The House of Representatives yesterday rejected a nearly trillion-dollar food stamp and farm bill. This is an important victory for taxpayers and a reaffirmation of fiscal responsibility. It is also a slap in the face for the Washington Establishment.

For some time now, The Heritage Foundation has been highlighting this bill and how it does not do what most people think it does. Our efforts have paid off. Congress will no doubt look to the farm bill debate as an indication of what can happen when the American people are informed and engaged.

Heritage’s Rob Bluey explains how the bill did not pass:

Sixty-two Republicans bucked their own party to vote against the bloated bill. Coupled with a large bloc of Democrats who wanted more spending on food stamps, the bipartisan opposition was enough to sink the measure. It’s unclear if or when House leaders will bring the bill back to the floor for a vote.

This vote will likely affect lawmakers’ plans to push amnesty legislation, which would cost taxpayers trillions and ensure more illegal immigration in the future. The farm bill’s rejection is proof, Bluey explains, that if you speak up, your representatives will listen.

Congress is listening to you. Taxpayers have seen enough wasteful and reckless spending come out of Washington. They are tired of the backroom deals and the political grandstanding. Hopefully, the sinking of the farm bill heralds a new era of principled decision making on Capitol Hill.

What do you think? Does the rejection of this bill indicate that lawmakers are now more willing to put principle ahead of politics?

Comments (80)

Harry and Anne - June 21, 2013


Paul Ching - June 21, 2013

I am not sure I understand your conclusion that Congress is listening to us. The Democrats voted “no” because they wanted additional monies for food stamps which is already 75-80% of the expenditures in the farm bill. So, how can you say Congress has a new discipline?

Dwimby - June 21, 2013

Yes. The congress did indeed show one millimicron of integrity in NOT PASSING the horrid, pork stuffed Farm Bill (food stamp bonanza?). Regardless, our wholly abject congress and the serpents who work there have a gargantuan hole out of which they must slither. This is a start, but only barely, they are still batting 001%.

Clyde D. Jones - June 21, 2013

Lawmakers are starting to look at the mid-term elections and need to be on the right side of something so they can brag back home about how hard they are working and that is all!

Bill R McNeese - June 21, 2013

We were LUCKY! 62 Republicans voted against the bill as
too much spending TEAMED with Democrats who wanted MORE! This unusual combination produced the vote that we
are pleased with. How often do things line up in this way?
I hope often!

theodore cole - June 21, 2013

No, I do not think this is a significant shift. It is, however, an opportunity to carve some pork off and to publicize some of the more egregious aspects of the bill!

Robert E. Solum - June 21, 2013

There are probably many reasons the farm bill failed i.e. neither side was happy with it. My problem is that the Food Stamp program is included with farm legislation. Why isn’t it in some welfare legislation. The fact that a agricultural bill is 80% a welfare program takes my breath away. Let us separate welfare from agriculture so we can argue the merits of each on their own. Welfare should not be held hostage to farm issues nor should farm issues be held hostage to welfare.

Jerry Allen - June 21, 2013

We can only hope that some of our elected representatives have finally reached the arena of common sense and will stop spending taxpayer money on bloated projects such as this one. My local representative voted for it and he heard from me right away. Unfortunately he’s one of those Washington Establishment “go along to get along ” types. I’m done with him … Jerry

Ken Johnson - June 21, 2013

I don’t think so. It was only a set of strange (those with the right and those with the left… wrong viewpoints) bedfellows that sank the bill.

Daniel Richards - June 21, 2013

I have been hoping for years that the so called farm bill would honestly be looked.Honestly I don’t believe it will be looked at only set aside for a better day when no one is looking, don’t trust any of them.
When we the people pay large corporate farmers Not to Plant crops, what kind of a farm bill is that. When we the people pay farmers to let the ground go un planted for 50 years, why? No longer are they farmers they are like piglets at the trough.

Norm Halderson - June 21, 2013

Congress listened, how do you interpret the vote that way?
The only reason it did not pass is that the Democrats want more money for Social Programs!
I think Heritage is somewhat out of touch.

