Anti-Crony Capitalism Forces Score Surprise Defeat of Farm Bill
Conservative and free market groups scored a surprising victory Thursday in helping defeat a $940 billion House farm bill they say was larded with taxpayer-funded crony giveaways and that would have spent roughly 80% of its total cost on food stamps.
The House version of the farm bill, which Republican Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) supported, went down in a 234-195 vote.
“Today is a victory for the taxpayer and the free market,” said Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham. “Now is the time for the House to recognize what so many others have: The unholy alliance that has long dominated America’s agriculture and nutrition policy must end.”
Sixty-two Republicans, including six GOP committee chairmen, broke ranks with the Boehner-led faction to oppose the bill. Democrats opposed the bill on the grounds that it did not spend enough taxpayer money.
Conservative and free market groups like Heritage Action and the Club for Growth fought to rally lawmakers to downsize the farm bill or kill its bloated version.
The bill’s defeat is the latest embarrassment for GOP leaders. On Tuesday, Speaker Boehner predicted the farm bill would “pass with a broad bipartisan majority.” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) tried to blame the defeat on Democrats “putting partisanship over progress” and said “the farm bill has traditionally been a bipartisan bill.”
But Heritage Action for America spokesman Daniel Holler says the victory by conservatives and free market supporters should serve as a wakeup call to Republican leaders.
“GOP leaders are trying to pin the farm bill loss on Pelosi; it’s not,” Holler told the Washington Post. “Conservatives killed it because it spent nearly $1 trillion.”
With an unprecedented one out of five households now on food stamps, the farm bill was also seen as a massive giveaway to the corporate interests who profit from Obama’s unprecedented expansion of welfare spending.
A report by the Government Accountability Institute found that since 2004 JP Morgan has bagged at least $560,492,596 processing Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. And a Fox News Sean Hannity special with GAI President Peter Schweizer and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon revealed that soda makers haul in an estimated $4 billion a year in taxpayer money through food stamp purchases.
Since President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared “war on poverty,” U.S. taxpayers have spent over $15 trillion on welfare programs.