Congress’ New Year’s Resolution: Old Ideas, Bad Policy

For many Americans, the dawn of a new year is celebrated as an opportunity to take new chances, do things differently, improve one’s self and help one’s fellow man, or start over. And while not everyone is successful at dialing back the Twinkie’s for very long (unless you’re the union bosses), most Americans at least make an effort.

For Congress, a new year, especially an election year, is merely another opportunity to make minimal reforms and pass bad legislation that they could not complete the previous year. Take the farm bill. This $1 trillion food stamp and farm welfare bill was successfully defeated by conservatives last June in an embarrassing failure for House leadership and a historic victory for the American people. Conservatives spoke up and made it clear that they wanted no part in implementing President Obama’s failed food stamp agenda and continuing the charade of tying food stamps to large agribusiness subsidies.

But as is the norm in Washington, bad bills tend to have what is known as the ‘zombie legislation’ effect. No matter how many times these bills are stopped, they always seem to find another way to rear their ugly, taxpayer-eating heads!

In July, House leadership promised they would do what they should have done all along: separate food stamps and farm programs. But instead of separating them in order to reform an out-of-control food stamp program and lavish taxpayer-funded farm subsidies, House leadership separated them just so they could pass two bad bills in a deal that would send the $1 trillion food stamp and farm welfare bill to conference to be joined together again. To quote Democrat Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) during the first conference meeting, “The $40 billion figure [in House food stamp cuts] was a way to get us to conference. It wasn’t a real figure.”

And then the establishment even had the gall to blame conservatives for crying foul on their shenanigans!


Apparently Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor see fit to put Humpty Dumpty back together again in spite of conservative objections. And what minimal reforms were made are likely to be washed away in the final conference agreement. This means the American people will be left picking up the tab for massive new subsidies like shallow loss crop insurance as well as paying for a Soviet-style dairy program and nearly $800 billion in food stamps with little-to-no meaningful reforms. In fact, House Republicans will potentially be voting to cut only one-fifth of what they have already voted to cut in food stamps—a paltry 1% of a program that has doubled twice in the last decade.

It may be a new year, but Washington is already up to its old tricks.

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3 thoughts on “Congress’ New Year’s Resolution: Old Ideas, Bad Policy

  1. Pingback: Congress’ New Year’s Resolution: Old Ideas, Bad Policy | Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

  2. My Congresswoman Ann Wagner is one of the U.S. Reps who went to Washington to make friends rather than represent her constituents. Her goal is to be the first Republican woman Speaker of the House. So if John Boehner says “jump” she says “how high?” She is in DC to make friends with the enemy (RINOs and Dems) in order to climb the Congressional ladder. Ann represents a safe Republican district so she can anger her constituents without fear of losing her job. I have no doubt she will vote for the farm bill even though her constituents in St. Louis, MO do not want it to pass.

  3. Farm Bill Funding Fraud …

    Is the USDA Mutual Self Help Housing Program supposed to be giving a hand up to individuals who are renters and already have a roof over their head by defrauding mortgage lenders and other citizens? Is it the intent to leave victim homeowners with no home, no equity, and with damaged credit ratings? Are Grantees implementing supposed to be enriching themselves and their future clients with total disregard for the impact their actions would have on the victims and the community. When many owners have to “short sale” homes it destroys the local real estate market for the local rural community and is reprehensible when victims and their neighbors should not have been placed in such a position.

    No government program should violate laws and contracts defrauding citizens and mortgage lenders by 30 to 40 percent ($138,000 – $165,000) per family when they need to sell due to divorce, job transfer, etc. And that does not include surrounding neighbors who also may be similarly affected. The money via the Farm Bill funding this program instead of defrauding Citizens and Lenders would be better utilized to reduce our Deficit or help those who actually DO NOT have a roof over their head such as providing homeless shelters. Instead the money is being used to shatter innocent families’ lives leaving them virtually bankrupt after 20-30 years of hard work destroying their American Dream.

    This is a prime example of why government should keep their noses out of areas
    it does not belong because most government programs enacted end up full of fraud and abuse. Is it not supposed to be a crime to defraud secured lenders and devalue collateral attached to a security agreement?

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