Reid accuses GOP of slowing farm bill passage to hurt Obama

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday that Republicans are once again forcing the Senate to move at a snail's pace to pass legislation that creates jobs, which he said shows their ongoing effort to hurt President Obama.

"It's a shame that we have now wasted 30 hours post-cloture on this bill," Reid said on the Senate floor. "It's a bill that passed by 90 senators agreeing we should move for debate on this bill.

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"Republicans have made a decision that they would rather do anything they can to stop jobs from being created, hoping it will help them with the elections come November," Reid charged. "Too often in this Congress, the Republican strategy has been to kill job-creating bills in the hopes of harming the economy and hurting President Obama."

The Senate last week voted 90-8 to end debate on the motion to proceed to the farm bill. Reid's complaint is that, despite that vote, Republicans were opposed to agreeing to the motion to proceed by unanimous consent, instead requiring 30 hours to expire before the motion is adopted.

Reid said the GOP strategy also seems at odds with the party's professed desire to reduce the budget deficit, as the farm bill would save $23 billion. The bill also ends direct payments to farmers and reforms the federal food stamp program, and more broadly would help provide a clarity of federal policy for U.S. farmers that would help them maintain their export dominance.

"I'm disappointed ... that they have caused us to waste 30 hours on procedural hurdles on this bill," Reid said. "We shouldn't have to do that. We shouldn't have to run the clock when 90 senators agree we should move the bill."

Reid said he is continuing to work with senators on a deal outlining which amendments to the farm bill could come up for a vote.

Later today, after a 5:30 p.m. vote on a judicial nomination, the Senate is expected to agree by unanimous consent to adopt the motion to proceed to the bill.

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