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Democrats Blaming Southerland For Farm Bill Failure

Democrats are blaming Florida Congressman Steve Southerland for the failure of a bill renewing subsidies to farmers and food vouchers for the poor.

Southerland’s amendment requiring recipients to show their looking for work, helped tank the bill when it came up for a full House vote. In a conference call, Jackson County Commissioner Jeremy Branch accused Southerland of making a political statement in a typically, a-political bill:

“This is obviously a Tea Party issue," said Branch, who lives in Southerland's district. "Tight scrutiny of aid to the poor is obviously a platform of the Tea Party, and Southerland was a Tea Party Candidate. I’m quite sure he feels he owes his seat to the Tea Party and what they stand for.”    

The work requirement is also a part of Florida’s unemployment system, a change championed by Governor Rick Scott.  Some Congressional Democrats also withheld their support for the Farm Bill because it cuts financing for the food stamp program.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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