CCAGW Urges Senate to Oppose the 2018 Farm Bill | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Senate to Oppose the 2018 Farm Bill

December 11, 2018

U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator,

You will soon consider the conference report for H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to oppose this legislation.

To address the concerns of taxpayers and watchdog groups, President Trump and several members of Congress proposed legislation to make commonsense reforms to the 2018 Farm Bill. While most of these fiscally responsible amendments were rejected in favor of maintaining pricey provisions, some favorable reforms did make it to conference. Instead of keeping the few taxpayer-friendly reforms in place, Farm Bill conferees made a bad bill even worse, removing nearly every positive change from the legislation and giving stakeholders less than 24 hours to read, digest, and vote on this 807-page monstrosity.

The Senate version 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 for an expanded definition of a farmer, meaning cousins, nieces, and nephews could now receive taxpayer subsidies of $125,000 or more per year.

The House version of the Farm bill included commonsense work requirements for recipients of food stamps.  That provision was also 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.

This is also 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 2018 Farm Bill is a disingenuous blow to serious-minded reformers, tramples the interests of taxpayers and consumers, and represents the worst of Washington deal-making.

I urge you to oppose the 2018 Farm Bill and all votes for the legislation will be among those considered for CCAGW’s 2018 Congressional Ratings.


Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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