Open letter to Speaker Boehner: Ensure open process on ‘farm-only’ Farm Bill!

July 9, 2013

Dear Speaker Boehner,

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the undersigned organizations, we write to commend you for separating the agriculture and nutrition portions of the farm bill and for moving to repeal archaic language that reverts back to 1949 law in the absence of Congressional action. However, we are deeply concerned by reports that agriculture legislation will move in the coming days under a closed rule that will prevent any amendments from being heard.

The purpose of splitting the agriculture and nutrition pieces was to change the political dynamics that conspire to prevent true reform. If the House pushes through agriculture-only language taken directly from the combined bill that failed on the floor last month without amendment, it will not only fail to change those dynamics, it will actively preserve them.

In doing so, the Republican-controlled House would be advancing an agriculture bill that is substantially worse on policy grounds than the legislation produced by the Democrat-controlled Senate. For example, the House language includes no means-testing whatsoever for crop insurance while the Senate reduced subsidies for those with incomes over $750,000. In addition, the so-called “shallow loss” programs in the House bill are poorly structured and likely to cost dramatically more than official estimates.

We urge you to live up to your commitments to robust debate by ensuring that any agriculture or nutrition bill is considered in an open process. A closed rule on farm legislation would run counter to those commitments and produce bad policy.

Sincerely,

Andrew Moylan
R Street Institute

Phil Kerpen
American Commitment

Al Cardenas
American Conservative Union

James Valvo
Americans for Prosperity

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

John Tate
Campaign for Liberty

Jeff Mazzella
Center for Individual Freedom

Chris Chocola
Club for Growth

Iain Murray
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Rob Sisson
ConservAmerica

Mattie Duppler
Cost of Government Center

Tom Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Matt Kibbe
FreedomWorks

Becky Norton Dunlop
Former Secretary of Natural Resources, Virginia

Michael A. Needham
Heritage Action for America

Baylen J. Linnekin
Keep Food Legal

Colin Hanna
Let Freedom Ring

Duane Parde
National Taxpayers Union

William L. Walton
Rappahannock Ventures

Ryan Alexander
Taxpayers for Common Sense

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

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