Farm Bill Creates Odd Alliance in TN Congressional Delegation

Tennessee’s congressional Republicans usually find themselves on the same page as think tanks and advocacy organizations that call for restraining government spending, observes The Tennessean. But when it comes to setting federal agricultural policy for coming years through a farm bill currently making its way through Congress, that’s not the case.
While there is uncertainty over what happens next, the versions of the farm bill offered so far have been backed by seven of the nine Republicans in the congressional delegation — Reps. Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump, Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood, Diane Black of Gallatin, Scott DesJarlais of Jasper, Scott Fleischmann of Ooltewah and Phil Roe of Johnson City. And Sen. Lamar Alexander voted for his chamber’s version.
Among Tennessee Republicans, only Rep. John Duncan Jr. of Knoxville and Sen. Bob Corker voted the way farm bill critics preferred.
“For a bill that spends close to $1 trillion, just under $18 billion in savings is not nearly enough,” Corker said.
Both Democrats in the delegation — Reps. Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis — voted against the bill, but Democrats had slightly different reasons for opposing the legislation. They especially disliked a $20 billion cut in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, in the House bill.
“It would have cut programs that help children and seniors while protecting subsidies for millionaires, agribusiness and even foreign banks,” Cooper said. “We must do a better job of protecting taxpayer dollars and prioritizing our nation’s agricultural policies.”
As it happened, advocates for the poor and the environment joined the conservative and anti-government spending groups in opposition.

One thought on “Farm Bill Creates Odd Alliance in TN Congressional Delegation

  1. Stephen Tapp

    It’s the way these laws are packaged, to someone’s benefit, and the logs roll. I was behind a couple of young, able-bodied, expensively-dressed people in grocery line yesterday, each of whom had a food stamp card. We all have stories like this. The growth of that program has been cancerous, but farmers, food manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and government-dependent or just -abusing citizens all like it. It’s the modern equivalent of bread and circuses (once your belly’s full for free, you can spend the rest of your “check” on everything else you like). On my way out, a 500-pound woman in a fat cart was coming in to get some more manna from Welfare Heaven to maintain her morbid obesity. Cohen likes to get those welfare-dependent and freeloading voters, so he moans about those cuts, even though it’s time to repeal the entire program in favor of, at most, commodity hand-outs, and repeal the agribusiness subsidies of yesteryear. But NO!

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