A scheme by the House and Senate Agriculture Committee chairs to sneak the next farm bill into law without debate or amendment is drawing more scrutiny.
The bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are attempting to introduce this massive piece of legislation into the deficit super committee’s negotiations. They hope to get a new subsidy program for corn, wheat and other commodity programs slipped into a final deficit package that would go for an up or down vote by Congress without amendment. That’s right, a five-year farm bill would be inserted into law without debate.
The farm bill sets U.S. food policy for five years. It is the biggest environmental bill that Congress enacts, covering a quarter of California — 27.6 million acres — and 40% of the land mass of the U.S. How food is grown on that land has consequences for the environment and the American diet. The Ag Committee leaders are trying to write it in secret and pass it without a vote.