7/11/13: The Day Republicans Decided They Wanted MORE Farm Bill Spending Than Obama
Today, House Republicans passed the farm-only farm bill by a vote of 216 to 208. The WHOLE point of separating the farm provisions from the food stamp provisions was to create an opportunity to reform outdated, expensive, and harmful farm programs.
They missed their opportunity. In fact, they made “sneaky changes to the bill text so that some of the costliest and most indefensible programs no longer expire after five years, but live on indefinitely.”
What’s fascinating is that even President Obama wanted to reduce spending on the largest farm program, the crop insurance program, which is made clear by this Heritage graphic.
President Obama is not known for his fiscal responsibility, but even he wanted to see an $11.7 billion cut to these egregious programs. With this vote, the House has gone to the LEFT of Obama and the Senate bill in terms of spending.
Passing this farm bill was a proverbial one-two punch, though. Not only did House Republicans flagrantly support wasteful spending and egregiously outdated programs – they also did it by violating their promise to the American people.
Heritage’s Daren Bakst explains:
the process House Republicans used to get this 600-plus-page bill to the floor in a mere 10 hours essentially violates their own promise to conduct business in an open and transparent manner. They prohibited legislators from introducing amendments. And, they played a game of bait and switch by claiming this bill was the same text from the failed House farm bill of a few weeks ago.
To say it was a missed opportunity is an understatement. The only question now is how bad will the final policy be.