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: