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Farm Bill “Reforms” Fall Flat as Crop Subsidies Soar in New Projections

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For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, January 28, 2016

WASHINGTON – Despite promises from Congress that reforms to the farm subsidy program would save taxpayers money, spending on subsidies will soar in the next three years, according to new government spending projections by the Congressional Budget Office.  

EWG’s analysis of the CBO's projections finds that government payments for the two major farm subsidies created under the 2014 Farm Bill – Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage –will cost an additional $8 billion over the next three years. That is 70 percent more than originally estimated by CBO when Congress passed the Farm Bill in January 2014.

By 2023, the Agricultural Risk Coverage program, the biggest spender of the two, will have cost $8.4 billion more than estimated, even after the program is adjusted to reflect lower crop prices.

“What happened to the savings taxpayers were promised?" asked Colin O'Neil, EWG's agriculture policy director. "Despite promises we are now seeing that subsidies in the 2014 Farm Bill will cost much more than advertised. The CBO projections should be a major wake up call that Congress needs to enact meaningful subsidy reform.”

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