Holy Cow Manure! Farm Bill Dies | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Holy Cow Manure! Farm Bill Dies

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334
June 20, 2013Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, better known as the 2013 Farm Bill, failed in the House by a vote of 195-234.  Good riddance. 

In a city known for catering to the whims of well-heeled special interest groups, the Farm Bill consistently manages to stand out for its parochialism, log-rolling, and corporate welfare.  Further, the process of including funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps and currently 85 percent of all Farm Bill funds, has created an unholy coalition of urban representatives, who support food stamps, and rural representatives who support commodity programs.  That alliance broke down this afternoon, resulting in an extremely rare Farm Bill failure, one that represents a major victory for taxpayers and consumers. 

The list of harmful policies that would have been extended under a new Farm Bill would be impressive if it were not so malignant.  Had the bill passed, the existing sugar commodity support program, which enriches a tiny number of sugar processors at the expense of consumers and sugar-containing product manufacturers, would have remained entirely intact.  Similarly, the Market Access Program, which literally pays for commodity producers to market their wares overseas and is currently paying for a reality television fashion show in India, would have survived unchanged.  On crop insurance, the single-largest subsidy of the entire Farm Bill, the egregious status quo would have been renewed for another five years after a modest amendment to prevent farms with adjusted gross incomes of more than $250,000 from purchasing subsidized insurance failed.    

“In today’s climate of slow job growth and fiscal constraint, programs that are regressive, kill jobs, and cost taxpayers money should be first to go,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz.  “The Farm Bill is brimming with such programs.  Special interests in agriculture have been coddled for far too long, and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste plans to take full advantage of today’s vote in order to redouble our efforts to defend the taxpayers’ interests and hold those lawmakers who would block reform accountable.” 

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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