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Farm Bill defeated in House; traditional rural-urban alliance frayed


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The old rural-urban alliance that married farm and nutrition programs failed to get a Farm Bill through the House this afternoon. The bill lost 195-234, with food stamps apparently the main issue. The House seemed ready to pass the bill this afternoon “after the Agriculture Committee leadership agreed to a sweeping en bloc amendment Wednesday […]

Action Alert: Senate Votes Today on Farm Bill


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Heads up from New England Farmers Union! The Senate will begin voting today on a list of amendments to the farm bill. There are some very good things in this bill for New England and at least two amendments that would make it even better. Please call your Senators TODAY and ask them to support […]

Farm and Food Bill on the Senate Floor


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The Senate began consideration of a farm and food bill yesterday. The biggest issues on the threshing floor of the Senate is separating wheat from chaff between Northern and Southern farmers over safety net programs and the question of costs for the federal food stamp program, which makes up about 80 percent of the $100 […]

Update on Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act


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It’s growing season again – time to go out in search of farm markets and farm stands to purchase yummy local ingredients for your table. Besides treating your tasebuds to the freshest best tasting foods, supporting local farms and farmers keeps your food dollars in your community. And that is exactly what the Local Farms, […]

Senate Dems and Planned Parenthood — 2012 Scenarios


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson [See end of post for an update.] In return for getting the Republicans to drop their demand that Planned Parenthood’s funding be set to zero, President Obama (and, presumably, Majority Leader Harry Reid) agreed to let the matter come up for a vote in the Senate, the House having already decided […]

It’s Not About the Money


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Usually, when people say it’s not about the money, you know it is about the money. But this time, it’s not about the money. I’m talking, of course, about the budget impasse that bids fair to shut down the government at midnight tonight. In February, House Republicans set a target of […]

The Senate’s Symbolic Gift


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson It’s barely likely that any American who’s been paying attention to events surrounding this business in Libya is surprised at the scope creep that is taking place before our eyes. (“Scope creep” describes how a task you’ve agreed to do grows larger once you’re shaken hands and pocketed the check.) First […]

House Republicans’ Full Plate


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson     Here are some of the bills filed since January 5 by members of the new House majority. They’re here to show you, as if you didn’t already know, where their heads are. (This is not meant as snark, honestly.) H.R. 1 – Reserved for the Speaker. By tradition H.R. 1 is […]

Senate Rules Still Pending


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson As expected, a group of Democratic Senators has introduced amendments to the Senate rules that would, if adopted, put an end to the power of a single senator to delay or outright block a vote on a Presidential nomination or proposed legislation. More proposals, and modifications of the proposals set out […]

New Session, New Rules — Part 2


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson  On Wednesday, when the Senate convenes for its first session of the 112th Congress, Democrats intend to modify two rules that have allowed a small minority to virtually paralyze the chamber for the past two years. The two rules are not new; what’s new is the attitude of the Republican caucus. […]


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