Rep. King: Splitting farm bill a ‘bad tactic’

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Sunday that the House’s decision to split the farm bill unnecessarily politicized the issue.

“I think it was a bad tactic, as it politicized the farm bill for the first time in a long, long time,” said King on "Fox News Sunday."

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Lawmakers have combined farm subsidies and nutrition programs into the farm bill for some four decades, but the House last week passed a bill just dealing with farm issues.

King said splitting the two – against the wishes of many major farm groups – was a mistake because it would give House Republicans less of a say in how to reform the food stamp program.

“I am opposed to doing this because I want to reform it. They want unlimited food stamps.”

Appearing with King, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said that the cost of agriculture subsidies and the food stamp program had gone up in recent years, and accused Republicans of undermining four decades worth of bipartisan agreement.

“Look, we have always had a bipartisan understanding that if you can find the resources to support the growing of food, we ought to find the resources to support the eating of food for people who are down on their luck,” Israel said.


The passage of the stripped down farm bill on Thursday was seen as a victory for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) after the bill failed in an earlier vote last month. But President Obama has vowed to veto the split farm bill, and many Democrats and farm groups oppose the House GOP move.