farm subsidies

Farm Bill: Dangers of Conference

According to multiple reports, many conservative lawmakers believe they have secured sufficient promises from their Republican leaders to justify a “yes” vote on the revised farm bill (Key Vote: NO).  As a result, many conservatives appear willing to ignore the creation of new permanent farm law (a permanent entitlement to the agricultural community), which is more costly than the Senate-passed policies and those proposed by President Obama.

Regardless of what was promised by House Republican leaders with regard to a conference committee (remember, motions to instruct aren’t actually binding), it is imperative these conservative lawmakers remember what happens in conference committees.  Even during the Bush-era, conference committees did not produce legislation that was more conservative than the legislation sent into the conference.

Not surprisingly, that trend has continued with divided government.

On June 29, 2012, the House voted to approve a conference report on the “surface transportation extension,” which was originally passed by the House on April 18.  The bill that came out of the conference committee was significantly different and contained several unrelated items, including: 1) extension of the student loan interest rate, and 2) a five-year reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. In the House, Democrat support for the conference committee version was unanimous (only 69 supported the original House-passed version), whereas Republican opposition nearly quadrupled. 

We know this farm-only farm bill is headed to a conference with the Senate-passed farm bill.  What we don’t know is what product will emerge from the conference.  If history is any indication, we know the final product will be very appealing to big-government liberals and appalling to conservatives who should be trying to reduce the size and scope of government.  Conservatives are prepared to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Conservatives flirting with revised #FarmBill should understand the dangers of conference.

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With conference committee on #FarmBill, conservatives snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

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13 thoughts on “Farm Bill: Dangers of Conference

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  3. What’s really dumb of the Republicans who voted against it is that many of them are from farm states, and food stamps are 80% of the farm bill. Farmers benefit from the food stamp program as much as the people who get food stamps. So the Republicans voted out of sheer spite – cut off their nose to spite their face. That’s 12th-century wisdom, and still Republicans haven’t learned that lesson. The most famous legend has it that Scottish nuns cut off their noses and upper lips to discourage rape by Viking invaders. It worked – except that the Vikings were so disgusted that they burned the convent to the ground. If only the constituents of these Republicans would do the same. An interesting political example: in 1807 Congress passed the Embargo Act to protest against British and French interference in US shipping. The result was a prohibition of almost all US exports, which kind of screwed the economy. But hey – there’s a principle at stake here, which is that people who can’t afford food should go hungry since they’re poor only because they’re bad people. I guess we should all be glad that Republicans aren’t God.

  4. WHAT EVER YOU DO HOUSE MEMBERS DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER PUTTING FOOD STAMP BACK IN TO THE AG BILL. YOU ALL DID THE RIGHT THING TAKING IT OUT. STAND YOUR GROUND AGAINST THESE UNACCOUNTABLE SENATE MEMBERS.

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