Mark Sanford: Increase Transparency, Reduce Costs
Last week, the failure of the trillion dollar food stamp and farm bill on the House floor grabbed major headlines, and understandably so. It was a terrible piece of legislation. Though in many ways this bill was irredeemable, insofar as it failed to separate the unholy alliance between food stamps and farm policy, even efforts to improve the bill were blocked by lawmakers eager to please the Washington Establishment and maintain the status quo of unnecessary farm subsidies.
For example, the House narrowly defeated the Kind amendment, which was designed to limit premium subsides to those producers with an adjusted gross income under $250,000 and limits per person premium subsidies to $50,000 and which we included as a vote on our legislative scorecard.
The reforms proposed in the bill for food stamps are limited. Even worse, some of the substantive amendments to this bill, that would have improved it, failed narrowly. Take the Kind amendment, which would have increased the transparency of the crop subsidy program and reduced the overall cost of the program to taxpayers, which lost by a handful of votes, though it would have done nothing more than limit payments to farmers making over $250,000.
As we’ve said, the Kind amendment would have introduced transparency into the crop insurance program and reduced the overall cost to taxpayers. Fortunately, the defeat of the overall bill gives conservatives a chance to make real changes and lawmakers a chance to finally hear the voices of Americans who are tired of government waste.