Thomas Bush - June 21, 2013

Sad to say the only cure to the current group of representation in Washington is to vote 100% out of office or have those that want to stay be willing to accept the following:
Accept 50% of current pay and have perks slashed by 75%
Require that every elected person stay in their home state with the exception of 4 times a year for votes on matters good for all based on what WE THE PEOPLE want. Special interest can host general parties where any member of congress can attend for the information. Should a gift be given and accepted by any elected official they will pay 150% of the amount of the gift to the general fund through a special tax to discourage bias in voting and bill creation.
Finally accept by amendment to the laws that no elected official will be entitled to any retirement other than 401k contribution with a 4% match to the first 5% and term limits of no more than 6 years for either Senate or Congress.

E.R. Lake - June 21, 2013

I was happy to see the bill defeated. My thought is the food stamps need to separate a fund.
My concern now is that they get a farm bill passed as that is our living, last year drought, this year yields will be down because it was to wet to plant, Over 30 acres under water.
Many don’t realize how small the profits are on the smaller farms and the weather can put you out of business within a year or two.

Bob Brooks - June 21, 2013

I’m certainly glad they came to their senses and voted this down. But if anyone thinks for one minute that their fiscal conscience was the reason, someone is smoking bad dope.

Russ - June 21, 2013

I live in a very poor state and my congressman from my district voted for the farm bill. He almost always votes the way I would vote except for this bill. Our part of the state is very rural and unfortunately has to depend on the government for their livlihood as farmers and ranchers so vetoing this bill will hurt them. I understand why he voted for it, but all of the food stamp program takes the majority of the money from the bill. It seems no one wins. How do we take the pork out of the farm bill?

Chris Marino - June 21, 2013

Principled politicians appear to still be in the minority. They helped; but would not have succeeded but for the greed of the Democrats, who actually wanted more money for food stamps. How sad.

Gary Richardson - June 21, 2013

Separate the bill. First bill is straight farm bill forfarmers and cut out subsidies to large corporation that the citizebs pay for. Next pass a food stamp bill the will cut food stamps and help businesses hire people with tax breaks and get the government out of the way

Catheryn Johnson - June 21, 2013

I agree with ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!!! I emailed Sean Duffy that I thought this bill was not good & did next to nothing for the Farmers. His email response was the usual bla bla & I support this bill. Nice & I voted for the guy!

Jerome Scego - June 21, 2013

The vote is a DISGRACE. Why did so many republicans vote for the bill? And the democrats who voted against it did so only because they wanted to spend more of our taxpayer’s money. THE FOOD STAMP PORTION OF THE BILL NEEDS TO BE STRIPPED OUT AS A SEPARATE BILL AND VOTED ON SEPARATELY. A farm bill should be only for farmers, if any money at all is appropriated. Worse than that, the bill will be back.

Boehner and Eric Cantor voting for the bill is a disgrace.

Gene Schwall - June 21, 2013

No. We need an articulate, concerted and consistent conservative movement to affect elections in 2014 and 2016 with a true conservative president elected in 2016. Let’s do it.

Robert - June 21, 2013

Hardly. This may be a fluke, but if it is, it is certainly a welcome fluke. I don’t really think that it indicates anything except that we need to stay on top of absolutely everything that takes place in Congress. I, like others, noticed that many Democrats refused to vote Yes on this bloated piece of pork because it didn’t give away enough tribute to Democrat voters.

Ted Wagner - June 21, 2013

With the congress getting very low approval ratings and and election coming next year, I think they are just hedging their bets until after the election. I don’t think they have changed their spots or their principals.

Beverly R - June 21, 2013

I am glad the farm bill did not pass. A FARM BILL should not include food stamps. It’s time both sides of the aisle need to start making serious cuts.

Jeanne Kipp - June 21, 2013

Principle ahead of politics? It is well to remember that the first goal of a politician is to get elected. Self-interest drives every member of Congress. I am, however, very pleased that they managed to pull this off.

michele Laidier - June 21, 2013

Congress listening.??? Not at all…if it was not for the mid term election they would have passed it.

Michael McQuade - June 21, 2013

Nonsense. The “principled” members are very much in the minority. The only good thing is that there is no hope of compromise. I think every piece of legislation should be debated and voted on individually. No more bundling.

