The following statement is from Ms. Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, on the Rules Committee’s latest decision (Wednesday, May 16, 2018) regarding debate on H.R.2 The Agricultural and Nutrition Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill):
We had hopes for this farm bill. Instead, we are deeply disappointed with both the product and the process.
At a minimum, we hoped to see a robust debate on every title of the $867 billion bill. We want each lawmaker to have the opportunity to debate the merits of taking steps toward creating agricultural business and nutrition safety nets that are more cost effective, transparent, responsive to changing conditions, and above all, accountable to the taxpayers footing the bill.
Unfortunately, we are seeing the exact opposite – the Rules Committee has stifled debate by refusing to accept nearly every common sense amendment that could rein in wasteful spending within the agricultural safety net.
Knowing full-well they would be unable to defeat each of these common sense reforms, defenders of the status quo instead decided to duck the debate.
Sadly, this is simply the most recent example of a Congress that has failed to live up to its promise of a return to fiscal responsibility, regular order and a revival of full throated debate on all pieces of legislation that affect every American.
We need a healthy, democratic debate to work towards a farm bill that better serves all Americans and all of agriculture. We do not need another bill that is written in secret, lacks accountability, and increases Washington’s role in picking winners and loser.
This farm bill is a perfect example of crony capitalism, with well-heeled agricultural interests being rewarded behind closed doors.
While disappointed, Taxpayers for Common Sense looks forward to working with any and every one interested in creating a cost effective, transparent financial safety net for American agriculture. HR2 does not do this and thus we urge its defeat.
–Ryan Alexander, President