Knoxville Republican Breaks Ranks On Farm Bill Vote

The bill trims spending on subsidies and environmental programs, then shifts those funds into insurance to cover problems like crop failure. Credit: _-0-_ via Flickr

The bill trims spending on subsidies and environmental programs, then shifts those funds into insurance to cover problems like crop failure. Credit: _-0-_ via Flickr

A scaled-down version of the Farm Bill passed the US House Thursday, and Tennessee’s Congressional delegation voted along strict party lines today—with one exception.

Knoxville Representative John Duncan is one of only 12 Republicans voting no.

The bill strips out any language governing food stamps, and that’s a big reason why Democrats don’t like it.

Duncan takes issue with a measure that would expand crop insurance for farmers.

 ”You start a small business you have to pay 100% of your insurance, and then on top of that you have the subsidies. And with the farm prices and farmland as high as it is now, they don’t need it.”

Gallatin GOP Congressman Diane Black voted in favor of the bill, noting that affects many in her mostly rural district.

“I have 50 percent of my district that’s farmers. I want to give them certainty. They already have enough uncertainty with weather. I think you bring the food stamp, or SNAP, program up and let it stand on its legs as well and see what we do about that.”

The White House has already indicated President Obama will likely veto the measure.


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