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Obama Takes on Ryan Over Farm Bill

Aug 16, 2012

This is an excerpt from Executive Insight Briefing, produced every Thursday by the National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team.

The stalled-out farm bill got some high-level political attention this week, as President Obama jabbed at Republican veep pick Paul Ryan while both campaigned in Iowa this week.

Obama took a swipe at Ryan and his House counterparts in a speech in Council Bluffs for “standing in the way” of a 5-year, $500 billion reauthorization that has already passed the Senate. The current bill expires at the end of September.

Saying he “can’t wait for Congress to do its job,” Obama announced a small-bore initiative in his speech: the purchasing of $150 million worth of meat and fish now, at low prices, with the purpose of freezing it for later.

Ryan did not have anything to say on the farm bill, but a spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner lashed out at the president: "The weak attempt by the White House to manufacture a controversy illustrates the president’s desperation to change the subject to anything other than his failures on jobs and the economy," Kevin Smith told McClatchy.

The House passed $383 million in emergency drought aid just ahead of the August recess, but the Senate has not taken up the matter.


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