Issue Brief posted August 19, 2014
Reining in the EPA Through the Power of the Purse
While significant criticism is rightfully directed to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on issues such as greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation, Congress itself is to blame for not reasserting its lawmaking power over an agency that is supposed to be implementing the will of Congress, not the will of the agency.
Through the appropriations process, Congress can rein in…
Issue Brief posted July 10, 2014
FDA’s Artificial Trans Fat “Ban”: A Dangerous Step to Control Personal Dietary Choices
In November 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its tentative determination to revoke the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat. As explained in a recent FDA update, “If FDA determines that PHOs are not GRAS, it could, in effect, mean the end of…
Backgrounder posted May 30, 2014
Addressing Waste, Abuse, and Extremism in USDA Programs
The federal debt is now more than $17 trillion. Congress needs to significantly cut spending across the board, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is no exception.
Spending decisions are about more than just numbers; they reflect policy preferences. Congress should assert its lawmaking and spending powers to control expenditures and to formulate sound policy.…
Issue Brief posted May 5, 2014
10 Guiding Principles for Agriculture Policy: A Free-Market Vision
Agriculture has changed dramatically over the past 80 years, yet farm and commodity programs are Depression-era relics that are grounded in central-planning philosophies. Even some policymakers who claim to be strong proponents of free markets and limited government tend to forget these core beliefs when it comes to these programs.
Agriculture policy is not just limited…
Issue Brief posted April 7, 2014
The “Heat and Eat” Food Stamp Loophole and the Outdated Cost Projections for Farm Programs
In February, Congress passed a new farm bill that lacked meaningful and necessary reform. Making matters worse, Congress made critical mistakes that will have a major impact on both food stamps and farm programs. The most significant attempt at food stamp reform was to close the “heat and eat” loophole, which allows states to artificially boost the amount of food stamps…
Issue Brief posted February 28, 2014
Is the FDA Getting Out of Control?
Acting on its own volition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is using the regulatory process to gain unprecedented control of food policy and remove dietary choices from Americans. Similar to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the FDA is pushing extreme policies to regulate in areas that have never been federally regulated. Recent examples highlight this…
Issue Brief posted January 27, 2014
West Virginia Chemical Spill: Learn Lessons and Let States Lead
On January 9, a leak in an above-ground storage facility spilled chemicals into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia, contaminating potable water affecting nine counties. But environmental pressure groups and big-government proponents are using the spill to serve their own agendas.
While the incident warrants investigation and thoughtful examination of the…
Issue Brief posted January 8, 2014
EPA and the Corps Ignoring Sound Science on Critical Clean Water Act Regulations
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers have drafted regulations that would clarify what kinds of bodies of water are covered under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This new definition would serve as the foundation of the CWA, determining the reach of the federal government’s jurisdiction under this law.
The EPA is developing a scientific…
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.…