GOP lawmaker says passing farm bill delays real reform

McClintock said Republicans were elected to tame federal spending, but said the farm bill that leaders are trying to pass this week takes only tiny reform steps. On the issue of food stamps, he said the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was originally intended to help those truly in need with basic commodities.

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"Yet I cannot count the number of constituents who have complained to me over the last several years about standing in a grocery line and watching the person in front of them use SNAP cards to buy luxuries that these hard-working taxpayers could not themselves afford," he said.

For farmers, he said that while the bill eliminates direct payments, it uses most of that savings to boost crop insurance programs, which he said continues to guarantee profits to farmers at the expense of taxpayers.

Overall, McClintock said the bill makes only small changes to an "utterly atrocious program" that saves just 3.4 percent over current spending levels.

McClintock's complaints are similar to those made by other Republicans about the bill, which is likely to lead several GOP members to reject it in the final vote. On Wednesday, Heritage Action said it will count the farm bill vote as a key vote on its legislative scorecard.

"Proponents claim it will reduce the deficit, but it is actually a 56 percent increase from the 2008 bill, which was projected to cost $604 billion," Heritage Action said. "Not surprisingly, the 2008 bill actually ended up costing much more."

At the same time, many Democrats have said they cannot support the bill because it would cut $20 billion to SNAP over 10 years compared to current spending levels.

The House was expected to start working on 103 amendments to the farm bill Wednesday afternoon, in the hopes of finishing work on the legislation by Thursday.