Victress Jenkins - June 21, 2013

Thank goodness they put their foot down on this one!! there must be other ways of helping our farmers and family owned farms. There are other ways of helping these folks and putting us in debt. Leave the farmers alone to plant the crops that can be sold at a reasonable profit.

Greg - June 21, 2013

Absolutely not! Democrats voted against it because it wasn’t bloated enough! What a disgrace. Thsi does not portend well for our future.

Russ - June 21, 2013

I don’t believe that congress has suddenly started listening to the american public. They are like the kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. They gave it up due to the pressure they received. They will try to sneak it in again when we’re not looking.

Gene MacDonald - June 21, 2013

The only connection between principled and politician is they both begin with “P.” I believe the only reason this bill did not pass is because it did not include enough for food stamps. This was not a farm bill, it was a welfare bill..

Barry Whyte - June 21, 2013

The fact that it went down because a large block of Dems. wanted even more spending on food stamps does not indicate that that we’ve now entered a new era of responsible spending and principle over politics.

Even so, my hat’s off to the Republicans for their efforts in defeating this bill.

Francis Schwartz - June 21, 2013

I hope this is the first of many votes to limit the Federal Government. We need:
A flat tax, no deductions, postcard sized return.
Reduce the IRS to minimum employees.
Eliminate the Federal Department Of Education.
Term limits of 2 per Congress.
Limited funding for the Executive Branch.

Richard G Hollis - June 21, 2013

No they are not. We need to keep pressure on them to put the good of the Republic of the United States first and the good of the people of the Republic of the United states first. We need to see that they do these first, and if they do not we need to get them out of office and elect good public servants, not politicians. We need to recruit good people to run for office and get the politicians out of our government. We need good people to overhaul Washington. D.C., the politicians have brought shame on the city that is named after one of this nations great leaders. When I say overhaul I mean it in the way you overhaul a vehicle engine, you stripe it down to its individual parts and throw away the bad parts and put in good parts. That is what we need to do to our national government, throw away the bad and rotten parts and start over with new good parts, the parts our founding fathers used, God, Duty, Honor, Integrity, Honesty, Service, Sacrifice, and Morality.

Darryl Springs - June 21, 2013

No, I am not sure that Congress is listening to us and really changing their stripes! If they were really listening and cared, they would split the OFARMA bill into two parts (1) a real Farm Bill (minus the bloated Food Stamps portion) and create a separate (2) Food Stamps bill. But the Democrats will never let that happen because then they cannot HIDE the “bloated Food Stamps” in some other legislation. The bloated Farm Bill will probably pass after the Food Stamps postion has been cut somewhat, just enough to be trumpeted by both RINO’s and Dems as a triumph of bi-partisan cooperation.

Michael J Morris - June 21, 2013

Listening to us? Are you kidding? They’re still following their own agenda. Especially the Democrats who wanted MORE!!!? Are you kidding me, again? Those guys could give a hoot about how much our debt has risen. Every last one of them needs to go next year except Paul Ryan and Rand Paul.

Ron Hoffman - June 22, 2013

No. We had 62 Republicans that voted correctly and for the right reasons. The remaining votes were to protest not spending enough! If the American public saw, by the Congress having to pass separate legislation for all things not ag related, they would give serious consideration to some of the ridiculous spending covered up by the Title- American Farm Bill.

carol vrooman - June 22, 2013

“Law makers more willing to listen…” Not even a chance! The only way these bloated self interested politicians will listen is when they’ve been voted out are sitting on the porch of their tax payer provided mansions wondering what the he@# happened.

Charles Nelson - June 22, 2013

I agree with Paul Cheng. Not sure conservative principles had much to do with the outcome.

wallace sampson - June 22, 2013

No victory for our side if the demos also opposed – but wanted even more funding. Victory comes with passage of a bill that drastically cuts pork and food stamps. That will need more than sixty-some votes.

Joseph McKennan - June 22, 2013

I think they are just putting it on the back burner. I believe that since this is Obama’s baby it will come back after he has solidified his base a little more. We have had socialism forced upon us inch by inch. Another election will show that I am right. 15 years ago we did not have these dialogues. The American people were still free. Now we are NOT.

