Heritage Action Combats the Gargantuan Farm and Food Stamp Bill with Your Help

The farm bill is a big issue — a $1 trillion issue, to be precise.  This number is difficult to fathom, especially when you put it in the context of our nation’s $16 trillion debt!

Heritage Action has dutifully tracked the farm and food stamp bill, to ensure that lawmakers in Congress do not continue to waste taxpayers’ money and to call for the separation of farm policy from food stamp policy.  For the past forty years, the spending in this bill has done nothing but increase.  And we have had enough of the recklessness.  It’s time for real reform.

Heritage Action, together with your grassroots support, is pushing Congress to bring this spending to a halt at long last.  Take a look at what we’ve accomplished together.

In early August, we called it like we saw it.  The farm bill is no such thing.  The outrageous truth is that 80% of the spending in the farm bill goes toward food stamps.  Heritage Action’s CEO Mike Needham and Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) explained that this type of spending results from an “unholy Washington alliance between rural lawmakers and their urban and suburban colleagues.”

Thanks to our pressure, a matter of days later, we were able to report that Congress was headed into uncharted territory for the farm bill when Congress decided not to take up a one-year extension of the disastrous 2008 farm bill.  We noted:

“The fact that a one-year extension, as opposed to the committee-passed five-year bill, was even on the table is uncharted territory and a significant sign that opposition to Washington’s “business as usual” approach is growing.”

This was truly reason for celebration:

“The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2012 (H.R. 6083) that passed out of the House Agriculture Committee was an atrocious market-distorting welfare bill rife with special interest handouts, price supports, and new shallow loss crop insurance subsidies. The 10-year spending projections of this bill according to CBO was $957 billion—a 60 percent increase from the 2008 bill that passed by the Pelosi-led Congress despite President Bush’s veto.”

Following this victory, we reminded you of the part you play in this important battle and that your calls really do make a difference.  Part of the reason this awful bill did not pass — apart from its painfully clear need of reform — is that representatives from farm districts were getting next to no calls from constituents urging for its passage.  Meanwhile, they heard your voice calling for much needed reforms, not the faux reforms included in the committee-passed bills.

It is clear that you have an impact on whether or not a bill gets passed, and thankfully, the hole in taxpayers’ pockets was not made any larger since the farm and food stamp bill was not reauthorized.  It expired this past weekend.  And the earth did not tilt on its axis!

Heritage Action made it very clear that the sky would not fall as a result of the bill’s expiration, and everything is fine.  The only real, tangible effect is that producers of certain commodities would be uncertain about the size of payments they may receive.  And with farmers earning record profits, this concern is negligible.  Farmers, like any businessperson, should prepare fiscally on their own and accept the kind of responsibility that all other entrepreneurs and businesspeople take on when they run a business.

So despite the dire predictions from select groups of people, the implications of not having a farm bill are largely insignificant.  This is something even Mary Kate Thatcher, the director of congressional affairs for the American Farm Bureau, conceded!  

As we’ve reminded you before, no victory (or defeat) is final in Washington.  There is always work to be done.  So while there is definitely reason to be glad about our shared success, we can’t rest on our laurels.  Lawmakers must always be kept in check so that they are truly serving the peoples’ best interests, not robbing them blind.

Please Share Your Thoughts

13 thoughts on “Heritage Action Combats the Gargantuan Farm and Food Stamp Bill with Your Help

  1. The Farn Bill was originally designed to help farmers stay in business if they had crop
    failures or natural disasters that stoped them for a period of time. But like any government
    program it has grown out of control by corrupt and greed politians who have used to to
    stay in office by “bringing home the pork” to their repective districts. TAX payers paid
    for this and when it was first implemented the idea was a fairly good one sor of like
    flood insurance. But with the greed of politicans who are like hogs at the trough they do
    not comprehend that there is a bottom to the money they keep rooting thru. Now we are
    at the bottom and the TAX payers are still being expected to come up with more money to
    continue these abused and corrupted programs. It would not be quite as bad if the
    money was used as it was originall proposed and all the “extras” were left out. It is
    sort of like bills proposed in Congress and then they tack on all the ridders and extras
    like a car dealer agging bling to a vehicle.

