Wenstrup: “Ohio Farmers Deserve Better”
Washington, June 20, 2013
Following the vote on H.R. 1947, Representative Brad Wenstrup released this statement;
“I am disappointed that the House could not bring a farm bill to the floor that truly serves and meets the needs of Ohioans. Ohio farmers deserve better, and Ohio taxpayers deserve better. We need a farm bill, but we need a responsible farm bill. Farmers are America’s original small business owner, and their legacy of hard work was and is fundamental to the strength of our nation.”
“I was elected on the idea that a smaller government is a better government. I support an appropriate safety net for Americans, but SNAP has grown beyond a hand up to those in need. While this bill contains modest savings in the program, I believe stronger reforms are needed including provisions to address waste, fraud, and abuse.”
“Beyond my objections over the non-agriculture spending, this bill contains a number of other concerning provisions that are not in the best interest of Ohioans. Agricultural programs should be based on market signals, not prices set by politicians in Washington. Unfortunately, a new commodity program in H.R. 1947 all but guarantees profits for certain farmers, picking winners and losers based on geography at the expense of Ohio farmers. Additionally, the sugar market continues to be controlled by extreme government intervention, costing consumers billions every year. During debate, I supported numerous amendments to improve this bill, but unfortunately too many failed.”
“I am encouraged by a number of provisions, including the elimination of direct payments to farmers and strengthening work requirements for SNAP recipients, but we can do better. While I could not support the passage of H.R. 1947 in its current form, my hope is that Ohio farmers and taxpayers receive the certainty they need and deserve going forward.”
Background: While H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, spends nearly $1 trillion over the next ten years, only 20 cents of every dollar would go to agricultural programs. The remaining 80 percent, roughly $750 billion, goes towards supplemental nutrition funding, a program formerly known as food stamps. Since President Obama took office in 2009, SNAP enrollment has grown by 70 percent while spending on the program has doubled.