Policy Plate: A Trojan Horse More Costly Than TARP
The Environmental Working Group has unmasked the latest scheme to cook up a “new” farm policy that has the worst faults of the old one. In a statement released today, EWG says:
Legislation that costs more than the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP, doesn’t stand a chance in the U.S. House of Representatives. So it is no surprise that some of the same agriculture committee leaders who backed the failed “secret farm bill” gambit in the fall are now backing a new proposal to evade a floor vote by the full House and extend the current farm bill law for a year. The leaders want to use a one-year extension as a pretense to negotiate a five-year farm bill with the Senate, which has already passed its version of the $1 trillion bill.
Environmental Working Group opposes legislative efforts to bypass House debate and a floor vote to jam through a farm bill that is bad for taxpayers and the environment. The scenario would deny the full House the chance to reject setting crop prices in Washington and reform bloated crop insurance subsidies that could cost the taxpayers as much as $40 billion this year – or twice as much as annual crop subsidy payments in their peak year.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) should craft a one-year extension that can’t be used as a Trojan horse and provides relief for our livestock producers who have suffered from the 2012 drought. Speaker Boehner has always voted against bad farm bills — even when he was a member of the House Agriculture Committee. To go along with a plan for backroom negotiations for a new secret farm bill would contradict his commitment to the “honest debate” and “fair and open process.”
Click here to read the latest AgMag post, “One-Year Extension or Trojan Horse?” by EWG’s vice president of government affairs Scott Faber.
A Bloomberg editorial echoes EWG’s stance on the farm bill scheme and calls on House leaders to enact new legislation next year that “brings the same zeal to cutting farm subsidies that they applied to food stamps.”
Gov. Terry Branstad asserts Iowa farmers are in better shape than they were during the farm crisis in the ‘80s and doesn’t expect huge numbers of farmers to lose their land as a result of this year’s drought, according to the Des Moines Register.
The Hill reports that the American Energy Alliance (AEA) is launching radio ads to end wasteful renewable energy subsidies in the farm bill.
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