Issue Brief posted December 4, 2013
Eight Things to Watch for in the Farm Bill
The House and Senate are working out differences between their farm bills. Since both bills are seriously flawed, any bill that the negotiators produce is also likely to have major problems. The following is a list of major questions to consider if the negotiators do come up with a farm bill.
1. Will Congress Continue to Play Politics with the Farm Bill by Combining…
Issue Brief posted October 8, 2013
A Comparison of the House and Senate Farm Bills
Congress continues to treat agriculture as if it were 1933 instead of 2013. Agriculture is a cutting-edge sector of the economy that continues to innovate and produce more food with fewer resources.
Yet, every five years when the farm bill is up for renewal, many legislators, including those who claim to be pro–free market and limited government, push a farm bill that is…
Issue Brief posted September 9, 2013
An Extension Is the Only Way to Properly Reform the Farm Bill
In September, there will be only nine legislative days in the House before some farm bill programs expire at the end of the month. Even during a relatively quiet legislative period, this small window to develop real reform would be insufficient. As the debt ceiling looms and the nation could become militarily engaged in Syria, developing real reform becomes impossible.…
Issue Brief posted September 3, 2013
Government Control of Your Diet: Threats to “Freedom to Eat”
Many politicians and self-appointed nutrition czars see Americans as incapable of making decisions about a basic necessity of life: eating. Therefore, they feel that government at all levels must try to control their diets. This control means trying to direct people to eat a certain way or expressly prohibiting or banning the consumption of certain foods.
Issue Brief posted August 20, 2013
Food Safety Rules: Rushed Deadlines Will Lead to Disaster
In 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unprecedented power to regulate the country’s food supply.
This new power includes the first time that the FDA has the authority to establish standards for the production and harvesting of produce and to identify preventive…
Issue Brief posted August 6, 2013
Obamacare’s Menu Labeling Law: The Food Police Are Coming
Obamacare requires restaurant chains to provide caloric and other nutritional information to customers on standard menu items. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is implementing this provision, could finalize its menu labeling rule this fall or even sooner.
The FDA estimates that first-year compliance costs could be as high as $537 million for all regulated…
Backgrounder posted July 2, 2013
Congress Could Cut Five USDA Programs and Save $2.8 Billion a Year
On June 13, 2013, the House Appropriations Committee approved its $19.5 billion Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The full House is expected to take up the bill soon. With nearly $17 trillion in federal debt and chronic deficits on the budget horizon, the House should pursue…
Issue Brief posted June 27, 2013
Six Reforms for the House Farm Bill
On June 20, the House voted down its farm bill by a bipartisan vote of 234–195. This action was a major victory for fiscal responsibility and the American people. Now, instead of locking the country into five years of bad public policy, the House can develop a bill that provides significant reforms for both farm policy and the food stamp program. The following six…
Issue Brief posted June 25, 2013
How to Slash Billions from the Agriculture Appropriations Bill
Though the “farm” bill was just struck down in the House, there are still serious agriculture spending issues that must be addressed. The House is expected to take up the $19.5 billion agriculture appropriations bill soon. This is a prime opportunity for the House to show that it is serious about cutting unnecessary agricultural spending and reducing the national debt.…
Backgrounder posted June 14, 2013
Proposed New Farm Programs: Costly and Risky for Taxpayers
The Senate recently passed its farm bill and the House is expected to take up its bill in mid-June. Both farm bills take important steps by eliminating some costly farm subsidy programs, including the direct payment program. However, Congress is playing a shell game. Both bills offset the benefits of eliminating the programs by adding new farm subsidy programs that…