January 29, 2014
Rep. Peters’ Statement on Vote Against Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement after voting ‘Nay’ on the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Act (FARRM Bill), which establishes federal agriculture policy for five years. It passed the House 251-166.
“In short, today’s Farm Bill had too many subsidies for wealthy farmers, and not enough help for needy families and children who don’t have enough to eat.
“The bill did incorporate a number of provisions I have heavily supported, including investments in new sources of energy from our agricultural sector like biofuels and algae as well as energy efficiency programs. Further, the Farm Bill included language from a bill that I introduced last year, the ‘Renewable Chemicals Parity Act,’ which will give renewable chemicals the same treatment at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as other bio-based products.
“However, in the end, I could not support the Farm Bill given its failure to reign in bloated and wasteful farm subsidy spending that creates huge loopholes for large, profitable farms instead of helping those it was originally intended to help: smaller farmers struggling to stay afloat.
“Also, the Farm Bill did practically nothing to reform crop insurance. The program will continue to indirectly subsidize, on average, 62% of farmer’s crop insurance premiums; reimburse insurance companies for 100% of their administrative and operating expenses; adjust premiums in order to produce a guaranteed 14% return for crop insurance companies; and take the riskiest crop insurance policies off the insurance companies’ books.
“Today’s Farm Bill subsidy policies will continue unnecessary subsidies for wealthy individuals and corporations, while doing little to help the millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table for their families.”