Representatives warn of “secret” farm bill

Twenty-seven members of Congress sent a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Super Committee) requesting they reject efforts by the House and Senate Ag Committees to put a “secret farm bill” in the super committee’s budget reduction plan. The recommendations of the super committee will not be subject to amendment or filibuster. Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind wrote “Targeted agriculture spending cuts should definitely be on the table but creating costly new farm programs should not. The Super Committee should avoid pushing through a complex new farm bill without giving Congress the opportunity to debate and amend this important legislation.”

“It has become apparent that some believe they can create new programs and entitlements with limited Congressional scrutiny and input. We urge the Joint Select Committee to resist proposals that would go beyond its mandate of deficit reduction and authorize new, complicated agriculture programs that have not been the subject of Congressional review,” write the lawmakers.

Leadership of the two ag committees is reportedly working on a plan under which the Super Committee would reduce or eliminate direct farm program payments and strengthen a revenue assurance program along the lines of the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program.

In addition to Representative Kind, others signing the letter include:

  • Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
  • John Campbell (R-CA)
  • Donna Christensen (D-VI)
  • Steve Cohen (D-TN)
  • Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
  • Keith Ellison (D-MN)
  • Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
  • Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
  • Rush Holt (D-NJ)
  • Hank Johnson (D-GA)
  • Barb Lee (D-CA)
  • John Lewis (D-GA)
  • Tom McClintock (R-CA)
  • Gwen Moore (D-WI)
  • Jim Moran (D-VA)
  • Mick Mulvaney (R-SC)
  • John Oliver (D-MA)
  • Ron Paul (R-TX)
  • Joe Pitts (R-PA)
  • Tom Petri (R-WI)
  • Adam Smith (D-WA)
  • Jackie Speier (D-CA)
  • Pete Stark (D-CA)
  • Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
  • Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
  • Henry Waxman (D-CA)
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