The House is slated to vote on H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM Act). This bloated farm bill should have an opportunity to be debated and to include amendments that would curb the high costs of this bill and reform the most egregious subsidy programs.
The farm bill has been separated from the food and nutrition provisions. That should make it easier to debate the bill on its merits. However, the closed rule will eliminate that opportunity.
This legislation goes against the proposed agriculture savings in the Ryan budget, and represents $18 billion less than that proposal, which had strong support. In its costs, it also compares unfavorably with the generous Senate bill – and represents $1 billion less in cuts, according to the R Street Institute. Besides greatly expanding the heavily subsidized crop insurance program, the House bill does nothing to rein in the central planning schemes represented by the sugar program and the dairy program.
This bill would also make itself the permanent law for farm programs to replace the 1949 legislation. That takes the future of agricultural programs out of the hands of policymakers -no longer will they have to deal with a farm bill every five years. Instead, they can do nothing and revert to this travesty of farm bill reform.
We urge House members to take action against this bill and this process. In these tough economic times, the nation does not need huge budget outlays going to special interests with great haste and a flawed process.
Director, Center for Economic Freedom
Competitive Enterprise Institute
1899 L Street, NW, 12th floor
Washington, DC 20036