House Freedom Caucus blocks Farm Bill - FOX34 Lubbock

House Freedom Caucus blocks Farm Bill

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

In an embarrassing blow to Congressional Republicans, the 2018 Farm Bill fails to pass out of the House.

The bill was caught up in the midst of intense political jostling and party infighting. 

Not a single Democrat voted for the bill, they vehemently opposed the changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) specifically implementing a work requirement for recipients.

The Freedom Caucus joined forces with their foes to block the passage of the legislation. Its members want a vote on immigration, specifically hard-line measures addressing the border and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

"I would say that the Farm Bill doesn't expire until September," said Rep. Scott Perry. "So we have plenty of time to do the Farm Bill. But if this discharge petition comes, we are going to be dealing with that, uh, imminently next month.  So it's more important right now to prioritize immigration and we've been asking and waiting for months."

Speaker Paul Ryan remained noncommittal to the vote and gambled that he would have enough votes to pass the Farm Bill. That support never materialized though. 30 Republicans voted against the bill.

"Apparently there is a group that thinks they needed to hold the Farm Bill hostage in order to get what they wanted on the immigration side," said Rep. Jodey Arrington.

Tim Nokken, Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas Tech, said this break is likely just highlighting the cracks that have been forming within the party for some time now.

"These difference and this conflict within the Republican party I think is a huge thing that now is starting to come to the front of how much of a discontent, kind of divided caucus they are," Nokken said.

The Farm Bill will likely get another chance to pass in its current form. There is no timetable for when a re vote could come. 


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