K street agriculture lobbyists were stunned Thursday by the House defeat of a $940 billion farm bill and were scrambling to figure out their next move.
The bill was widely expected to win approval since it is rare for a bill backed by House leadership to be defeated on the floor. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) even cast a rare vote for the defeated bill.
"We were shocked. We were watching the vote on TV and in the final minutes were saying 'what are they doing? This thing isn't going to pass!' " said one commodity group lobbyist.
"I'm shocked," said another lobbyist. "Our job as agriculture is to go to the House and say Mr. Speaker what is your plan for getting this done?"