Farm bill discharge petition filed

Technically, the House Agriculture bill passed out of committee in July, but as of Thursday morning still not been filed on the House floor.

Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) delivered the text on Monday, but a new snafu then emerged. A source said that at least one committee had tried to claim jurisdiction over the bill, meaning that it was stuck with the House parliamentarian.

Braley said Boehner was playing games.

“Games are being played in Washington, as Speaker Boehner is using all the moves in the procedural playbook to keep the farm bill off the House Floor. He has decided to personally overrule the bipartisan majority of the House Agriculture Committee by keeping the bill bottled up,” he said.

“Now, Speaker Boehner is preventing the reporting of the bill, over the objection of 35 Agriculture Committee Members who voted to report, and it’s been 64 days. Speaker Boehner needs to end the games, and allow the Congress to do its job by voting on the bill,” Braley added.

The farm bill discharge petition has become highly politicized. Rural lawmakers, including Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), are caught in the middle.

King would not say this week if he would sign a petition if it was allowed to proceed. His opponent in the election, Christie Vilsack, has urged him to do so, even though it would mean sticking a finger in the eye of his own leadership.

“Why doesn’t Braley get 100 Democrats to sign a letter saying they would vote for the farm bill? That would get it moving,” he said.

On Thursday, liberal House Democrats led by Agriculture Committee member Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) doubled down on their opposition to the $16 billion in food stamp cuts in the farm bill, making large Democratic support elusive.

At this point, House leaders still do not see 218 votes for the farm bill and the measure faces an uphill battle even if brought up in the lame-duck session.

—This story was updated at 2:13 pm.