Democratic House candidates across the country are using the failure of the Republican-controlled House to pass a new farm bill to turn up the heat on their GOP opponents as they try to attract swinger voters who could make the difference on election day.
According to the Des Moines Register
, the farm bill, which expires on Sept. 30., "has increasingly become an influential factor in election races," particularly in rural areas in the Midwest where Democrats are hoping to pick up seats that could help them retake the House.
Some of the states being targeted include Iowa, South Dakota, Illinois, and Wisconsin and Colorado, considered two important battleground states in the presidential race. The Democrats are also looking to take advantage of the farm bill in their effort to pick up Senate seats in Montana, North Dakota, and Indiana, the Register reported Monday.
"Republicans are failing farmers and ranchers by blocking the farm bill, and it will have a big effect in House races across the country," Stephen Carter, a Midwest press spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Register.
Referring to the decision by GOP leaders not to bring the bill to the floor for a vote because of opposition from many of its own members, Carter said, “Voters now have proof that Republicans are choosing their Washington leadership and the tea party over farmers and ranchers in their home states."
Even Republicans who are farm bill supporters are being blasted for not doing more to force a vote. In Iowa, for example, GOP Rep. Steve King is under attack from Democratic challenger Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Iowa governor, now Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, for being the only member of the Iowa delegation not to sign a petition to force GOP leaders to hold a vote on the bill.
King told the Register, "My leadership on the farm bill is clear. He added that he won't be "intimidated by political accusations."
"People know me well enough, and they have to be able to see right through it. And I think they will," he said.
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