By Robert A. Vella
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives finally passed a compromise Farm Bill which is likely to pass the U.S. Senate in the next few days pretty much as is. Although it represents a measure of congressional bipartisanship that has been mostly nonexistent in recent years, the legislation itself might disturb you.
Here are the “highlights” of this bill:
1) $8 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, a.k.a. Food Stamps) that will lower these benefits by about $90 per month for roughly 850,000 households.
2) Replacement of direct subsidies to farmers (whether they had actually produced crops or not) with $9 billion in federally subsidized crop insurance premiums that, in effect, guarantees farmers a minimum profit level.
3) Deleted a provision that would let the public learn how much lawmakers, who are also farmers, receive in crop insurance subsidies. Because, you know, the public should never be allowed to scrutinize the politicians who are supposed to be representing them.
Here’s an excellent video by Chris Hayes, and some additional reading:
ALL IN with Chris Hayes: Congress keeps farm bill subsidies quiet (VIDEO)
House Approves Farm Bill, Ending a 2-Year Impasse
Any idea who was behind deleting lawmakers/farmers secreting of insurance subsidies? California is in severe drought – heard today on NPR that the water has been shutoff for some uses because it is so severe.A good deal for insurance corps. The congressman who received over $1 million in subsidies hypocrisy was astonishing.
No, whoever was behind the removal of that provision remains a mystery. My guess is Republicans demanded it during negotiations with Democrats as a precondition for passage.
Yes, but not surprising.
It’d be great to send them home.
The cuts to SNAP are just cruel. I can’t imagine that the govt will really save that much money with these cuts. Republicans love to use the national debt as an excuse to cut programs they just don’t like. Shame on the Democrats for going along with this, although they probably felt like they didn’t have a choice. No one wants to see another govt shut down.
That’s it exactly. As cruel as the SNAP cuts are, what’s worse is that Congress used that money to subsidize crop insurance premiums for some very well-off farmers – some of whom are the very same lawmakers who wrote this bill. Adding insult to injury, they removed a provision that would’ve enabled the public to find out who these fortunate legislators are. I spell that C-O-R-R-U-P-T-I-O-N.
Pingback: Montana becomes 5th state to block Food Stamp cuts, and Speaker Boehner is freaking out | The Secular Jurist