The Free Press, Mankato, MN

July 9, 2013

More Democrats killed farm bill


---- — I read Larry Kiewel’s July 5 letter as misleading, at best. He suggests Republicans voted down the farm bill “...because it contained too much money for food stamps...”

Had the bill passed it would have included $79.2 percent ($743.9 billion) for food stamps and nutrition, and spent about 47 percent more over 10 years than the 2008 farm bill. This at a time when many Republicans and Democrats both claim to be worried about overspending and deficits.

But I digress. The vote on the farm bill was 195 for and 234 against. The Republican vote against was 62; the Democrat vote against was 172. Only 24 Democrats voted for passage of the farm bill.

In a June 25 editorial The Free Press opined that some Democrats voted against the bill because it added “stringent” work requirements for some people on food stamps. I venture to say most Republicans support food stamps and nutrition for those genuinely in need. But they probably also believe some, what many would consider modest, work requirements should be placed on able bodied people in order to receive those benefits. An objective analysis of the vote count seems to indicate it was actually the Democrat vote that doomed the farm bill and a huge increase in welfare spending. An unintended consequence?

Bob Jentges

North Mankato