WASHINGTON - First District Rep. Tim Walz shifted his voting pattern on Thursday by vehemently opposing the new Nutrition portion of the federal Farm Bill. He previously voted for the $20 billion in compromise cuts and urged several compromise elements in order to get a bill passed.
Walz, a four-term Democrat from Mankato, called the new cuts "draconian" and called on lawmakers to oppose them.
"[Hardline Republicans] were promised this vote, even though it has no chance of passage [in the Senate]. It's purely to make a statement. Now, we're dangerously close on our time to pass [the farm bill]," said Walz, "Being hungry is not a sin. They had no goal with these cuts. They just voted for this total because they wanted to."
He said the level of the cuts in the new nutrition bill "will take food directly out of the mouths of the hardworking families, senior citizens and veterans," which comprise three-fourths of the food stamp recipients.
In additional to Walz's opposition, he expressed new pessimism on Thursday about whether the farm bill would pass. He noted the Senate would be unlikely to approve the cuts passed by House and will likely return much smaller compromise cuts. He is concerned with the intensity of hardline Republican opposition to smaller cuts.