No movement on farm bill, Peterson says

The committee farm bill failed spectacularly on the floor last week in a 195 to 234 vote despite the support of Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — House postpones Rosenstein meeting | Trump hits Dems over Medicare for all | Hurricane Michael nears landfall Kavanaugh becomes new flashpoint in midterms defined by anger Juan Williams: The GOP can't govern MORE (R-Ohio) and a cohort of 24 Democrats led by Peterson.

The ranking member said that Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) tried to look for a solution at a Wednesday conference meeting but there was none to be had.


"They had a knock-down, drag out conference meeting and then nothing was decided," Peterson said.

He dismissed calls made Wednesday by House conservatives to bring up a Republican-only farm bill. 

"They can't get that passed," he said. He said even if the farm bill cuts food stamps by $135 billion as called for in the House budget, the GOP would not have the votes since some GOP members never support farm subsidies while others want them.

The ranking member also continued to push back against blame from House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorFormer TV journalist gives GOP rare dose of hope in Florida Dave Brat trailing in reelection bid Fake political signs target Democrat in Virginia MORE (R-Va.) that Democrats sank the bill. He reiterated that the approval of an amendment by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Ill.) to bolster work requirements for food stamps was the reason the bill failed.

"Without that I could get that to where I was, 45 to 50 votes," Peterson said. He said that he had given Cantor a list with unacceptable amendments marked "deal-breakers" so Cantor knew that bringing up Southerland's amendment would cause problems.

"Then he came up to me and said I need your votes to get this to conference, why can't you help me?" Peterson recalled. "And I said it's because they all hate me because I'm working with you."

Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach Republican Senate candidate apologizes after swastika spotted in campaign ad Poll: Dem Stabenow has 9-point lead over Republican James in Michigan Senate race MORE (D-Mich.) this week continued to urge the House to bring up the farm bill passed in the Senate, but there appears to be little GOP support for doing so.