Obama Ties Ryan to Farm Bill Stalled in Congress, Romney to the Rich

Photograph by Damon Winter/The New York Times via Redux

President Barack Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, third from left, with the McIntosh family during a stop at their farm to speak about the drought in Missouri Valley, Iowa, on Aug. 13, 2012.

President Barack Obama campaigned in Council Bluffs, Iowa, today with a little pop at his Republican rivals.

”Too many members of Congress” are standing in the way of a farm bill, Obama said, noting that Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, is visiting the Iowa State Fair today.

“He is one of the leaders in Congress standing in the way,” the president said of Ryan, who is chairman of the House Budget Committee.

The Republican-run House has passed a $383 million emergency relief package for livestock producers affected by the worst drought in almost a half-century as Republicans and Democrats complained about inaction on a broader farm bill that would help more farmers and ranchers.

House Republican leaders pushed the stand-alone drought relief bill, which passed on a 223-197 vote, because they don’t have enough support to advance a five-year farm bill approved July 12 by the House Agriculture Committee.

The Democratic-run Senate wouldn’t pass the drought measure before leaving Washington for its August recess.

The farm bill’s difficulties in the House resemble those House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio encountered when he tried to pass a transportation and highway measure, Bloomberg’s Jim Rowley and Derek Wallbank have reported. The measure languished for months because of opposition among Republican members and never came to a House vote.

One big difference: Boehner favored the House highway measure. The Ohio Republican said the farm bill perpetuates a “Soviet-style” dairy subsidy and “would actually make it worse.”

”What’s holding us back right now is Washington politics,” Obama told his Iowa audience. “You’ve got folks who think compromise is a dirty word.”

This weekend, he said, Romney chose “the ideological leader” of the Republicans in Congress for a running mate.

Obama launched from here into an assault on Romney’s economic plans, including tax cuts for wealthier Americans as well as other.

“They have tried to sell us this trickle-down theory before, and every time they have tried it it has not worked,” Obama said. “We do not need tax cuts for millionaires.

“Your taxes are lower since I’ve been president,” Obama said. “I want to keep your taxes right where they are.”

It’s households earning more than $250,00 a year for whom he wants to raise taxes.

Romney has touted his experience in the private sector, Obama said of the former Bain Capital chief executive. A lot of that experience, Obama said, was investing in companies termed “pioneers in out-sourcing.”

Romney wants to end tax credits for wind-energy producers, Obama said in a state where wind energy is popular. The industry supports about 7,000 jobs in Iowa, the president said.

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