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The Senate began its process of amending the farm bill this afternoon.  Fom what I can tell from the Senate website, as of now, three amendments have received a vote so far:

Sen. Maria Cantwell's (D-WA) amendment "to allow Indian tribes to participate in certain soil and water conservation programs" passed 87-8.  The eight "No" votes were all Republicans: John Cornyn (TX), Ted Cruz (TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mike Lee (R-WY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

Sen. Pat Roberts's (R-KS) amendment to cut an additional $12 billion from the supplemental food assistance program (SNAP, or food stamps) failed 40-58.  Three Republicans broke party lines against it:  Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Roger Wicker (MS).

However, the amendment on which I would like to focus attention here is that of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).  Gillibrand proposed to restore the $4 billion that the current farm bill--designed by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Thad Cochran (R-MS)--cuts from SNAP (Supplemental Food Assistance, known as food stamps--as I indicated above) and to offset this restored funding with a limitation on crop insurance reimbursements. Our current crop insurance subsidies benefit large farms at the expense of smaller ones and are one of the many glaring manifestations of corporate welfare that Congress never fixes.  Gillibrand's amendment would, in essence, cut corporate welfare spending to restore social welfare spending.  Did this progressive proposal pass?  Not even close.  It failed 26-70:  not even a majority of Democrats voted for it.

Which Democrats voted against restoring food stamps--voting against veterans, children, seniors, and struggling to get by?

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

I was shocked to see Al Franken on that list, but I'd guess it's because he's from a big agricultural state.

Now, on the positive side, who were the 26 that voted for Gillibrand's amendment?

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Sen. Sherod Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA)
Sen. Mo Cowan (D-MA)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Originally posted to Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees on Tue May 21, 2013 at 03:29 PM PDT.

Also republished by Hunger in America.

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