They say history repeats itself. After the U.S. House defeated 198-213, H.R. 2, The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 on May 18 history did repeat itself – albeit with some different nuances when comparing it to the last reauthorization of the Farm Bill in 2014.
Below is a chart listing alphabetically current Republican Members of the U.S. House that cast “No” votes on H.R. 1947, H.R. 2642, the 2013 House-version of the Farm Bill that required two separate votes to pass and H.R. 2, that failed in the U.S. House on Friday, May 18.
An analysis of the chart proves one thing for certain, there are six Republicans that cannot be counted on for their support of a Farm Bill:
Justin Amash, Michigan #3
John Duncan, Tennessee #2
Walter Jones, North Carolina #3
Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey #2
Tom McClintock, California #4
Mark Sanford, South Carolina #1
On May 18 House Leadership and Republican Leaders on the House Committee on Agriculture knew they needed to get to 206 votes for passage of H.R. 2. Six members of their 235-seat majority were absent on Friday. That left them with 229 members present.
But if you subtract the definite Republican “No” votes (above), the number of potential supporting votes moves down to 223.
This chart also indicates there are nine Members who did not support H.R 1947, the Federal Agricultural Reform and Risk Management Act when it was first debated on the House floor in June 2013. It too, fell due to ideological divides between more moderate Republicans and conservatives. Predictably, if just under half of these nine Members do not support H.R. 2 the supporting vote count is now 219.
In addition, leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus warned days before the vote on H.R. 2 that about half of their ~39 member Caucus would not support it.
At best, it is difficult to see how anyone could ascertain there were 200 Republican votes to support H.R. 2 at this time.
The good news is history again will repeat itself and H.R. 2, like the 2013 Farm Bill, will eventually pass the U.S. House. Before adjourning on Friday, May 18 Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) made a motion to reconsider the vote on H.R. 2. It is likely that the vote to reconsider will occur sometime after an agreement is reached on a future vote on immigration reform.
REPUBLICAN HOUSE MEMBERS VOTING “NO” on FARM BILL 2013 and 2018
|Total No Votes||62||12||30|
|H.R. 1947||H.R. 2642||H.R. 2|
|Duncan (TN)||Duncan(TN)||Duncan (TN)|
|Ryan (WI)||Ryan (WI)|
|Smith (NJ)||Smith (NJ)|