One of the things that most disappoint me about Republican politicians is that they continue to vote against a market economy, free enterprise, and spending restraints when they vote for farm bills that provide price supports for farmers and other protections that insulate farmers from market forces, pay farmers for not farming, and distort agricultural production.
Many farmers and people from areas dependent on agriculture are conservative except, when it come to farm policy and there they want their subsidy and their government safety net just as much as the inner city welfare receipent. They are against other people getting welfare but do not view farm policy in the same light. They oppose increases in the Federal deficit for student loans or mass transit, but not for farm subsidies. They oppose government sponsored health insurance but love government crop insurnace. They oppose government intrusion in their lives except when it come to accepting a government check for not planting crops. These people in the South and Mid-west who approve of government dictated soviet-style farm policy and agriculture welfare are otherwise conservative and they vote Republican, so Republicans who are othersize conservative support a social welfare, big-government farm policy despite it being inconsistent with core Republican values.
Thrusday, the farm bill that would have spend $940 billion over the next ten years went down in defeat. This is very unusual. In 2008 all but 14 senators and 109 House members voted to overrid President Bush’s veto of the farm bill. The reason this farm bill faile was not because Republicans decided to be consistent and vote against welfare, a growing deficit and cast a vote for free enterprise; it failed because Democrates did not think it spend enough on foods stamps.
In the House 62 Republicans who opposed it for the right reason, joined 172 Democrates who opposed it for the wrong reason and the farm bill was defeated. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 66-27 votes.
In the Senate, Sen. Lamar Alexander was one of 18 Republicans to support the bill while Senator Corker opposed it. I am dissappointed in the vote of Lamar Alexander and proud of Senator Corker. I have supported both and will continue to do so, but am less enthsiastic about Lamar becasue of this vote. His reelection is almost certainly assured. He could have afforded to vote the right way. He is not going to have a serious challenger from the left. Maybe, he does think that he voted the right way. Maybe he is not really a beliver in free markets and limited government. Anyway it is disappointing.
Here is how they voted in the House:
1st – Phil Roe (R) yesI have been a long time fan and supporter of Marsha Blackburn and have often admired her for the stands she has take on issues. She has been one of my favorite Representatives. I am not going to fall out with someone over one vote, but I am very dissapointed. Also, I am disappointed in Diane Black. The only Representative in the Tennessee delegation who voted the right way for the right reason was Knoxville's John J. Duncan. Maybe John Duncan is someone to watch.
2nd – John J. Duncan, Jr (R) no
3rd – Chuck Fleischmann (R) yes
4th – Scott DesJarlais (R) yes
5th – Jim Cooper (D) no
6th – Diane Black (R) yes
7th – Marsha Blackburn (R) yes
8th – Stephen Fincher (R) yes
9th – Steve Cohen (D) no