It’s not hard to see the differences between the terrible, partisan House farm bill and the bipartisan Senate farm bill.
Here are eight ways the Senate version – which passed in the Senate yesterday – is better than the House bill:
- Thanks to Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Senate bill finally denies farm subsidies to city slickers. By contrast, the House bill would create new loopholes that allow even more city dwellers to get farm payments.
- The Senate bill also tightens a means test that denies farm subsidies to billionaires. The House bill would make billionaires like Charles Schwab and Paul Allen eligible for farm payments again.
- The Senate bill protects anti-hunger assistance programs. Meanwhile, the House bill would take food off the tables of 2 million people, including children and the elderly.
- The Senate bill also preserves funding for voluntary conservation programs. The House bill cuts conservation programs by nearly $1 billion.
- The Senate bill boosts funding for local food programs. By contrast, the House bill cuts funding for programs that link farmers with local consumers.
- The Senate bill preserves state food laws. The House bill wipes hundreds of state and local food laws off the books, including state laws that help farmers market their goods.
- The Senate bill preserves local pesticide laws. Meanwhile, the House bill would block cities and counties from protecting schoolyards and playgrounds from toxic pesticides.
- The Senate bill also protects drinking water from pesticides. By contrast, the House bill includes riders that would allow farmers to spray pesticides into drinking water sources.
In light of these differences, it’s easy to understand why the House bill passed without any support from Democrats, while the Senate bill passed with 86 votes.