Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames, says the Democrat leadership’s mistake has set the farm and budget bills behind. Leadership sent the president a farm bill that was missing some pages. Latham says the president vetoed the bill and sent it back, where the House voted to override the veto and leaders realized it was not the whole bill.
So the bill now has to be passed again and sent back to the Senate. “What it does in fact is just delay the whole process until well after the Memorial Day break,”Latham says, “we’re going to be well into June before this can ever get finalized. And it’s just a true case of mismanagement.” Latham says the Democrat leadership wanted to push the farm bill quickly to the president to try and make “political hay” of the veto.
“It’s certainly a case of just ineptness, not being able to shoot straight. It’s just a total embarrassment,” Latham says, “and the Democrat leadership, the speaker, should be very embarrassed by this, because it’s something that should never happen.” Latham says the mistake creates a multitude of problems.
Latham says it will cause another extension of the farm bill, “while this fiasco plays out.” Latham says it will also delay the vote on the House budget bill, as if the budget is passed the farm bill would be subject to the current baseline for funding which would cause it to cost nine-billion dollars more and require more cuts to offset the increase. Latham says the holdup goes well beyond farm issues.
He says it makes a huge difference as if the budget is delayed, they can’t start the appropriations process. “It’s just a case of horrible management,” Latham says. Latham says he has some reservations about the farm bill, but voted for it, saying it takes some steps toward reform and has to be done so there’s certainty in agriculture.