R Street urges House consider improvements after failed Farm Bill vote

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2013) –- The R Street Institute welcomed today’s 195 to 234 U.S. House vote defeating a proposed $940 billion Farm Bill, and encouraged lawmakers to open the legislative process to improvements that make American agriculture programs more transparent and fiscally and environmentally responsible.

Earlier this week, the House Rules Committee accepted only 103 of 230 floor amendments submitted by members. In many cases, smaller amendments that would have had a good likelihood of passing were rejected or permitted only when grouped in larger, more controversial packages.  Other popular amendments, such as splitting the agriculture title from the rest of the Farm Bill, were likewise left behind.

“The 2013 House Farm Bill was a terrible piece of legislation that expanded federally subsidized crop insurance, created massive new ‘shallow loss’ programs, provided subsidies to big agribusiness, the insurance industry and to environmentally destructive planting, and that failed utterly in making farm programs more transparent or more accountable to taxpayers,” R Street Policy Analyst Lori Sanders said. “We have long said Congress can and should do better than this, and we are pleased to see a majority of the House agrees with us.”

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