Ensure Open Process on “Farm-Only” Farm Bill! | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Ensure Open Process on “Farm-Only” Farm Bill!

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334
July 9, 2013Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, joined a coalition of 16 free-market groups in issuing a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).  The letter urges Speaker Boehner to ensure that the Farm Bill that the House is scheduled to consider this week, which is the result of a split of the agricultural and nutritional pieces of the Farm Bill that the House defeated on June 20, be considered in an open process, rather than the rumored closed rule that would prevent amendments.  The letter reads as follows:

“On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the undersigned organizations, we write to commend you for separating the agriculture and nutrition portions of the farm bill and for moving to repeal archaic language that reverts back to 1949 law in the absence of Congressional action. However, we are deeply concerned by reports that agriculture legislation will move in the coming days under a closed rule that will prevent any amendments from being heard.

“The purpose of splitting the agriculture and nutrition pieces was to change the political dynamics that conspire to prevent true reform. If the House pushes through agriculture-only language taken directly from the combined bill that failed on the floor last month without amendment, it will not only fail to change those dynamics, it will actively preserve them.

“In doing so, the Republican-controlled House would be advancing an agriculture bill that is substantially worse on policy grounds than the legislation produced by the Democrat-controlled Senate. For example, the House language includes no means-testing whatsoever for crop insurance while the Senate reduced subsidies for those with incomes over $750,000. In addition, the so-called ‘shallow loss’ programs in the House bill are poorly structured and likely to cost dramatically more than official estimates.

“We urge you to live up to your commitments to robust debate by ensuring that any agriculture or nutrition bill is considered in an open process. A closed rule on farm legislation would run counter to those commitments and produce bad policy.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) 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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