The farm bill that President Barack Obama signs today will violate his own promises of transparency.Continue reading
As senators cast their votes today on the 1,139-page, $955 billion farm bill, the unseen backdrop is the more than $26 million in campaign cash that agribusiness has pumped into their political campaigns. All but two members of the current Senate have received money from these donors who represent every possible agriculture concern, from sugar growers to dairy farmers to chemical manufacturers and more.
It’s an axiom of agriculture politics that agribusiness interests concentrate their generosity on members of key committees who write and fund the farm bill. As the graphic below shows, the current Senate is no ...Continue reading
It's deja vu all over again as the Senate debates the farm bill this week--just as it did nearly a year ago without any legislation ultimately passing--and one of the hot button issues remains the crop insurance program whose cost has been steadily rising to more than $14 billion in 2012. The Senate bill reforms but also expands the Depression-era program; President Barack Obama has called for additional cuts and several senators are offering amendments to reform it.
On the other side are the agricultural trade associations representing the crop insurers and the farmers that make use of ...Continue reading
As the Senate debates the farm bill this week, a once-every-five-years lobbying extravaganza that sets policy on farm subsidies, food assistance, nutrition, and myriad other agricultural programs, here's a quick look at some of the big money interests that are involved, as well as pressure points for transparency, or the lack of it.
The money. Agribusiness has already sunk $39.2 million in direct contributions to federal candidate and party coffers this election cycle, nearly three-fourths of that to Republican interests, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2008, the last presidential election cycle, which also happened to ...Continue reading