House Republicans Propose to Fix Farm Bill, Respond to Obama Scandals With a Bunch of Bills That Won't Pass

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 9 2013 11:55 AM

House Republicans Propose to Fix Farm Bill, Respond to Obama Scandals With a Bunch of Bills That Won't Pass

The IRS scandal is an Obamacare scandal, right?

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Paul Kane gets a preview of the bills Republicans—House Republicans—will try to pass this month in response to this summer's scandal stories.

One measure would allow citizens to record conversations between themselves and federal enforcement officials, while another would let federal agencies place senior career officials on leave with or without pay when they are under investigation for serious abuses. Several measures would rein in an agency’s ability to implement regulations, and another would prohibit the IRS’s role in implementing the health-care law.

That last measure has been on the conservative movement's wish list for a while—it seems perfectly obvious to them that the IRS scandal opened up a new line of attack on Obamacare. That first measure is pretty much orthogonal to the discussion over privacy and the NSA. But this is the post-recess consensus, that the party is in a strong position and should start looking for leverage against the administration. See also:

House Republican leaders have decided to drop food stamps from the farm bill and are whipping the farm-only portion of the bill for a vote that will likely come this week, according to a GOP leadership aide.
The nutrition portion of the bill would be dealt with later.

Now, if the House were—please hold your laughter—trying for a workable bipartisan solution to the farm bill collapse, the food stamp funding would stay, because that's the deal. Urban liberals get their food stamp money; conservatives get their farm pork. Instead, to please conservatives, you have yet another bill that will turn to dust when it gets near the Senate. Just like the "scandal response" bills. It's quite a contrast with the Senate, where Republican Sen. Mike Lee is joining Democrats to push for more declassification on FISA cases.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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