House GOP Waives Own Rule to Rush Farm Bill

House GOP Waives Own Rule to Rush Farm Bill

Late Wednesday, the House Rules Committee voted to waive the rule requiring pieces of legislation to be available to members for three days prior to a final vote. After the ObamaCare debacle, the GOP campaigned on enforcing such a rule in 2010 and enacted it after they took control of the chamber. House GOP Leadership is trying to force a quick vote on a re-packaged Farm Bill, so it waived its own rule.  

Last month, House Leadership suffered an embarrassing defeat when 62 Republicans defected and helped defeat the Farm Bill. In response, Leadership stripped the food stamp program, which represents the overwhelming amount of spending, out of the bill. Leadership is pushing for a vote Thursday on the traditional farm support provision of the bill so it can begin negotiations with the Senate on a final bill.  

The new 600-page version of the House Farm Bill was released on Wednesday. Under the GOP rule, the House would have to wait until Monday to consider the legislation. There is no reason not to wait. 

The current extension of the Farm Bill expires at the end of September. Last year, the farm programs did in fact expire until a deal was cut as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations to temporarily extend them. In other words, there is no emergency that necessitates waiving the 3-day rule. 

Yet again, the House is going to have to pass a bill to find out what’s in it.