MarkC - June 22, 2013

Maybe, just maybe, it’s a start. Now, if they’d separate the food stamp piece from the Farm Subsidy piece, it can get even better. No assurances, but, it could be the beginning of a step in the right direction

JR - June 22, 2013

What this means is the Food Stamps Giveaway program needs to be considered separate and apart from Ag issues. Being from Nebraska, I can assure you ther are parts of the bill farmers & ranchers need. Certainly not all, but part.

Richard Gaugh - June 22, 2013

I don’t know what the vote means, if it somehow aids in the effort to strip “food stamps” from the farm bill it will have been a victory!

Patrick Mattison - June 22, 2013

The defeat is a trap for the Republicans. The Democrats want to increase the spending for food stamps which should not be in the farm bill. This bill is coming back as a catch all for funding government hand outs without proper justification and exposure. - June 22, 2013

Hopefully this is beginning to ring true. We need to stop all these give away programs in government and reduce spending a cross the board. This should include breaking up federal employee unions. Why are there any of these with all their outrages salaries and benefits that the average American does not receive.

Virginia Murrell - June 22, 2013

No, I don’t think they are really listening, or at least without hooks. I have no faith or trust this government will ever do anything that’s right for this country again. They are all spend happy, power grabbers.

Lloyd Scallan - June 22, 2013

Another naïve report. Does Katie actually believe this
bunch in Washington will walk away from this “farm bill” that has very little, if anything to do with farming. It’s all about passing a more and more socialist agenda that is exactly what Obama demands.

Kurt - June 22, 2013

Not a chance! It was only voted down by a combination of those who voted “No” on the principal of too much spending and those who voted “No” because there wasn’t enough spending. But don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll make up for it by voting “Yes” on immigration.

Gary Mickelson - June 22, 2013

Some members of Congress have always had principles, others go with the flow and still others vote how their told to vote by their leadership. Both with the immigration bill and now the farm bill Congress has gotten the message straight from the people unusually loud and clear. Does that make them principled? No. It helps to keep them ‘honest’ so to speak though. Maybe one day government will again truly fear the people rather than the other way around.

Gay & Ruth - June 22, 2013

We have been fed up with both Houses for a long time, and our Representatives know well that Oklahoma is the most conservative state in the Union, as indicated in the last election. Yet the “old timers” continue to vote for earmarks. We removed one old timer at the last election and replaced him with a true T Party conservative. America is in trouble because over half of its voters vote with their palm upward!

Brad - June 22, 2013

Congessional motivation never understood. I am a dairyman and chastised for receiving subsidies ( not so ). Lawmakers favor crops, to the extent that at times insurance collection takes precedence over planting a crop if there is a weather excuse, crop profits have ballooned to make dairy production a looser yet dairy is inadequatly addressed in the farm bill. No matter food stamps and congress are out of control any way you choose to categorize them or justify the cost of either. We must stamp out excessive government control and greed..

Ed I - June 22, 2013

Historically the Farm Bill was the biggest hunk of pork coming out of D.C. Most Americans, including a lot of farmers have never understood the farm bill past or present. They don’t now. The Democrats will use the House voting down the bill to beat Republicans over the head as Pelosi has already started doing relative to food stamps. They will use it in farm states much more quietly to go after at risk Republicans. How Republicans ever allowed food stamps to get in the farm bill in the first place was a mistake. The Democrats did it to get farm state support. Republicans are just not ruthless enough to deal with Democrats. Of course it would be nice if the news media would occasionally tell the truth and report reality instead of the Democratic Party line.

Carol V - June 22, 2013

So one bloated monster of a bill is voted down how does Heritage possibly conflate that into “Congress is listening”? Tell me why those who voted nay did so then I can make MY OWN decision as to whether they are hearing what we are saying. If history, and obviously we ignore history at our own peril, is any predictor at all those legislators voted as they did due to obligations, paybacks….something that has little or nothing to do with the good of the country.

Denny Converse - June 22, 2013

You must be kidding me. We have to stay on their backs more now than ever.

Sam Barlotta - June 22, 2013

The rejection of the Farm Bill in no way signifies lawmakers are listening to us or that they care about fiscal responsibility. The Democrats voted against the bill because they wanted more money in it for food stamps. Nothing has changed–our government is out of touch and out of control.

