Policy Plate: The Farm Lobby’s Latest Scheme
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was right to put the fatally flawed House Agriculture Committee farm bill out to pasture, writes Environmental Working Group’s Scott Faber in EWG’s latest AgMag post.
Earlier this month, Faber explained why the committee’s bill was bad for family farmers, the environment, hungry children and taxpayers. And this week, chef Mario Batali, author Michael Pollan and more than 60 other top chefs and food and health experts wrote that the bill “would steer the next five years of national food and agriculture policy in the wrong direction.”
Now, Speaker Boehner needs to emphatically reject efforts by some farm lobbyists and their allies in Congress to reconcile a simple one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill with the Senate’s recently passed version – bypassing entirely a full and fair debate on the floor of the House.
As yesterday’s Policy Plate pointed out, this latest scheme advanced by the farm lobby would deny subsidy reform champions in the House their chance to offer long-overdue reform amendments to improve conservation and reduce crop insurance subsidies, which by one estimate could cost taxpayers $40 billion as a result of the drought. Congressional rules would not allow any amendments to the farm bill if the two Agriculture Committees agree on final language in a closed House-Senate conference.
A Chicago Tribune editorial criticizes Congress for “turning a once-modest program known as crop insurance into a bloated monster.”
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