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GOP Wants Ethics Probe Into Farm Bill Glitch

House Republicans are preparing to bring forward a privileged resolution Thursday that calls on the House ethics committee to begin “an immediate investigation into the abuse of power surrounding the inaccuracies in the process and enrollment” of the farm bill.

Additionally, the resolution states that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) and other Democratic leaders “are hereby admonished for their roles in the events surrounding this enrollment error.”

A GOP aide said to expect the resolution to come forward in the middle of the series of votes beginning late Thursday morning.

The farm bill, meanwhile, remains in limbo, with Democratic leaders considering passing multiple bills, including an entire new farm bill as well as a separate bill with only the portion that was not sent to the president. That way, the Senate would have various options on how to proceed.

Pelosi said Thursday the House will give the Senate “every option” for advancing the farm bill, which expires on Friday, given that it could be procedurally difficult for the Senate to take up an entirely new version of the bill.

“We’ll send them Title III and we’ll send them the complete bill,” Pelosi said.

It would take just one Senator — conceivably, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a vocal opponent of the farm bill — to block a unanimous consent agreement to take up the Senate measures and pass them.

For now, the Speaker said she believes the portions of the farm bill that were vetoed and then overridden by the House on Wednesday “have the force of law.”

As it stands, the “farm bill minus Title III would be enacted” if the Senate voted to override the version of the farm bill that the House voted on, Pelosi said.

“I am optimistic … that we can get Title III done,” she said.

Meanwhile, Hoyer on Thursday morning blasted Republican leaders for dragging out the issue and said his phone calls to House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) were not returned.

“At some point in time, America expects us to act like adults,” Hoyer said. “I regret that the Minority Leader has not called me back.”

Asked later why he has not called Hoyer back, Boehner told reporters, “I’m a busy guy.”

Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.

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