Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Blasts Embarrassing Farm Bill and Rushed Vote | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Blasts Embarrassing Farm Bill and Rushed Vote

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

December 11, 2018
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) condemned the final version of the Farm Bill.  The “compromise” legislation removes nearly every taxpayer reform that was included in previous House and Senate versions.

Worst yet, the Senate was given less than 24 hours to read, digest, and vote on the 807-page bill.

CCAGW President Tom Schatz said in a statement:

“Once again, Congress has produced a Farm Bill that is a disaster for taxpayers.  Throughout the process, there was some hope that meaningful reforms would be included in the conference report.  But, this supposed compromise legislation removed almost every substantive reform that was considered. 

“The Senate version had contained language that would have properly defined who qualified as a farmer, and would have prevented distant relatives of farmers, some whom do not even live on a farm, from receiving farm subsidies.  That provision was stripped out of the bill, as well.  In fact, the final text actually expanded the definition of a farmer, meaning cousins, nieces, and nephews could receive taxpayer subsidies of $125,000 or more per year as long as they claim to have checked in with the farm’s operations at least once a month. 

“The final text also allows many farmers to triple-dip into three separate streams of taxpayer subsidies:  commodity payments, subsidized crop insurance, and a new bailout subsidy for farmers hurt by President Trump’s trade war with China.  In effect, taxpayers would be on the hook three times for a single loss.

“Perhaps worst of all, this is the first Farm Bill since 2002 to not tighten the means test for millionaire farmers.  The final text continues to allow farmers who earn up to $1.8 million to receive taxpayer subsidies.

 “The House version of the Farm bill had included commonsense work requirements for recipients of food stamps.  That provision was stripped out of the bill.  The final Farm Bill actually weakens existing work requirements and will create confusion and uncertainty among the states that manage the program.  House provisions that absurdly survived included funding to study the creation of a commodity promotion board for natural stone products.

 “Overall, this Farm Bill represents the worst of Washington deal-making.  Any semblance of fiscal responsibility was flouted as Congress rushed to enlarge the pork-barrel buffet.  Taxpayers should be outraged at this outcome, and Congress should be embarrassed.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

 

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