House Passes Food Farm Bill

Farm policy for the next five years will remain largely the same under a bill passed Friday by the House. The $286 billion measure, H.R. 2419, was approved 231-191. Despite Michael Pollan’s pleas, the farm bill never transformed into a consumer-friendly food bill; though several billion dollars will go towards conservation spending, nutrition programs, and aid to fruit and vegetable growers, a significant chunk of the bill, $42 billion, will fund subsidies to farmers and agribusiness. The Senate is expected to write its own version of the farm bill in September.

House passes new farm bill [AP]
H.R. 2419 – Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 [THOMAS]
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(Photo: kusine)

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  1. timmus says:

    This from the Democrat-controlled House, eh? $42 billion in industry subsidies. I’m starting to agree with the sentiment of kicking them all out.

  2. Kerkira says:

    “several billion dollars will go towards conversation spending”

    Like Toastmasters?

    On a more serious note, it’s too bad that the reformers couldn’t kill these rediculous subsidies and tariffs, especially those for sugar and sugar cane. With those removed, ethanol would become much less of a boondoggle, and the run-up in corn prices (and milk and meat etc.) would be mitigated.

  3. capturedshadow says:

    Are you sure it is conversation spending and not conservation spending? Seems like we have enough conversation, but not nearly enough conservation to me.

  4. ancientsociety says:

    What is “conversation spending”?

    I think you mean “conservation funding”.

    Anyway, like every other farm bill, it’s just more corporate socialism. And, I hope that the majority of Americans are starting to realize that it doesn’t matter if you elect democrats or republicans anymore, neither party has the interest of the average American citizen in mind.

  5. Anitra says:

    @ancientsociety: “neither party has the interest of the average American citizen in mind.” You’re mostly right. It was pointed out on the radio this morning that roughly 30 Representatives are from agricultural districts where it is vital (to their careers, at least) to pass the farm subsidies. For these 30, the Farm Bill is their #1 priority. There are many more Representatives who realize that the extra spending authorized by the bill is NOT in their (their districts’) interests, but for them, defeating the Farm Bill is far down on their priority list.

    So there are only a small number of people who actively want this passed, but an even smaller number who will work hard toward defeating it. Don’t you love the way our government works?

  6. miborovsky says:

    Unfortunate. I got tired of telling people trying to “support our farmers” by supporting this bill is screwing themselves over. Jack my food bill up.

  7. dbeahn says:

    This is a tragedy. It’s also a huge kick in the teeth to the American people.

    I don’t mind farm subsidies, but let’s at least subsidize decent, healthy food, and crops that have high ethonal yeilds, like switch grass.

    Instead we’re funding more of the crap that gets processed, reprocessed and then over processed into the raw materials for twinkies and other cheap-crap zero nutritional value and high calories.

    OK, so maybe this isn’t so much a kick in the teeth as an invitation for the American people to BOHICA…

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    Red State America are welfare queens.

  9. Sudonum says:

    Sadly I live in Sugar Cane Country. The people here are all “conservative” and believe in standing on your own two feet. Except when it comes to farm subsidies. My wifes cousin, who makes Rush Limbaugh look like a communist, told me that sugar cane is a strategic crop, therefore the US must continue to grow it even if it means paying crop support. I remind him that it’s the same as welfare, just on a much larger scale. He thinks I’m nuts, or worse, liberal.

    They are looking at processes to get ethanol from sugar cane and it’s by-products, but it’s not as efficient as corn, yet.

  10. andrewsmash says:

    Every time I see a proclaimed “farmer” driving a brand-new car, I shudder a little. Agrarians have always lived just above the sustenance line, stocking away for the hard times. That was where their moral authority came from. They were never meant to be rich. A rich farmer is usually nothing more than American royalty, trying to re-establish the “serfs (low-class indebted workers unable to afford land) and lords (ridiculously wealthy land-owners)” model.

  11. ancientsociety says:

    @andrewsmash: So farmers can’t drive any vehicle manufactured within the past 5 years? And, if they do so or somehow display their success in any non-traditional way, they must be suckling from the gov’t teet?

    I’m glad you’re able to pigeonhole farmers into some stereotype of what you think an “agrarian” lifestyle means.

  12. MissAnnThrope says:

    A large chunk of this bill is going to go to the nutrition programs, especially for the elderly and in schools. Yeah, that’s a bad thing, isn’t it?

    Also, for those of you who think the Republicans are the champion of the middle class, this is from Congresspedia:

    On July 26th, 2007, the day before the bill was scheduled to be voted on in the House, it received a sudden veto threat and a flurry of objections from House Republicans. Republicans had been preparing to support the bill, but apparently changed positions when notified that a proposed increase in nutrition programs would be funded by closing tax loopholes for U.S.-based foreign companies.

    I think House Democrats should have taken it a step further and added closing tax loopholes for companies that outsource to places like Asia. Oh, silly me. It’s going to be vetoed anyway, so why all the outrage?