Mr. Speaker, Tear Up This Farm Bill
Dear Speaker Boehner,
During every election cycle, virtually every Republican candidate affirms his or her support for limited government, free markets, and balanced budgets. They all tout their conservative credentials on the flashy flag-waving issues of the day in an effort to ingratiate themselves with Republican primary voters. However, it is the “inside baseball” issues such as the farm bill that expose many of them as frauds.
Put simply, the farm bill is an anathema to free enterprise, limited government, and individual responsibility. The House version (H.R. 6083) authorizes $957 billion in spending over 10 years, 80% of which will go towards food stamps. Despite erroneous claims in the media regarding severe cuts to food stamps, this bill actually consummates the Obama-era baseline into our entitlement empire forever.
Furthermore, this bill adds an additional 3 crop insurance and price support programs that distort the market, encourage risky behavior, protect parochial interests, and are tendentious towards large farms. This bill also continues the egregious coddling of rich sugar farmers and the dairy supply regulations that you so aptly referred to as “Soviet style.”
Unfortunately, a bipartisan group of 38 Republicans and 24 Democrats, led by Reps. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Peter Welch (D-VT), have sent you a letter requesting floor consideration for this big-government, budget-busting monstrosity. If Republicans allow this bill to pass the House and become law under Republican-control of Congress, they will essentially be abrogating all their campaign promises to limit government, terminate special interest politics, decrease dependency and welfare, and balance the budget. In one fell swoop, they will blur the distinction between the two parties to the extent that they are virtually indistinguishable.
This is not the message we need to telegraph to loyal Republican voters ahead of a crucial election. Moreover, if we are going to continue the bond between urban and rural special interests, we will never wean dependency from the broad populace – even among those in conservative states. If we are going to continue imposing Soviet-style intervention in red states, and elect representatives from those localities who support such odious policies, where are we going to implement free market policies and elect conservatives? From blue America?
Let’s win this election decisively by standing on the bold free market, limited government principles that buoyed the Republican majority into power in 2010. Then, after assuming control of all branches of government, we can pursue new policies from a position of strength.
Let’s begin by decoupling food stamp spending from agriculture programs so we can break the indissoluble bond between multiple special interest groups. We understand that food stamps and agriculture programs will not disappear overnight, but we must recognize their deleterious effects on our economy, free markets, and self respect. And it must be our ultimate goal to phase out and wind down these programs in an effort to restore our Constitutional Republic to the entity that it was when originally conceived.
Please reject all calls to bring this bill to the floor during this Congress. Now is the time for us to stand on principle.
***Here are the members who took a leadership role in pushing the Speaker to radically expand the size of government:***
Update: The original bipartisan letter erroneously listed Sam Graves as representing Georgia. He represents Missouri. Tom Graves represents Georgia and is not a supporter of this bill.
Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Robert Schilling (R-Ill.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), David Loebsack (D-Iowa), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Rick Berg (R-N.D.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Gregorio Sablan (D-MP), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Sam Graves (R-MO.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Jeff Landry (R-La.), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La), Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Candice Miller (RMich).