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Black caucus member to GOP: ‘You all do not care about the 47 percent’

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus took to the House floor Thursday to decry the GOP's move to separate food stamps from the Farm Bill, with one of them invoking Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comment.

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

At one point, Republicans objected to Brown's direct attacks, which technically are not allowed on the House floor.

“This is a sad day for the House of Representatives," she said. "Shame on the Republicans."

After she said that, an as-yet-unidentified Republican from Georgia objected, noting that members of the House are not supposed to address each other or launch ad hominem attacks on the floor.

Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), who was sitting in the speaker's chair, asked Brown to cease.

"I am not going to apologize," Brown said.

After some confusion, the request was withdrawn.

Democrats, led by dozens of members of the CBC, have been trying since 9 a.m. Thursday to use procedural tactics to raise points of order and force delays in a final vote.

As lawmakers began debating the rules of debate on the bill, more liberal Democrats and members of the CBC lined up to read similar messages of opposition, saying that the new farm bill “hurts the children of America” or “increases hunger in America.”

“Is this what you call compassionate conservatism?” Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) asked at one point.

CBC member Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said stripping food stamps from farm bill constituted the "ripping apart of our literal hearts.”

Another CBC member, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), mockingly made a parliamentary inquiry, saying he had just obtained a copy of the 600-page bill.

“It appears to have no nutrition title at all; is this a printing error?” Butterfield asked.

His point of order was ignored.

House Democratic aides didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on whether the procedural tactics were being backed by Democratic leaders or how long the attempts to continue delaying a final vote might continue.



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Anne Bartlett · July 11, 2013

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