Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI 11):
I voted “no” on H.R. 2642, to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018 (aka “farm bill”). I voted “yes” on the farm bill last year because that version of the bill presented a historic opportunity to decouple SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – food stamps) from agriculture policy. Both of these programs need significant reforms and should be debated on their own merits. Unfortunately, after conferees from the House and Senate finished their negotiations, the two programs were kept coupled. It is believed that on a stand-alone basis, these programs would not pass in the House. While H.R. 2642 makes some modest reforms, it still kicks the can down the road. Also, members of the House were given less than 40 hours to read and digest a 950 page bill that spends nearly $1 trillion. The bill passed 251-166.
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA 10):
The Farm bill brought before the House today is a complete disgrace. This bill fails to make any real reforms, re-joins the food stamp and farm programs which had been separated in the House bill, and somehow manages to exceed the spending levels of both chambers’ passed versions of this bill. I voted no. http://broun.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=368169
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR 4):
Today the House will consider the Farm Bill Conference Report, which should really be called the food stamp bill as nearly 80% of its funding doesn’t support farmers. Growing up on a farm in Yell County, I learned a simple lesson: you can’t spend more than you take in. That’s why I’ve worked hard to protect Arkansas taxpayers and that’s why I can’t support the food-stamp bill. This bill spends too much and leaves Arkansas farmers with too little. READ my full statement here: http://cotton.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/cotton-statement-on-the-farm-bill-conference-report
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL 6):
The House just passed a $1 trillion farm bill (bill length: 950 pages). I voted nay because the farm bill conference report is a bad deal for taxpayers and contains little in the way of meaningful reforms. The article below provides a good rundown of some of the problems with the bill and the less-than-transparent process that produced it.
Here are a few issues that I found especially noteworthy:
1. The conference report contains a tax on Christmas trees.
2. The conference report creates new agriculture subsidy programs that are tied to current commodity prices, which means that if commodity prices decline from their current high levels, the taxpayer will be on the hook for billions of dollars more than what is currently forecasted.
3. None of the reforms to the food stamp programs — such as work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents — were included in the conference report. The program has quadrupled in cost since 2000 and has doubled since 2008 and needs to be reformed.
4. The wasteful catfish inspection program was re-inserted in the conference report. This is an entirely duplicative and unnecessary program that wastes millions of dollars a year.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC 5)-not totally related, but somewhat has to do with the Farm Bill:
Government sugar subsidies add about four billion dollars to the price consumers and bakers pay for sugar every year. I was honored to be named one of the “Baker’s Dozen” by the American Baker’s Association this week, largely due to efforts to eliminate wasteful government sugar subsidies.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ 4):
The Farm Bill was the second bill this month that was brought to the House floor for a vote less than 48 hours after it was introduced. This is a negative pattern that can’t become a habit. We must reverse this trend.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO 5):
Yesterday, I voted against the nearly one trillion dollar Farm Bill. This 949-page bill was yet another bloated proposal that House and Senate leaders tried rushing through Congress without giving Members and the public enough time to read and understand the bill. This legislation was also a missed opportunity to make meaningful reforms to both agriculture and nutritional programs because it rolled back many of the reforms included in the House passed version. While the legislation makes a few positive reforms to food stamps, it still encompasses almost 80 percent of spending within the legislation and does not contain work requirements or drug testing, which are fundamental to welfare reform and does nothing to correct the ballooning cost of the food stamp program.
Rep. James Lankford (R-OK 5):
I just voted in opposition to the conference committee report on the Farm Bill. Chairman Lucas and the House Ag Committee worked hard to make significant reforms, which I supported in my votes on previous versions of the bill but which Senate Democrats rejected during the conference committee process. The changes in this version of the farm bill did not help families on food stamps transition away from the safety net into employment. Also, a number of the important farm reforms I previously supported were lost.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC 5):
I cannot tell folks how disappointed I am with the Farm Bill that just passed. We worked really hard to get good reforms in the House, and were even able to split off the Food Stamp program from the bill. (Why are Food Stamps part of the Farm Bill, you ask? Great question…the answer: so that both programs can get more money.)
And then all of that got undone in negotiations with the Senate in the conference committee.
So now we get more “business as usual” on the Farm Bill for the next five years.
A real shame.
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC 1):
Today I voted against the Farm Bill conference report that came before the House because I’m concerned that it doesn’t go far enough in making changes that are necessary to protect taxpayers. Over the last few months of dealing with this bill, I’ve voiced my opposition to the new crop insurance program, the changes that need to be made to SNAP, the overall price tag, and other issues that taxpayers will be on the hook for. Ultimately, the report agreed to by House and Senate negotiators didn’t resolve my concerns.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN 3):
Today I voted against a Farm Bill that’s just business as usual. This trillion dollar bill recombines food stamps and farm programs.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH 2):
Our farmers deserve certainty from Washington, but our taxpayers also deserve to know that their money is spent wisely. It’s unfortunate that Washington has transformed a needed farm bill into a bloated spending bill that goes far beyond the focus of our agricultural community.
While I am glad our farmers have finally gained certainty for the next 5 years, I could not support a farm bill where 80 percent of spending doesn’t go towards agriculture.
Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS 3):
Yesterday, the House considered HR 2642, otherwise known as the Farm Bill, which passed by a vote of 251-166. Unfortunately the final bill did not go far enough in reforming important programs to Kansas farmers and nor did it find enough budget savings to justify over a trillion in spending. I voted no.
In my role as Vice-Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee of Appropriations, I worked to help craft a responsible set of reforms to fix the many bloated and intrusive farm programs while fixing a badly broken food stamp program. Over 80% of the “farm bill” actually goes to food stamps.
The compromise bill failed to address concerns of many farmers and ranchers and was opposed by the Kansas Livestock Association.
The final package spends almost $800 billion in food stamps. Today we are spending more than double on food stamps than what we were spending in 2008. With a projected $6.3 trillion deficit over the next 10 years we can it keep borrowing, taxing and spending at this rate.
I look forward to working to find solutions to reform and improve provisions of this bill in years to come.
Please thank the 63 Republicans who voted against this Farm Bill. It is never easy to buck leadership and special interests and just say NO, but that is what they did. Here’s the roll call: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2014/roll031.xml