Inflated Agriculture Appropriations Bill Passes House

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

Inflated Agriculture Appropriations Bill Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House toady passed the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations legislation on a vote of 266-155. The bill contains a total of $123.8 billion in total spending to fund various federal agriculture and food safety and nutrition programs. Discretionary spending in the bill totals $22.9 billion – which is 12% or $2.44 billion over last year’s level.
While the legislation funds several important agriculture and food safety programs, including farm lending and safety-net food and nutrition programs, it also contains unsustainable and unnecessary double digit funding increases throughout the bill. Further, these large increases are in addition to the extra funds - totaling more than $20 billion - already provided through the recently enacted economic “stimulus” legislation and 2009 supplemental funding legislation.
The massive spending increases in the Agriculture Appropriations bill are part of the Democrat Majority’s budget plan for fiscal year 2010 that averages a 12% increase in non-defense related discretionary spending over last year. When all of this Appropriations spending is combined - including “stimulus” funds - the Democrat Majority will have increased spending by 85 percent over the last two fiscal years.
“Time and time again, the Democrat Majority has opened the flood gates to allow American tax-dollars to flow unhindered into virtually every government program without regard for actual need or to the plight of our national economy – the Agriculture Appropriations bill is no exception,” House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis said.
“The bill does do some good things – it takes care of people who are down on their luck and need food for their families, it provides farmers loans at a time when there is little access to private credit in our marketplace, and it helps uphold the safety of our food supply. However, all of these important programs could be maintained without a 12% increase in spending, and without throwing the American taxpayer an extra $2.4 billion worth of debt.”
In addition, the Agriculture Appropriations bill was considered under a “closed rule” – which meant that Members of Congress were unable to offer amendments to the legislation on the floor. This unprecedented practice goes against decades of precedent and traditional practices for Appropriations bills. Democrat leaders claim the expedited process is necessary to complete the House’s work before the August recess – an arbitrary and self imposed deadline.  
“The rights of all Americans to be represented on the House floor are being trampled in the name of expediency. I am sure the American people would rather us work a little harder and stay a little longer than be forced to into trillions of dollars in additional debt that will put our economy in peril for generations.”

112th Congress