House conservatives: Leaders must learn from farm bill

The farm bill failed in a 195-234 vote last week, even as the GOP’s entire leadership team supported it. Sixty-two Republicans voted against the bill and only 24 Democrats supported it.

GOP leaders blamed Democrats, saying the party promised to deliver 40 votes and then reneged on the deal at the last minute.

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Labrador said Democrats constantly “move the goal posts” — something he said he witnessed in private immigration talks — and should not be trusted.

Other Republicans said leaders should review what happened and conclude that it would be easier to negotiate with their own members than trying to pick up votes from the minority.

“After the vote, I said that maybe that leadership will wake up and realize we are a lot easier to negotiate with than Democrats,” said Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.).

“Republicans run the House. We need to pass a Republican farm bill,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), who noted that more Republicans voted for his amendment cutting food stamps than for the farm bill itself.

He said he and other conservatives have approached leaders about bringing a more conservative farm bill to the floor.

“We might as well send them something we can all agree on here in the House,” Salmon said.

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