Bi-partisan Farm Bill replaces insurance with subsidies – and screws people depending on Food Stamps

The Senate on Thursday voted to advance a farm bill that will set the nation’s nutrition and agriculture policy for the next five years…

The vote was 90 to 8. With the vote, the Senate will begin about two weeks of debate to consider the bill and amendments, according to Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, who is chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee and managing the legislation.

The bill is expected to cost about $969 billion over the next 10 years, but cuts overall spending by $23 billion. The cuts mainly reflect the elimination of direct payments to farm landowners, which cost about $5 billion a year, and cuts about $4.5 billion over 10 years from the food-stamp program…

Among other provisions, the bill would eliminate direct payments to farmers and make expanded crop insurance program the primary safety net for farmers. The government now spends about $7 billion a year on crop insurance to pay about two-thirds of the cost of farmers’ premiums. Under the federal program, farmers can buy insurance that covers poor yields, declines in prices or both.

To replace the direct payments, the bill would create a crop insurance subsidy, costing $3 billion a year, that would cover any losses farmers suffer, known as deductibles, before their crop insurance policies kick in…

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, introduced an amendment on Wednesday that would restore the $4.5 billion in cuts to nutrition programs…“As a mother, as a lawmaker, watching a child go hungry is something I will not stand for.” Ms. Gillibrand said in a speech Wednesday. “In this day and age, in a country as rich as America is, it is unacceptable and should not be tolerated, and certainly should not be advocated for.”

This is what the White House and Congress call bi-partisan legislation. Taxpayers save a chunk of money by directly subsidizing farmers instead of both insurance companies and farmers. But, don’t worry. The insurance companies will figure out to get that money back no matter how many politicians they have to buy.

To get this through everyone mostly agreed to take money away from poor people and their children. Ten years worth of cutting the Food Stamp program. Maybe this is what bi-partisan looked like in the era of Herbert Hoover. It’s not how a civilized nation treats citizens living in the lower half of the income spectrum. Not if you have a conscience.

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