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Lawmakers Not Pleased to Hear About 'Secret Farm Bill' Deal

November 4, 2011
In The News


Wisconsin Ag Connection
A bipartisan group of 26 Congressman, including three from Wisconsin, sent a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction expressing concern over the intent of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to push through a 'secret' farm bill. The memorandum, which included the signatures of Reps. Ron Kind, Gwen Moore and Tom Petri, urged the panel to resist proposals that would go beyond its mandate of deficit reduction and authorize new, complicated agriculture programs that have not been the subject of Congressional review.
"Very few members negotiating and adding new entitlements to a secret farm bill is not the kind of deficit reducing farm reform we need," said Kind. "Targeted agriculture spending cuts should definitely be on the table but creating costly new farm programs should not. The Super Committee should avoid pushing through a complex new farm bill without giving Congress the opportunity to debate and amend this important legislation."
The lawmakers wrote they they are 'greatly troubled' by any attempt to use the JSC to authorize costly new mandatory programs without adequate and proper debate.
"Congress charged the Joint Select Committee with the task of reducing the deficit by $1.5 trillion between 2012 and 2021 and provided for its legislative recommendations to be brought to the floor of both the House and the Senate for expedited consideration," the letter stated. "Furthermore, its recommendations are not subject to amendment or filibuster. Congress implemented these rules to dull the pain of politically contentious but fiscally responsible measures. Yet, it has become apparent that some believe they can create new programs and entitlements with limited Congressional scrutiny and input."
The so-called Super Committee will need to make its final recommendations on spending cuts by November 23.