Reps. Kind, DeLauro, and Blumenauer Tell Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor: Keep Farm Bill Loopholes Closed

WASHINGTON, DC--Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) today implored Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to keep loopholes for multimillionaires closed in any final Farm Bill. Both the House and Senate-passed versions of the Farm Bill reformed payment limits for commodity programs by capping the total number of “active personal management” who can receive commodity payments.

“It is unconscionable that these conferees would try to reverse the reforms backed by a majority of their colleagues so as to continue the flow of millions of dollars, beyond what they are entitled to, to a relatively few mega farms,” the representatives wrote. “CBO [Congressional Budget Office] has estimated $170 million in savings if Congress reforms payment limits for commodity programs by placing a hard cap of $250,000 (for married couples) on the total amount of commodity payments that producers can receive.”

Members of Congress are currently negotiating a new five-year Farm Bill that could cut billions from nutrition and anti-hunger programs, even as multimillionaires continue to get exorbitant farm subsidy payments. The farm subsidy programs are rife with fraud, as the Government Accountability Office recently detailed.

By contrast, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), has one of the lowest error rates of any federal program. Over 90 percent of all food stamp spending goes to families living at or below the poverty line.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.