A key House Republican on Tuesday voted to block President Barack Obama’s new rule that would require Americans to get the federal government’s permission to buy pork products.
The measure, the first major pork-buyback measure to come to the House floor since the Sept. 11 attacks, passed 251 to 180, after Democrats and some Republicans voted against it.
It passed the chamber unanimously, with a handful of Republicans, including Sens.
Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and David Cicilline (D), voting against the measure.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) voted against the rule, along with two other GOP members: Reps.
Paul Broun (R) and Dan Webster (R).
House Speaker John Boehner (R), who is also a Republican, was one of the few to vote in favor of the measure and is expected to do so in the coming days.
Republicans say the rule would force businesses to buy federal pork, which would add to the costs of running the federal food stamp program.
Democrats, who are opposed to the rule because it would force companies to spend more on pork, argue that it would boost local farmers and consumers, as well as boost domestic production of pork.
“This is a victory for the American people,” said Rep. Tom McClintock (R, Va.), who introduced the legislation.
“When I came to Congress in 2014, the American public was in deep trouble.
Now they are going to get relief from the president.”
While the new rule was the first of its kind since the 9/11 attacks, Republicans have repeatedly tried to block the measure in the past.
They have said it would impose unnecessary costs on businesses, hurt consumers and could lead to fewer jobs.
The Republican-controlled House voted unanimously in April to prevent the Obama administration from enforcing a law that would allow farmers and others to purchase federal pork.
Democrats have opposed the rule on the grounds that it will increase the cost of buying pork products for the federal program.
“I support the president’s decision to end the pork industry subsidy,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah).
“We must ensure that American farmers and ranchers have the best opportunities to produce, grow and sell the best products for our families and communities.”