House Republicans rejected a wholesale re-authorization of the gargantuan farm bill a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the saga; the farm bill still contains vital policy choices that must be made. The Hill reports that, behind the scenes, a split is emerging among Republican legislators:
Behind the scenes, the fight over the bill is pitting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) against Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). While Cantor wants to divide the bill and cut more spending, Lucas wants to keep it intact with only modest changes.
Splitting the bill would risk breaking apart the urban-rural coalition that has ensured passage of farm spending for more than four decades. Conservative activists believe breaking the alliance would allow them to slash two sources of wasteful government spending.