Ed McKinnon - June 22, 2013

It would be nice to see a list of those Republicans who voted YES on previous Farm Bills and voted NO this time around. That list may highlight a few farm state reps who have resisted the lobbying and decided that ending this stealth tax / redistribution of wealth is the principled thing to do, and is more important than continuing to bring home the (stolen) pork.

Walt in Macomb - June 22, 2013

Like Mr. Ching I too am not sure Congress is listening. I know for a fact my congress members are not.

mary lou craig - June 22, 2013

How difficult would it be to convince our “lawmakers” that, not only is this bill stuffed with pork, but how about taking a look at “farm subsidies”, which have been on the books for decades? Could it be because some of our “high profile” representatives are receiving undeserving subsidies, and have been for years? I personally know many farmers who are WEALTHY and do not deserve to receive our tax money to subsidize them. How about our lawmakers, especially? This should be discussed openly, on the floor, in the media and disclose this highway robbery!!!!!

Paul M. - June 22, 2013

I am happy the farm bill was rejected by the House.

I do not believe it alone will be proof of a new principled congress. Keep in mind that many Democrats voted against it because it didn’t include enough spending on food stamps.

So, until the conservatives control the House with conservatives Republicans it will still be many battles ahead.

Kasey - June 22, 2013

No. The Republicans might have some integrity, at least the ones that opposed the bill, but the rest of them are as power hungry as the Dems and listen to their Republican Establishment donors. I don’t think either party is listening to their constituents and the whole lot of them should be voted out, but as we know, that will never happen, sadly.

Walter Mattson - June 22, 2013

I do not believe Congress is listening to us on many issues. I those cases that they do, I believe their memory is short lived. That means we must all be wary of every thing that they do or claim to do. What is the terms to use? Oh yes, “Trust but verify”. The farm bill needs to be examined closely by Congress and cut in those areas that are pork and leave in those features that are worthy. Food stamps must be controlled to limit the allocation to those truly in need and not to be convertible to cash or non essential items like booze,drugs and entertainment etc.

Sabatino Nuzzi III - June 22, 2013

Big deal, They have a very long way to go. If you ask me Our entire Government is hopelessly corrupt and unless we can remove each and everyone of them from office STARTING WITH OSLOBA we are doomed. I believe at this point we must all Pray for God to save our Nation. It is said that if done in masses he will. They are destroying this nation at a record pace that only he can truly save us!!! God Bless and help us all!

John Fritz - June 22, 2013

It’s a start, but I remain cautious and will watch the future performance.

John J Drinkwater - June 22, 2013

I’m from KY and proud of our Rep. Thomas Massie’s stand on this vote. He is a principled representative of “We The People”. After attending his “Town Hall Meeting” here in Maysville, I can only tell you of his anguishing over which side to come down on in voting to kill this bloated, wasteful bill. He represents many farmers in his district and expects to feel much heat ( as he did last evening) but he is standing firm in his promise to help reduce the 16.5 trillion dollar deficit!

Shari Mildon - June 22, 2013

No, I just think there was enough “noise” to stop them. One can hope though!

Beverly Wilke - June 22, 2013

I don’t THINK so!! BROTHER!

Steven Johns - June 22, 2013

To some degree Congress may have had to deal with the reality that fundamentally dishonest presentation as a “Farm Bill” for a food stamp bill makes people angry, but time will tell if they understand that we want them to conduct themselves in a way that is a decent fit principled example of a human being for their constituents. A win based on adherence to principle is a victory if the position is supported by enough people to warrant the action, i.e. rule of law must have the peoples support in a sovereign state, but a fanatical principled stance that does not have the peoples support, could shift the electorate back to the Democratic party and lead to continuation of the current administration under the guise of a new face in 2016. Congressmen should be principled but in a smart way and not such fanatic Conservatives that they help elect Obama’s successor that could be a virtual policy clone of the current administration. Dumb radicals are frequently their enemies greatest secret weapon in Presidential elections.

Gene Steffen - June 22, 2013

My ancesters came to this country in 1750 from Germany. They were farmers and settled in north central Pennsylvania,were on the first tax rolls in 1768.

