RUBIO STALLS SENATE’S FARM BILL — Senate leaders wanted to hold a floor vote on the farm bill this week before lawmakers head home for Fourth of July recess. But that plan is in jeopardy now as farm-state lawmakers scramble to resolve Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) demand for the chamber to strike a provision that would allow USDA funding for foreign market development programs to be spent in Cuba — or until they adopt his proposal to ban taxpayer dollars from being spent on businesses owned by the Cuban military. Without a win on either front, Rubio has threatened to block any new amendments to the bill.
I have decided to block the addition of any new amendments to #FarmBill until they either accept the Cruz amendment striking the use of taxpayer $ for promotions in #Cuba or they accept my amendment that prohibits taxpayer $ being spent at business owned by Cuban military
“[N]o votes on standalone amendments are expected to be held until Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) can reach an agreement with Rubio, as well as fellow Cuba hard-liners Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas),” Liz Crampton and Catherine Boudreau report. “Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), both of whom support efforts to change U.S. economic policy in relation to Cuba, are also involved in talks to break the impasse.”