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Ryan Nomination Sinks Farm Bill and Noem, Boosts Varilek?

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: Administration can'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. That'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. Let's help farmers, ranchers and business owners recover. Let's make sure that families who already stretch their budgets to the limit don'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 is 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 whom you've run from before and must run from now to survive?


  1. Dougal 2012.08.11

    This was a dumb pick. If you're looking at retirement in the next several years, Romney just gave you an urgent reason to vote against him. Older voters always vote and don't need GOTV calls to show up. This year, they'll be running, not walking, to the polls.

  2. Michael Black 2012.08.11

    So what happens when the current farm bill expires?

  3. mike 2012.08.11

    Does the farm bill become a major issue in farm states because of this pick?

    I'm a huge Ryan supporter. If Noem were half the person Ryan is she'd get my vote again.

  4. Mark O'Loughlen 2012.08.11

    If the current Farm Bill expires then the last permanent law, passed in 1949, will go in effect. That would be the year the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers for the World Series.

  5. larry kurtz 2012.08.11

    Noem: Member Insurance Likely Flip-flopping.

  6. Bill Fleming 2012.08.11

    I think it's important to keep our eye on the ball about Romney's integrity. He's using Ryan as a tool here, I think (okay, a willing tool, but a tool regardless). By choosing the most high drama running mate in the field, he's hoping people will stop talking about his taxes and his ruthless business practices. Dems should keep the pressure on. Ryan is not the candidate, Romney is.

    The proposal is on the table that Romney didn't pay any taxes for 10 years. It was read into the Congressional record from the Senate floor by the majority leader. There is a Senator, known for his integrity (John McCain) who knows whether what Reid is saying is true or not. McCain's silence speaks volumes. Someone is lying. Is it Reid? Or the person who told Reid? Or the person who wants to have you trust him and elect him president?

    Keep the pressure on. I'm just sayin'.

  7. larry kurtz 2012.08.11

    Your sentiments are echoed all over the Dem twitterverse, Bill: Romney/Ryan reeks!

  8. larry kurtz 2012.08.11

    @billmaher: But thanks Mitt for not announcing VP till this week when I go back on the air - c u and ur boyfriend Friday night!

  9. moses 2012.08.11

    Thank you Mitt four mor years.

  10. moses 2012.08.11

    Could have been worse couls have picked Thune.

  11. mike 2012.08.11

    Great post Cory!

  12. Dougal 2012.08.11

    Bill - Willing tool: Is that the same as Sibby's "useful idiot?"

    You're right that the focus should and will be on Romney and his tax/Bain scandals. It's shocking Willard made the announcement on a Saturday during Olympic. If he had hoped the announcement would be a distraction from Bain and his tax dodges, he guessed wrong.

    Why not wait until Monday noon and control the narrative for a week or more?

  13. Michael Black 2012.08.11

    It appears that we should ready ourselves for whatever the 1949 law contained. Any arguing here is not going to affect anyone in Washington. They may care but not all of them enough to compromise with the other party.

  14. Taunia 2012.08.11

    I searched in vain for an answer to that until early this morning, Dougal. It makes no sense, unless Romney isn't very proud of or encouraged by his choice. A late Friday news dump.

  15. larry kurtz 2012.08.11

    Pussy Ryan: new anti-Russia band.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.08.11

    Larry, I was about to switch on the Kurtz-cleaner... but ah! that mushroom-powered wit wins! Well played, comrade! And Free Pussy Riot so they can crash the Republican National Convention!

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.08.11

    Bill, good advice: Romney is still the big fish, and his tax story still matters. Would McCain ever spill the beans?

    But Bill, I share Dougal's and Taunia's puzzlement at announcing such big, narrative-changing news in the slowest period of the news cycle, against competition with the closing days of the Olympics. Why not wait until Monday or Tuesday when everyone is back from the lake?

  18. larry kurtz 2012.08.11

    Shoplifted it from Wait, wait....

  19. MJL 2012.08.11

    I have to disagree about the timing. By posting it today, Mitt got to interrupt the olympics several times and get people that don't follow politics hearing his name and running mate (but no real analysis). My mother had the Olympics on and said, oh there is the news about the announcement. Who is Paul Ryan?

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.08.11

    "Who is John Galt?" MJL, you clever devil.

    Are the folks who watch the Olympics not going to be watching TV Tuesday? The timing feels more like the same PR bumbling Team Romney has been demonstrating all campaign.

    But I wonder how Noem feels about supporting Romney now, with Romney opposing her stand on the production tax credit for wind power and with Ryan standing between her and her only possible claim to legislative relevance.

  21. 196thlightinfantry 2012.08.11

    Of course, as I do not trust the lot of them, I ask this. If the Farm Bill fails, and we are in drought conditions with crops marginal at best, what happens to the small farmer and rancher? The 50 and 75,000.00 per year operator? It does not take me too long to figure that with the land assessments going up, that means taxes will too, so how will they make their ends meet?

    It looks to me like some operators may be forced to sell and there is always a corporate interest in seeing that happen. I know that I may be crazy to think that a group of Republican's could even conceive that idea, but then I look around and see ALEC right here in South Dakota! We are already a redstate, why are they here unless they want something, conservatories are out with this crew, so it looks like a land grab. What do you think?

  22. Jana 2012.08.12

    Spent the day at the fair and overheard some 70 something gentlemen sharing a little disgust with Washington on the farm bill and the uncertainty of Medicare...they sounded betrayed.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.08.12

    196th, good point about the increases in land assessments under the new ag potential-income tax (for the umpteenth time: wouldn't it be fairer to tax farmers based on their actual income instead of the income statisticians think they could make?). Lake County is jacking cropland valuations by 20% and non-crop ag land by 25%. That increase can't redound well on the folks who passed this new tax system.

    Do you know who was on the 2008 interim committee that put together the nuts and bolts of the new ag assessment system? Kristi Noem. Do you know who co-sponsored and voted for that bill? Kristi Noem.

    I wonder if Kristi has some magic plan to use the Farm Bill to undo the tax increases she brought to her fellow farmers in 2008.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.08.12

    Jana: disgust on Farm Bill + concern about Medicare = Varilek 52%, Noem 48%? (Someone, please tell me Team Varilek is preparing an ad showing Noem and Ryan side by side right now!!!)

  25. Jana 2012.08.13

    Maybe the older gentlemen at the fair had read this story in Agweek.

    “The process outlined by the House Republican budget all but guarantees there will be no farm bill this year,”

    “The Ryan budget proposes significant cuts in the farm safety net and conservation programs, and slashes spending on nutrition programs that provide food for millions of Americans,” Peterson said.

    “It is appalling that in an attempt to avoid defense cuts the Republican leadership has elected to leave farmers and hungry families hurting,” he said. “We need to get our spending under control and agriculture has shown that we can do our part but all other sectors of our economy need to do so as well. To do otherwise is irresponsible.”

  26. Jana 2012.08.13

    From the same article:

    “Leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees had agreed to cut $23 billion in agriculture, conservation and nutrition program funding in the new farm bill to assist with deficit reduction,” Conrad said. “However, the House Republican proposal calls for about $180 billion in cuts to farm bill programs, including $31 billion to commodity and crop insurance programs, $133.5 billion to nutrition assistance programs, and about $16 billion to conservation programs.”

    Does anyone have any idea how much this would take out of South Dakota's economy? Keep in mind, 16 cents of every nutrition assistance dollar goes to the farmer.

    I suppose we could ask Kristi Noem at her next town hall meeting...wait?...what?

    Of course Matt Varilek's team probably knows.

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