LLPH urges a STRONG NO vote on H.R. 2642, the conference report of the Farm Bill. First, this bill cost nearly $1 TRILLION, money that our country does not have. It includes massive subsidies and does hardly any reforms to the SNAP program. And more importantly, it does not keep separate the SNAP portions and subsidies portion of the bill.
Heritage Action explains further:
America is more than $17 trillion in debt, yet the bill is estimated to cost $956 billion. Proponents claim it will reduce the deficit, but it is actually a 57-percent increase in the baseline from the 2008 bill, which was projected to cost $604 billion. Not surprisingly, the 2008 bill actually ended up costing much more. As Politico rightly noted earlier this week, “any cost estimate is suspect after the drop in corn prices over the summer. Cash sales were just $4.10 per bushel.” Heritage previously warned “the bigger problem with the CBO estimate is that it presumes that commodity prices will stay at or near record highs.” Indeed, the latest CBO score reflects that trend.
Heritage also explains that while some bad subsidies and program were removed, lawmakers replaced them with even riskier taxpayer-funded programs.The inclusion of the Senate’s Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) program is of deep concern. An initial CBO score suggested the average cost of about $2.9 billion per year, but an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute found the program “could cost as much as $7 billion annually based on the 15-year historical average price.” The inclusion of the House’s Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program is similarly problematic, setting the baseline for these commodity prices higher than what would be necessary to cover major losses. These baseline scoring gimmicks could wipe out all the “savings” that negotiators are touting in the conference report.
The bill contains many smaller provisions too. For example, in a win for Senate negotiators, it will include $881 million in mandatory funding for the Agriculture Department renewable energy and biofuels programs. According to E&E News, the bill would also, for the first time, “make renewable chemicals eligible for funding under biorefinery and biomass assistance programs and support crops grown purposefully for the bio-based products industry.”
Finally, farmers are currently carrying far less debt compared to their very strong assets. Net farm income is expected to reach “a remarkable $128.2 billion this year – the highest level since 1973,” making the aforementioned farm programs all but insanity. The “farm” bill means more expenses for taxpayers and higher costs for consumers. It means more unnecessary government dependence for wealthy farmers and food stamp recipients.
LLPH opposes the H.R. 2642, the Farm Bill Conference Report, and urges members of both houses to vote NO on this bill. We will include this vote in our scorecard. Let’s get back to common sense and fiscal responsibility.