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« Strategy Memo: Edwards Returns | Blog Home Page | OH AG Steps Down »

Farm Bill A Sign?

Despite a presidential promise to veto the measure, the House yesterday passed a conference report compromise on the massive $307 billion farm bill. The margin by which the measure passed was enormous; 100 Republicans voted against their party, for a total of 318 ayes, a veto-proof majority. Just fifteen Democrats voted against the measure.

That whole-sale abandonment of the party, Politico's David Rogers writes, could be trouble for Minority Leader John Boehner moving forward. While the GOP chief did not try to whip his party in line on the farm bill, future defections could hamstring the party's efforts to wound rival Democrats.

If Boehner loses control of his caucus, and if Republicans start thinking only voting with Democrats will save them, President Bush could face a very difficult final seven months of his term. The president has issued veto threats on bills ranging from the State Children's Health Insurance Program to measures relating to the war in Iraq, and if Democrats start recruiting Republican support, he could lose more battles in the future.