests and is a model of central planning. When it comes to food stamps, the bill is just as bad.
Food stamps should go to those truly in need. So it may surprise you to learn that you can qualify for food stamps even if you have millions in the bank. The new farm bill does nothing to address this absurd loophole.

A loophole like this undermines the legitimacy of the program and certainly does nothing to help people who really need help.

Food stamp recipients also aren’t required to work—a disservice to them and to the taxpayers who are assisting them. A work requirement empowers people, as we have seen with welfare reform.

So the food stamp program, with plenty of encouragement from the Obama Administration, has grown far beyond what it was supposed to be. Heritage expert Daren Bakst reports that “food stamp spending has quadrupled since [fiscal year] 2000 and doubled since 2008.”

The food stamp issue is not just about numbers. It’s about policy reform—developing policy that empowers Americans instead of creating a dependency that harms them.
Now this food stamp—er, farm—bill disaster goes to the Senate.
How they voted:

The bills passed the House 251 to 166 with 14 not voting. Republicans voted 162 in favor and 63 opposed. Democrats voted 89 in favor and 103 opposed. So, Republicans voted for the bill in greater number than Democrats. Democrats opposed the bill because of a modest decrease in food stamp funding. Below is how our Tennessee delegation voted. Tennessee Republican votes are in red text; Democrats in blue.
Here are the Tn Congressmen voting in favor: Phil Roe, Diane Black, Stephen Fincher,

Here are the Tn Congressmen who voted against the bill: Chuck Fleischmann, Jimmy Duncan,  Scott DesJarlais, Jim Cooper, Marsha  Blackburn, Steve Cohen.

One can assume Republicans voted against the bill because it is a terrible bill as explained above. I am proud of those Republicans who voted against the bill and if I were in Congress I would have voted against it. 

One of the things that always angered me about Republicans is their support of agriculture central planning and welfare for farmers. We should not pay rich Hollywood farmers and Wall Street farmers for not growing crops on their farms. We should embrace a free market in agriculture. Republicans who rail against government control of health care and advocate a market approach to health care turn around and support government central planning in agriculture and price-fixing. They rail against welfare queens and support welfare for farmers.

Because many farmers vote for Republicans, Republicans support the central planning status quo and welfare for farmers. Having said all of that however, sometimes voting in Congress is a strategic vote. One is not just voting on the merits of the bill, but voting between available options. Sometimes one may vote for a bad bill because if the bad bill does not pass, a more terrible bill will pass. I am sure some Republicans voted for this bad bill because the alternative was worse. At least, I hope that is why Republicans who voted in favor, did so.

I cannot find a searchable data base on this vote, but if one wants to see how a particular Congressman voted you can look them up at this link.

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