Schwartz votes for farm bill supported by Gov. Corbett and GOP majority

Posted: February 07, 2014

THE COMMON political theory: Gov. Corbett and his Republican allies are pulling for U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz to win the Democratic nomination to face him in the Nov. 4 general election.

The thinking: Corbett stands a good chance to defeat Schwartz, so the Republicans mostly ignore the six other Democrats in the May 20 primary election.

The problem: That led the Republican Governors Association, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to paint itself into an odd political corner yesterday.

The RGA went after Schwartz for her vote last week to approve the federal farm bill.

Two things:

A majority of Republicans, who control the U.S. House, also voted to approve the legislation. And Corbett - the very guy the RGA was trying to help by knocking Schwartz - on Tuesday asked President Obama to sign the farm bill into law.

The RGA emailed reporters yesterday with this headline:

"Already unaffordable home heating oil to get a tax hike thanks to Allyson Schwartz."

The group cited a Washington Times story about a two-tenths-of-a-cent-per-gallon fee in the bill.

The bill, also known as the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, passed the House by a vote of 251-166 with 14 members not voting. Republicans supported it 162-63. Democrats opposed it 103-89.

Suburban Republican Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick and Pat Meehan voted for the legislation. Philadelphia Democratic Reps. Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah voted against it.

The RGA called Schwartz's vote "shocking," but the group did not seem dismayed by the votes of Fitzpatrick and Meehan.

RGA communications director Gail Gitcho, when asked about the disparity in her group's reaction to the vote, replied that "this is not about the GOP members. This is about Schwartz, who is running for governor."

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN


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