Letter to the editor: Farm bill only one item in list of partisan obstructionU.S. House Republican leader Eric Cantor refuses to have a vote on a bipartisan farm bill. The farm bill is very important to North Dakota. It is also a nutrition, conservation, rural development and jobs bill.
By: Charles Linderman, The Jamestown Sun
U.S. House Republican leader Eric Cantor refuses to have a vote on a bipartisan farm bill. The farm bill is very important to North Dakota. It is also a nutrition, conservation, rural development and jobs bill. If the vote is delayed until after the election, Republicans will go for big cuts in farm bill spending. That is wrong because the Senate and House agriculture committees are the only committees to have already agreed to spending cuts.
Four years ago, the farm bill was passed with enough bipartisan support to override a presidential veto. What is so different now? The farm bill is only one item in a list of egregious partisan obstruction. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell tipped us off soon after the last election when he stated “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President (Barack) Obama to be a one-term president.” Logic then says the Republicans in Congress don’t want jobs created, deficits reduced or a farm bill under Obama’s watch because that would go against their “single most important” objective.
The Republican strategy becomes very clear if one follows their actions and rhetoric. Time and again they have opposed the president on any proposal he makes, including many things that Republicans have supported in the past. Their mindset is “If the president supports it, we are against it.” Having displayed blatant partisanship in its worst form, these people obviously do not deserve to be returned to power.
Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., assures us he is working as hard as he can to get a House vote on the farm bill. I’m sure he is because he is campaigning to join McConnell in the Senate. Failure on the farm bill could hurt him in North Dakota. The trouble is Berg is part of the problem. He has joined Cantor too many times to enumerate here in voting the party line. When he tells Cantor that he wants his party to make an exception and support a bipartisan farm bill, I wonder how much weight that carries.
In a few weeks, we can fix the problem.
We can elect Heidi Heitkamp to the Senate. She was a well-respected former state tax commissioner and attorney general and knows how to make things happen.
We can elect Pam Gulleson to the House. She is a North Dakota farmer, former legislator and state director for former Sen. Byron Dorgan. These two strong, intelligent women will do the job. And because women are so underrepresented in Congress, electing these two women will put North Dakota on the map.