The bill is far from perfect, but I supported it because the provisions of this bill represent an improvement over current policy and an improvement over any likely default farm policy.
Dana Rohrabacher’s Vote on H.R. 2642, the “Farm Bill”
Recently, the House of Representatives brought forward and passed H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, also commonly known as the “farm bill.” While the bill has not yet been passed by the Senate or signed by the President, it is an important statement of the House’s position on farm policy that will have significant influence on any conference report. The bill is far from perfect, but I supported it because the provisions of this bill represent an improvement over current policy and an improvement over any likely default farm policy.
Farm policy as it currently exists is the product of legislation that passed in 2008, which is set to expire on September 30, 2013. To understand my vote in support of H.R. 2642, it must be understood that one of two things will likely happen if Congress cannot come to a responsible agreement on farm policy before the September 30 deadline: (1) Congress will simply extend current law for a period of time, or (2) Congress will do nothing and farm commodity programs will revert back to an outdated and much more expensive “permanent law.” An extension of current law would result in the continuation of bloated government spending, and reverting back to “permanent law” would result in even greater spending. Unfortunately, because of this outdated permanent law, simply refusing to pass a farm bill does not result in the elimination of funding for these programs, but results in much greater spending.
The bill I supported would save taxpayers approximately $20 billion over ten years. It does so by consolidating more than 100 programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eliminates direct payments to farmers, repeals the outdated and unworkable permanent law, and replaces it with more cost-effective and market-oriented provisions, among other things.
My preference would have been to simply repeal the permanent law and allow the current law to expire without any type of agricultural subsidies to replace them. Unfortunately, that was not an option available to the House of Representatives. Of the options available, I chose the one that involved less taxpayer spending.
More on Farm Bill
WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Friday sent a strongly-worded letter to the president urging the administration to assist Kurdistan militarily in its defense against Islamist terrorists. The letter was also signed by Rep. Darrell Issa and is expected to pick up more congressional signatures.
Rohrabacher chairs the House Subcommittee of Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats. Issa, also a California Republican, chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.