Policy Plate BLOG
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Fincher’s At It Again
EWG’s Jason Rano writes about Rep. Stephen Fincher’s (R-Tenn.) latest claim about his support for ending direct payments- and how Fincher might just want to keep his mouth closed at this point.
At some point Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) might just want to stop talking about the farm bill and his support for ending the direct payment program (which doesn’t actually end for cotton farmers like him) and how much he supports “reform.” Especially in light of the millions of taxpayer dollars he has personally collected and his virulent opposition to the nutrition assistance program known as SNAP. Until he does though, it seems like he can’t stop putting his foot in his mouth…
“As I’ve long said, the farm bill is in need of major reform. At first chance, I voted to remove direct payments. Both the House and the Senate passed bills that end direct payments, and as we move forward, I hope we can work out the rest of the issues to implement the necessary reforms.”
Yet three times – once in committee and twice on the House floor – what Fincher voted for was a farm bill that, contrary to what he and others have said, actually extends direct payments for cotton growers for an extra two years. It also creates a cotton-only crop insurance program called STAX. Unlike the crop insurance program for other commodities, in which taxpayers subsidize an average of 62 percent of farmers’ premiums, taxpayers would pick up a full 80 percent of the premiums for cotton farmers. The two-year extension of direct payments for cotton would cost taxpayers $823 million.
Read the full story here.
The Julesburg Advocate on the number of acres the USDA will accept into the Conservation Reserve Program, and how beneficial the program has been for the environment in recent years.
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