Farm Bill Boondoggle Won’t Cure Drought, Coalition Tells Boehner

Washington, D.C., July 24, 2012 – Twelve government watchdog groups, including CEI, sent House Speaker John Boehner a letter this morning urging him to hold firm and not give into special interest pressure to schedule a vote on the bloated Farm Bill.

Agricultural interests and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack are pushing for fast consideration of a nearly $1 trillion farm and food stamp give-away, saying that farmers need the bill because of the devastating drought and claiming there is no safety net without the new bill.

That’s nonsense, as current and generous crop insurance will take care of most farmers, and there were private alternatives available.   As the coalition letter states:

“Agriculture already has a more than adequate safety net in the gold-plated federal crop insurance program in which taxpayers pick up, on average, 62% of the premium costs for crop insurance. These policies allow businesses to guarantee up to 85% of their expected revenue.”

So far, Speaker Boehner has withstood this pressure and has staved off bringing the bill to the floor.

“Using the current drought as a pretext to bail out yet another sector of the U.S. economy while expanding the federal government’s role in the business decisions of agricultural enterprises is something taxpayers and our free-market economy cannot afford,” the coalition letter states.

View the coalition lettter