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Republicans Stand Up for Rich Farm Owners

March 16, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

When the farm bill comes up for renewal next year, reform-minded lawmakers will get another chance to rein in the billions in subsidies that too often flow to millionaire farm owners in Manhattan who don't need them. But even with both parties looking to support budget cuts wherever possible these days, reforming the farm bill is going to be an uphill battle.

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House GOP Blocks Child Nutrition Bill

December 2, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

UPDATE: The Democrats managed to pass the bill this afternoon by holding a vote on the Republican sex-offenders amendment as a stand-alone bill. The Republicans still tried to kill the child nutrition bill with the same motion to recommit, which all but one Republican voted for, but the Democrats managed to hold strong against the motion knowing that they had already voted for the amendment and that the motion to recommit served no purpose other than to stop the bill.

You know things are getting ugly when a fully paid-for bill to provide poor children with healthy school lunches is blocked. Politico:

House Democrats scrapped plans to vote on an Obama-backed child nutrition bill Wednesday after Republicans threatened to force a procedural vote that would bar funds from going to child care institutions that employ individuals who refuse criminal sex-offender background checks, or lie on them.

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House returns from recess to pass state aid bill

August 10, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The House came back from their August recess today to vote on the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, which the Senate passed last Thursday, after the House had already adjourned. It gives states $26.1 billion to help pay for Medicaid and teachers' salaries. Since both chambers passed the exact same version of the bill, it was immediately enrolled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] and sent directly to Obama, who has already signed it into law.

The vote was a near-party-line 247-161. Two Republicans crossed the aisle to vote for the bill with the Democrats -- Rep. Anh Cao [R, LA-2] and Rep. Michael Castle [R, DE-0]. Three Democrats, all members of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, voted with Republicans against the bill -- Rep. Bobby Bright [D, AL-2], Rep. Jim Cooper [D, TN-5] and Rep. Gene Taylor [D, MS-4]. Twenty-five congressmen didn't take the time out of the recess to return to D.C. and vote on the bill, including 7 Democrats and 18 Republicans.

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