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Jonathan Bernstein

Farm Bill Proves Politics Isn't Dead. Yet.

Almost everything in Washington has broken down. Except the food stamps for farm subsidies deal the House just passed.

After all the talk about how Congress can't do anything, Congress actually did something today: The House passed a Farm Bill. A real one (Brad Plumer describes the main provisions here), that comes out of an actual functioning conference committee, and will become law after the Senate votes for it and the president signs it. Just the way Congress is supposed to work!

Well, sort of. The bill is two years overdue, and had to go through a lot of convoluted hoops in order to get through the Tea-Party-dominated House. The original House effort last year failed because it was too draconian for Democrats and not draconian enough for some Republicans, who successfully demanded breaking the bill into two separate bills, with one containing steep cuts in food stamps.