Rick Berg’s public position is to ask his leadership to bring the farm bill to the floor for a vote. But the Republican Study Committee (Rick Berg is a voluntary member) is trying to kill it. So is a shadow group called American Commitment that is currently aiding Rick Berg’s campaign by airing attack ads against Heidi Heitkamp.
The truth is, Rick Berg isn’t that interested in moving a farm bill because he either agrees with his conservative support group OR he doesn’t want to vote against his conservative friends. Rick Berg has voted several times on the farm bill already and none of those votes should make farmers very happy. He voted for:
- The Ryan Budget which cut $180 Billion from the farm bill (including $47 Billion from commodity, conservation, and crop insurance),
- A second vote “deeming” the Ryan Budget (including the $180 Billion in farm bill cuts) as official,
- A third vote to cancel Budget Control Act defense reductions, in part, by cutting farm bill nutrition programs by $31 Billion,
Congressman Berg tried to avoid responsibility for the impacts of the Ryan Budget on the farm bill were only suggestions. Yet after several votes whereby his Republican Caucus, and the Republican Study Committee vowed their allegiance to the Ryan Budget, wouldn’t it be fair to conclude that the majority of his caucus members intend to cut programs for farmers, ranchers, and hungry families by something close to the budget document? Clearly, that is the reason Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan is insisting that the farm bill be stopped.
Congressman Jim Jordan, the RSC and his conservative friends believe that if they delay action AND get more people like Rick Berg elected to the Senate, they can substantially increase cuts to farm level programs and nutrition. After all it’s what they voted to do in the Ryan Budget.
If Rick is truly supportive of the farm bill, perhaps he should resign his voluntary membership in the Republican Study Committee and tell American Commitment to stay out of North Dakota politics. If he’d do that, I’d begin to believe he wants a farm bill to pass.
But Rick Berg won’t disavow his friends, because secretly, he’s just like them.
Republican Study Committee (RSC)
- Rick Berg is a proud member of the RSC
- RSC Chairman Jim Jordan R, OH – “key is to stop it (the farm bill) now before it gets to the House floor”