A Legislative Proposal That Was Probably One of the Worst Ever
Normally when the Republican controlled House blocks legislation the nation suffers, but in the case of the Senate passed 10 year Farm Bill, rejection by the House was just a huge plus for the American people This bill was one of the worst ever considered in Washington, and its defeat will hopefully mean that real farm reform legislation can take place and that adequate funding for nutrition needs can be provided.
Why was the bill so bad? Consider these things.
The House bill would have cut projected spending in farm and nutrition programs by nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years. Just over half, $20.5 billion, would have come from cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. The House bill, like the Senate’s version, would have eliminated $5 billion a year in direct payments to farmers, which are made annually whether or not they grow crops.
Billions of dollars saved by eliminating the payments would be directed into a $9 billion crop insurance program. New subsidies would be created for peanut, cotton and rice farmers. Lawmakers left intact the sugar program, keeping price supports and restrictions on imports.
The subsidies for crop insurance would have meant billions going to very wealthy farmers, and little benefit for the so-called family farms, many of which no longer exist. Subsidies for various crops, all supported by so-called Conservatives would have remained in place and nutrition assistance in the form of food stamps for those who literally cannot afford to buy enough to eat would have been drastically cut.
No one is sure what will happen as current farm legislation expires. But whatever happens it is hard to see how it could be worse than what the Senate passed and the House rejected.
Thanks Republicans, sometimes you help the nation in spite of yourselves.