#FarmBill Conferees Named
UPDATE 10/11/13: The House will be debating the rule for going to conference this afternoon. After the vote on the rule, there will be debate on the motion to go to the conference followed by debate on three motions to instruct. The votes on the motions to instruct will likely take place tomorrow.
A farm bill conference will almost certainly result in agriculture policies that harm taxpayers and consumers because both the House and Senate farm bills contain such flawed policies. Yet, the House has reportedly chosen lawmakers to participate in the farm bill conference with the Senate:
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) 53%
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) 74%
Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) 72%
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) 76%
Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) 75%
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) 52%
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) 67%
Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) 62%
Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) 57%
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) 43%
Rep. Jeffrey Denham (R-CA) 36%
Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL)
The legislation that will result from a conference may make so-called “permanent law” more permanent, meaning reform will be made more difficult in the future.
The legislation would likely create a shallow loss program, which provides payments to farmers when they fall below 88 percent of their expected yields and basically amounts to a blank check.
It would likely make dairy products more expensive for consumers by limiting supply to maintain artificially high prices through various subsidies.
The list of bad policies goes on.
The House and Senate farm bills have not been reformed to reflect the technological capacity or the financial resources of farmers in 2013. As Heritage puts it:
Congress continues to treat agriculture as if it were 1933 instead of 2013. Agriculture is a cutting-edge sector of the economy that continues to innovate and produce more food with fewer resources.
Yet, every five years when the farm bill is up for renewal, many legislators, including those who claim to be pro–free market and limited government, push a farm bill that is a model of central planning.
Combining two bad pieces of legislation will result in one bad piece of legislation, which is why going to conference is so ill advised.