  2. It seems that almost daily we are made aware of another total waste of our money. The pork barrel spending seems at times to be a fiction novel. I wonder how much is actually legal spending? Some of our elected officials need to be given a good dose of reality and be charges with misappropriation of government funds. They have the key to the cash drawer and are lining their pockets and the pockets of their friends and money supporters. The government is not legally allowed to be in the insurance business by the Constitution! If farmers want insurance they need to find a insurance company and pay the fee and not make the taxpayers pay the fee for them.

  3. This is good news. I had not thought much about the money train or drain in Washington. I am glad you have written this article. I have my own web site, I am using to tell my story of how the current medical establishment is too concerned with its bottom line, It no longer cares for the health of their patients. I am glad to hear this massive monster may indeed be slowed. For more info on my story

    Is The Food You Eat Making You Sick?
    June 8, 2012 by Joan L. McDaniel

  4. This just doesn’t seem that simple. Every time something like this happens in Washington, there is a fall out that no one talks about. I am not a farm expert, but to just let this go with no discussion is telling and unsettling. Also, the foodstamp issue is an unbelievable heist of taxpayer dollars in many cases. That said, people rely on foodstamps to feed their children. With these cuts, the rules need to be reformed so foodstamps can continue to support those it was originally intended to support. I am sure that has not happened yet. There is more to this story, and its called the rest of the story!!!

    • Many people who depend on food stamps to buy food stuffs do so because the use their own money to buy other things. Like hundred dollar shoes and outrageous cell phone bills and payments on new cars and trucks and… well, the list goes on. Rather than economize too many people depend upon other people’s earnings to finance life styles that they cannot afford. To assume that millions will starve without food stamps is pure foolishness and to assume that charity is the government’s role is stupidity.

  5. Until this Government has brains enough to get rid of illegal immigration and Welfare fraud, the taxpayers shouldn’t be paying a dime into anything that was meant for one thing but turned into a racket by others.

  6. When a Bill is introduced, it has a specific primary subject for which the money will be spent.
    Unfortunately there is also a phrase included that says ” and for other purpose’s ” .
    It comes under the (fine print) we can use it for whatever we want clause.
    I’ll tell anyone that will listen, that phrase must be removed! That single phrase allows congress to waste billions, on their petty “pork” projects!
    You must limit congress access to tax payer dollars!

    Congress opposition to that, will be ” but it will slow approval of legislation to a crawl” that’s
    a big pile of steaming bovine manure!
    In congress speak that means, we wont be able to blackmail the bills sponsors by demanding that our pork be added to the bill or we won’t vote for it!

    The best example of this is the health care bill. TWO THOUSAND PAGES of a
    delibertly constructed tedious, confusing, convoluted document that has ever been written.
    It is rife with “and for other purposes” language!

    It’s no wonder only 219 Democrats voted and had the nerve to claim it was approved by congress!

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  8. The Farm Bill is not extended – Good!!! That certainly must mean the ‘food stamp program’ as ‘we the taxpayers’ know it, must be ended too – right???? We are farmers, small farmers of 1500 acres, and we do not qualify for any of the so called farm bills programs, don’t raise the qualifing crops’ – which suits us fine, no government control over our crop planning.

    One thing that is disgusting, is that ‘social welfare programs’ such as ‘food stamps’ and I think ‘wic’ and who knows what else, should all be moved to some social welfare department or put in a seperate Fed. department; this abused ‘freebie’ food stamps mess really needs to be highly controlled. Just go to your local grocery store and look around; better yet, get behind one of the ‘abusers’ in a checkout line and see for yourself…..

  9. There has been times in the past where there has been an increase in the USDA budget and then us farmers get blamed even though there was an increase in food stamps and a decrease in the amount going to farmers. I think one of the reasons food stamps are a part of the farm bill is because the people who provide the food for this country represent less than 2% of the population. One thing the article doesn’t mention and I’ll admit I don’t know all the details but if the there’s no farm bill or an extension of the 2008 bill it reverts back to 1949 law

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