Paul Ryan's ascent as VP nominee just made Kristi Noem's life complicated. Follow me here:
President Barack Obama, like Noem's challenger, is calling for fast action on the Farm Bill:
...my Administration canâ€™t do it alone. Congress needs to do its part, too. They need to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to these kinds of disasters, but also makes necessary reforms and gives them some certainty year-round. Thatâ€™s the single best way we can help rural communities right now, and also in the long-term.
So call your Members of Congress, write them an email, and tell them that now is the time to come together and get this done. Too many Americans are suffering right now to let politics get in the way. Letâ€™s help farmers, ranchers and business owners recover. Letâ€™s make sure that families who already stretch their budgets to the limit donâ€™t have to pay more for groceries this fall [President Barack Obama, weekly address, August 11, 2012].
Rep. Paul Ryan doesn't like the Farm Bill. He wants even bigger cuts, not just in food stamps, but in crop insurance and other subsidies to an industry that's enjoying record prices. Rep. Paul Ryan now has the platform of the Presidential campaign from which to directly express his distaste for the Farm Bill.
Result: no action on the Farm Bill until after the election:
If the president is for it, House leaders are going to be even more entrenched against it. Moreover, passing a farm bill would highlight lawmakers approving a measure that the Republican vice presidential nominee has strongly criticized in the past and unsuccessfully tried to change by demanding further program cuts. They simply can't pass a bill that would appear to be an affront to one of their own now running on the presidential ticket [Chris Clayton, "Paul Ryan Nomination Likely Delays Farm Bill," DTN: The Progressive Farmer, August 11, 2012].
Rep. Kristi Noem has made passage of the Farm Bill a signature part of her campaign. Democratic challenger Matt Varilek has landed punches on Noem's ineffectiveness (and absence!) on the Ag Committee and now isÂ making hay of her apparent flip-flop on pushing for action on the Farm Bill as soon as possible. If Noem can't make the Farm Bill happen before the election, her stock takes a huge hit.
So what's it going to be, Kristi? Work bipartisanly with President Obama (and the Senate, which passed a better Farm Bill by a big margin) to get the Farm Bill done, or heel to your House leadership and a VP nominee whomÂ you'veÂ run from beforeÂ and must run from now to survive?