Closing out another day. Final notes:
* FARM BILL? WHO NEEDS IT? NOT TOM COTTON: U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, the Club for Growth’s ambassador to Arkansas, voted against the farm bill today. He hates food stamps and thinks it provided too much spending on feeding poor people. Though the bill cut $2 billion from proposed food stamp spending, that wasn’t enough for Cotton and 61 other Republicans. How extreme is Tom Cotton? The other three Republicans from Arkansas — Tiny Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Rick Crawford — voted FOR the bill. How low can Cotton go? The Harvard grad blamed President Obama and invoked farming roots in voting to screw tillers of the soil.
“I grew up on my family’s small farm in Yell County and still work on it today. I had hoped this bill would be good for Arkansas farmers and taxpayers, but it turned out badly for both. President Obama’s failed policies have turned what should be a Farm Bill into the Food Stamp Bill, expanding by $300 billion a food-stamp program riddled with fraud and abuse. Because 80% of this bill was food stamps and Arkansas farmers expected to receive less than 1% of the bill’s whopping $940 billion price tag, it was a bad deal for Arkansas farmers and taxpayers.
The Democratic Party saw it differently.
“Congressman Tom Cotton joined with congressional Republicans to put partisan politics above the needs of Arkansas farmers and families today with his vote to kill the Farm Bill. Agriculture – the largest economic driver in the state of Arkansas – could be in jeopardy because of Congressman Cotton’s arrogance and partisanship. It’s time for Congressman Cotton to stop putting the wants of special interest groups above the needs of Arkansans.”
Rice growers didn’t sound too happy either.
“U.S. farmers, ranchers, rural America, taxpayers, and consumers all lost today but politics is evidently alive and well,” said USA Rice Producers’ Group chair Linda Raun. “Rather than pass a bill that reduces the deficit by $40 billion while meeting the commitments of a farm bill, the country was treated to more Washington dysfunction,” Raun added. “Patience in farm country is wearing thin. This is a sad day for rural America. Members of Congress need to ask themselves if they want to reduce the deficit or just talk about it. Failure to pass a farm bill leaves rural America in limbo.”
PS — Tom Cotton did today join Arkies in signing a letter pressing the feds for disaster relief for Arkansas. Cotton thinks that’s wasteful spending when dam Yankees from up where he went to college want some.
* MARKET WOES: The Dow dropped 352 points today. Jittery investors because the fed may wind down stimulus policies, or say CNN tells it.