WASHINGTON (July 27, 2007)—After an intense buildup to what most Washington insiders thought would be a bloody battle, the much-anticipated Kind-Flake farm bill hit the House floor with a thud late last night.
The plan offered by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was swiftly and soundly defeated by a vote of 309 to 117. Roll Call details.
On an otherwise politically divisive night, House Republicans and Democrats agreed on one thing: The Kind-Flake farm policy was bad for America.
“It rips out the safety net for American farmers and ranchers,” Bob Goodlatte (Va.), the top Republican on the Agriculture Committee said.
Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) agreed and urged House Democrats to vote down the measure and support the bill unanimously approved by his Committee.
“Not everyone farms, but everyone eats,” exclaimed Colorado Democrat John Salazar, who spoke in opposition to Kind-Flake and held up a Farm Policy Facts bumper sticker(pdf).
The vote is viewed as a major victory for supporters of farm policy, considering a similar amendment introduced by Kind during the 2002 farm bill garnered 200 votes.
It is also a big disappointment for activist groups such as Oxfam and Environmental Defense that blanketed Capitol Hill with expensive ads in support of Kind-Flake.