WASHINGTON – House leaders failed to garner enough support to pass their version of the 2018 farm bill. The following is a statement from Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber in response to the failed House bill, H.R. 2, the Food and Agriculture Act of 2018.
The failure of the House farm bill may be bad news for corporate farms but it’s terrific news for taxpayers, family farmers and public health. Rather than provide farmers with a fiscally responsible safety net to weather the ups and downs of agriculture, H.R. 2 would have created new loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, and provided subsidies to distant relatives – regardless of whether they live or work on the farm. Since House leaders blocked meaningful debate, members of Congress were denied the opportunity to consider even modest reform amendments that would simply ensure farm subsidies flow to farmers who actually live and work on the farm, and who have not already earned millions in the marketplace.
H.R. 2 also posed grave risks to public health. In particular, the bill would have cut conservation spending by nearly $1 billion, created new pesticide safety loopholes, slashed programs that promote healthy diets, and blocked states from protecting public health. H.R. 2 also placed unworkable new restrictions on anti-hunger programs. As a result, this bill would have denied millions of hungry Americans – including children, veterans and the elderly – access to food for purely ideological reasons.
Congress was right to reject the House farm bill.