Sometime after WWII My Grandfather was harrased by the Agriculture Dept. for more than ten years to enroll in the soilbank program. He was sent crop inventory forms to fill out. He returned all of them “blank”. He was sent checks, He returned every check uncashed. He finally had his attorney interceed and followed up with a letter stating that He thought that this was a Country “Of the People, by the People and for the People” and that He was one of “the People” and they could go to HELL. It would be over his dead body that He would ever agree to anybody telling him what crops that He could or could not plant on his own property. That was the end of that!

My Grandfather put principles ahead of undeserved personal gain and knew that polititions should not interfere with our Constitutional rights.

Deanna Dyksterhuis - June 23, 2013

NO. Politicians vote to “secure” votes; Dems for more money; Republicans to assure the farm lobby they are for agriculture support programs not food stamps. When we urged our fellow farmers to reject the subsidies, etc. there was only one way they would support doing so: ELIMINATE ALL SUBSIDIES FOR EVERYONE. “If the feds are handing out money we want our share; otherwise if all subsidies were eliminated we would accept that because it would be fair”. We did convince two other farmers to farm for the market; not the government largesse. Sincerely, A Retired Farmer.

W. Colborne Mullen - June 23, 2013

How about a question, on all local ballots, where the people may exert a huge pressure, on our representatives, to do what WE want, before the receivers, of all this largess, are able, to out vote the rest, of us.

Holly Chapo - June 23, 2013

My answer to the question is probably not. How many of the House members are up for re-election? That will always be a determining factor. I was les than pleased to see how many Republicans actually voted for the bill. There is still “something rotten in the state of Washington DC.” Too many of our representatives seem to have been coopted by the establishment, by the belief that the (left) Democrats really control everything, by the seduction of power, by a failure to understand Conservative principles and the brilliance of our Constitution.
Consider the recent scandals. How much has changed because of the investigations and hearings? Going through the motions is nothing more than a dog and pony show. But where is the real action to stop these reprehensible behaviors of unelected bureaucrats?

Mary Jane Casablanca - June 23, 2013

Unfortunately, no. We won a battle, but the war will continue because the politicians still don’t get it. They still continue to betray their Constitutional oath, and mostly fail to heed the will of the people who elected them. All we get are excuses, more refulations, higher taxes, and greater restrictions of of our God-given freedoms. We don’t trust them at all, because they are only looking for more financial support and the votes to stay in office.

Robert Ballou - June 23, 2013

I wish the rejection of the Farm Bill by a group of Democrats was an indication of their coming to their senses on spending, but it was not. They rejected it because it didn’t spend enough on food stamps. Had they rejected it because it was loaded with pork, I might have joined in your celebration, but that wasn’t what motivated them. I’m disappointed that more Republicans didn’t reject the bill and show they were getting the message about fiscal responsibility.

Robert - June 24, 2013

As Dwimby pointed out, the serpents are still there. A few serpent neutralizers are also present, and just like the snake got tied in a knot in the Disney movie, Jungle Book, those neutralizers will manage to tie a knot in the serpents and to “slow down their slither.”

Ramon V. - June 24, 2013

NO! If the Demos have not voted against it for MORE food stamps, it would have PASSED!

Larry Wilkins - June 24, 2013

First, you have to know what PRINCIPLE’S are, and I believe most politicians do not have any. A small step in the right direction, but politics will prevail I believe.

Drake - June 24, 2013

Accidents do happen even in politics, rare but real.
The only way there will be real, true change in our government is when it is restructured and most of the people removed.
Were farming supported as intended, only small farms would benefit.
Large Ag has screwed the whole system up in many ways.
Does anyone really think/believe that Agriculture is operated fairly?
For that matter, any other part of government?
The people will only take so much before they lose control and come after the bad guys…
I hope that happens at the right time.

Philbrook Sargent - June 28, 2013

Not worthy of being called a Farm Bill, it should be called a FOOD STAMP welfare bill. Thanks for voting this down. Now fix it!

Doc Wright - June 28, 2013

I seriously doubt it. It we take more elections and more engaged voters to clean out that nest of established vipers.

Ed Thore - August 29, 2013

No, it does not. Many conservatives voted against the bill on good principles but the Democrats who voted against the bill did so because they want MORE spending. How does that indicate a move toward more responsible government?

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