POLITICS
07/14/2013 10:54 am ET

Steve King On Farm Bill: Scaled-Back Legislation Was 'Politicized' (VIDEO)

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Sunday he opposed passing farm legislation that did not include food stamps alongside agriculture subsidies, saying the move "politicized" the farm bill.

King also said the move "was characterized by the Congressional Black Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus on Thursday in the wrong fashion" during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

Members of the CBC took to the House floor Thursday to slam Republicans for dropping a section of the farm bill that dealt with food stamps.

“Mitt Romney was right: You all do not care about the 47 percent,” Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) said. “Shame on you.”

King said the CBC was wrong to characterize the split that way, but still said he opposed the move because he wants to reform the legislation.

"I opposed splitting them because it takes out of our hands the ability to reform the SNAP program, the food stamp program and goes into perpetual motion, mandatory spending sort of a situation," King said.

"In the end, I wish we hadn't separated them because it politicized the farm bill for the first time in a long, long time," King continued.

HuffPost's Arthur Delaney reported earlier on the House's passage of the farm bill:

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed farm legislation that, for the first time in 50 years, did not include food stamps alongside agriculture subsidies.

Conservatives inside and outside Congress had pushed to separate farm policy from nutrition assistance -- but liberals should be glad about what's happened, at least according to Oklahoma congressman Frank Lucas.

"If you're a true liberal and you want to protect the [food stamps] program from any reform whatsoever, I suppose you'd be smiling," Lucas, the Republican chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, told HuffPost on Thursday morning ahead of the vote.

Republican House leaders tore the farm bill in two after unified legislation failed in a surprising vote last month. Democrats had bolted from the measure because Republican cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program went too far. At the same time, the cuts didn't go far enough for the House GOP, which will probably try to pass a standalone food stamps bill that is even harsher -- one that the Democratic-controlled Senate could easily reject.

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