Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Farm Bill is a contentious topic in key Senate races in some major agricultural states

As political races begin to heat up, a major issue cropping up in key Senate races in largely agriculture states is the Farm Bill, Kristina Peterson reports for The Wall Street Journal. Republicans and Democrats on either side of the fence concerning the bill's merits are using it as a launching pad to promote their own campaigns while also using the bill as fuel to fire their criticism against their opponents.

"Because it was a compromise, the measure remains a target for critics, including conservatives who contend it is too expensive and liberals who say it curbs food-stamp funding too much," Peterson writes. "Incumbents who voted for it point to it as a major legislative achievement at a time when Congress is criticized for partisan gridlock. Many Democrats are touting the law, seizing the chance to pummel conservatives who oppose it—positions many took during their primary campaigns."

"Democrats in . . . this year's tight contest to determine control of the Senate are highlighting their support for the bill while many GOP candidates are saying Congress missed an opportunity to overhaul costly food-stamp and farm programs," Peterson writes.

"Not all GOP candidates are working to distance themselves from the farm bill," Peterson writes. "In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who easily defeated a primary challenger, has trumpeted his role helping to get a pilot program for hemp growers included in the bill. Meanwhile, his Democratic rival, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, has faulted Mr. McConnell's agriculture record, emphasizing that the Farm Bill technically expired under his leadership before a new deal was reached." (Read more)

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