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POLS UPDATE: On Thursday Republican House Speaker John Boehner announced that there will be no attempt to pass a farm bill before the November elections.
Like most people, you probably don’t expect the House to do much of anything, but what makes this story problematic is that it counteracts Scott Tipton’s argument for withdrawing his support for a measure that would have put a Farm Bill on the House floor.
Either Tipton was lying when he said he pulled his support because he was told that there would be action on a Farm Bill “soon,” or Boehner just kicked him and his re-election campaign right in the ass.
Congressman Scott Tipton has ‘abruptly’ withdrawn his support for a ‘discharge petition’ that would have forced Floor action on the stalled Farm Bill, although he regularly professes support for the legislation when he is out stumping in his largely rural district.
Numerous sources, including The Hill are reporting:
After supporting a discharge petition aimed at bypassing the GOP’s control of the House schedule, Reps. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) on Friday abruptly withdrew their signatures.
Should the petition attract 218 signatures, the farm bill would come to the floor later this year. While that is highly unlikely, it is clear that GOP leaders view the possibility of mounting support for action on the farm measure as a political problem.
Tipton, who is in a competitive reelection race, and Ellmers on Friday walked to the well of the House floor and signed their names on the discharge petition.
Later on Friday, the freshman members returned to the same spot to strike their names.
Rep. Tipton on the stump supports Colorado farmers, and the Farm Bill, at least when he’s talking to them anyhow.
So what prompted Tipton to jettison the rural communities of Western Colorado and the San Luis Valley, at the last minute in spite of numerous promises otherwise, even as the Congressional calendar ticks down? Follow me, readers, after the fold to see how Washington DC special interests won the day when Rep. Tipton had to choose between cash-flush lobbyists and Colorado constituents.
Congressman Scott Tipton regularly talks up the importance of the Farm Bill when he is out and about his sprawling rural district. Suddenly however when push came to shove and leadership was needed Congressman Tipton turned tail.
Was it that ideologues threatened to extract political pain from any who dare stray from their orthodoxy?
It does so happen that in the intervening hours between signature and striking it the Club for Growth sent this out:
KEY VOTE ALERT
Opposing Discharge Petition No. 0005 on the Farm Bill
The Club for Growth strongly opposes Discharge Petition No. 0005 that would force floor consideration of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 (HR 6083), otherwise known as the farm bill.
A House member’s signature on this discharge petition, or any similar petition, will count heavily as an anti-growth action on the Club for Growth’s 2012 Congressional Scorecard.
So does that mean that the representative of Colorado’s Third Congressional District–a land spanning many agricultural zones from ranches to orchards to Olathe Sweet Corn and vineyards–no longer supports the Farm Bill as he has been telling farmers and local officials across his District?
Not according to the Congressman’s contortionist, and spokesman, Josh Green who had this explanation, according to the article in The Hill:
Tipton spokesman Josh Green said that his boss made his point with the initial signature, and subsequently heard from leaders of their intention to move a farm measure.
“Congressman Tipton voted for the farm bill in committee and is doing everything he can to push for a floor vote. He added his name to the discharge petition to send a message that we need a farm bill. That message got attention, and shortly after adding his name, leadership assured Congressman Tipton that they would be taking action on the House floor in the near future to provide some certainty for the agriculture community,” Green said.
So, as Congress comes to an end–at least until it reconvenes in its end-of-year Lame Duck–Colorado’s farmers can just wait. Sure, Rep. Tipton says its a priority, but the Club for Growth says he better not. And guess who he listens to?