Farm Bill Fail: House GOP Leadership Sucks At Their Job
So the House of Representatives has been compared to a bunch of spoiled whiny babies plenty of times, because Tea Party. And there have been a zillion stories written in newspapers, the web logs (“blogs”), and in the lamestream media about how no one can control them, except that Speaker Boehner is doing kinda an ok job because he lets them rant and rail andrepeal Obamacare like 429 times rather than passing anything of substance. All that came to a screeching halt on Thursday afternoon, when the House had to take a break from its primary Constitutional duties -- investigating Benghazi and defunding ACORN -- and actually vote on a bill of actual substance. Take it away, The Hill:
In a blow to House GOP leaders, the House on Thursday rejected a five-year farm bill.
Members voted down the $940 billion bill in a 195-234 vote that only won 24 Democratic votes.
HAHAHAHA, John Boehner sucks at his job. No seriously, like really really sucks. Not just that his policies suck, but he is actually a giant pile of fail, encapsulated in a thin orange crust of suckitude. Let’s wonksplain!
In Congress, a bill simply doesn’t come to the floor when the outcome isn’t known. That’s because the House leadership (John Boehner and Eric Cantor) is supposed to know how people will vote. They have people, called Whips, whose only job is to count votes (and possibly use S&M tactics to “persuade”). That’s why so few high-profile bills actually make it to the floor -- they are only brought up for a vote when leadership is confident in a bill passing.
Which is why the Farm Bill failing is such a HUGE EMBARRASSMENT for Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor and the entire GOP. Politico began its analysis this way:
Someone in House leadership screwed up again.
Seriously, if they can’t pass a bill that they support through the House of Crazies where they hold the majority, what the fuck are they doing? EVERYONE is Washington was shocked at this. Here is a sampling of headlines:
- K St Stunned at Farm Bill Defeat (The Hill)
- Farm Bill Setback Opens House GOP Up to New Attacks About Ability to Lead (The Hill)
- The Dysfunctional House (Politico)
- The Failure of the Farm Bill -- and Why the House Republicans Can’t Be Led (WaPo)
Why did this bill go down in flames? Again, we turn to The Hill:
Most Democrats voted against the bill because it cut food stamp programs by more than $20 billion.
Many Republicans also voted no, but for a different reason. They said it was too expensive a bill to pass when the country has $17 trillion in debt.
In the final vote, 62 Republicans opposed the bill, and with the Democratic defections, that was enough to send it to defeat.
Who was that leading the charge against food stamp cuts? That's right: Legislative Badass Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Swoon)! Hooray again to Rep. McGovern! One of the few bright spots in the whole clusterfail is that food stamp cuts are on hold for at least a while -- the House will either pass a one-year extension of the existing farm bill, or it may try to pass a new bill this fall.
Of course, the GOP crazies thought that the bill didn’t cut enough. Perhaps they wanted even more small children to sit through math class unable to concentrate on multiplication tables because they are FUCKING HUNGRY. In any case, the huge number of defections from the GOP shows basic incompetence on behalf of Speaker Boehner.
And when faced with this monumental failure of leadership, how did the Republicans respond? This party of personal responsibility, which went so far as to try to put onerous work requirements on recipients of food stamps, did they take any responsibility? You already know the answer:
Immediately after the vote, Republicans were apoplectic at what they characterized as a betrayal by Democratic leaders, who did not deliver the votes they promised.
"The Democrats walked away from this," Boehner, who cast a rare vote in favor of the bill, told The Hill as he walked off the House floor.
"What we saw today was a Democratic leadership in the House that was insistent to undo years and years of bipartisan work on an issue like a farm bill, and decide to make it a partisan issue," Cantor said, his voice rising as he spoke.
“All I want to say is, I’m extremely disappointed in Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership to choose, really, partisanship over progress,” Cantor said, in a rare impromptu media availability… “But I’ll tell you, it’s just disappointing that we have seen now the Democrats putting partisanship over progress.”
Way to stay classy, there, GOP. Because everyone knows that the Republicans are the party of compromise, of working together, and of trying to find common ground. Oh, and you are the FUCKING MAJORITY. Just because you can’t control your caucus, just because you are in charge of a bunch of whacked out tinfoil-hat-wearing, deficit-hardon-toting Party-of-No assholes and you can’t keep them in line, don’t immediately turn around and blame Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. You failed. This is your failure -- fucking own it.
The future of the farm bill is now up in the air. If the GOP can’t figure their shit out, there will likely be an extension of current policies. For now, folks are going to take a step back, and possibly revisit the issue later in the summer or this fall. Fun Science Fact: If they don't pass a new farm bill -- or at least a one-year extension of the current law -- by September 30, the law reverts to a 1949 version, which would cause milk prices to skyrocket.
So America, next time you think about putting the GOP in charge of more branches of government, come back and look at this display of “leadership.” It’s bad enough with the GOP in charge of the House, but they can’t even run that effectively. But don't worry too much -- at least masturbating fetuses are safe!