By Justin Sink
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told a group of Republican committee chairmen Monday night that their votes against last month's failed farm bill were "unacceptable," according to a report in the National Review.
According to the report, Cantor told the chairmen that leadership was more likely to usher their bills to the floor if they remained loyal on key votes.
Cantor's anger — reportedly triggered by a sense of betrayal after leadership supported the chairmen's amendments on the $939 billion package — was a sign that some Republican leaders were surprised by how their colleagues voted in the 234-195 defeat.
At the time, Cantor laid blame for the farm bill's failure at the feet of congressional Democrats, saying the other side failed to deliver the promised votes on the bill.
"I'm extremely disappointed that Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership have at the last minute chosen to derail years of bipartisan work on the farm bill and related reforms," Cantor said after the vote, adding, "Democrats shamefully chose politics over progress and meaningful reform."
Following the bill's failure last month, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) mocked the effort by the Republican leadership as "amateur hour."
"It's silly. It's sad. It's juvenile. It's unprofessional. It's amateur hour," she said.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has not yet decided how to proceed with the massive legislation. While Cantor reportedly prefers splitting the legislation into separate farm spending and food stamp bills, Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) has advocated bringing back the same bill with small tweaks.