Letter: Oppose the House Farm Bill Draft
Today, a coalition of conservative organizations, including Heritage Action, sent a letter to the House Agriculture Committee asking them to oppose the draft farm bill. The groups oppose the farm bill because it fails to rein in wasteful agriculture subsidy programs, creates new crop insurance entitlement programs, and continues Washington’s “outsized and outdated” role in the agriculture industry:
“Rather than reform, as the bill’s title implies, the Committee’s draft Farm Bill reinforces the heavy federal and taxpayer role in the farm economy. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the bill would save $35 billion over ten years compared to the ten-year baseline of $992 billion. The Committee shaved off a 3.6 percent whisker of spending from a bill that is 60 percent larger than the last Farm Bill.
“The simple fact is that if the Committee only eliminated the egregious direct payment program and did nothing else, the bill would save $45 billion, $10 billion more than the current estimated savings.
“Instead of reining in the heavily subsidized crop insurance program, the draft bill actually expands it. Already the single largest federal agriculture subsidy, crop insurance cost taxpayers more than $11 billion last year. Out of every dollar of premiums that are paid, taxpayers kick in 62 cents to producers’ 38 cents. Administration and overhead costs of the crop insurance companies are also paid by taxpayers. Rather than reform and reduce the subsidies to the out of control crop insurance program, FARRM increases spending by $10 billion, to $100 billion over the next 10 years. That’s even $5 billion more than the fiscally irresponsible Senate passed bill.
“Since America’s agricultural economy is strong, now is the time to roll back the wasteful and unnecessary taxpayer subsidies. This strength and the glaring weakness of the federal budget – $15 trillion in debt and trillion dollar deficits for the next decade – make it essential that Washington’s role in agricultural policy be reduced. FARRM does the exact opposite. The House of Representatives must lead a full and open legislative debate on the Farm Bill reauthorization. Taxpayers can afford nothing less.”
You can read the full letter here.