In what can best be described as a victory for Obama and Democrats, House Republicans caved in and agreed to a far-reaching farm bill Friday.
Republicans were aiming for a much larger cut to the roughly $80 billion-a-year food stamp program and instead settled for a 1% reduction, or about $800 million in food stamp cutbacks. The reduction represents about one fifth of the cut approved last fall by the Republican-led House.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helped broker the hard-fought farm bill compromise after years of setbacks.
As a gift to Stabenow for her exploits, President Obama flew her and other Democratic lawmakers aboard Air Force One to Michigan State University, a leading agricultural research school and Stabenow’s alma mater, to celebrate the signing of the bill. Although Republicans were instrumental in moving the bill forward, the GOP lawmakers turned down invitations to fly with the President, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney.