The Post’s recent editorials on the farm bill praised its major reforms, then inexplicably argued that because it didn’t include smaller changes, The Post prefers no farm bill — and therefore no reform at all.
The fact is the 2014 farm bill charts a new direction in U.S. agriculture policy. It ends “direct payment” subsidies to farmers, a reform The Post has long supported. Instead of getting cash payments even in good times, farmers would purchase crop insurance so that they’re covered when disaster strikes. The bill ensures that millionaires could not receive any commodity program support and includes new limits on total federal support for all farmers. These changes will significantly reduce the deficit.
The bill helps U.S. agriculture, a key sector of our economy, making this a rare example of a major bipartisan jobs bill. The farm bill ensures that families would still receive every bit of food assistance they are intended to receive under the current rules of the food stamp program, yet it would achieve savings solely through closing a loophole The Post supports closing.
The Post wants more reforms. I did, too. In a bipartisan compromise, nobody gets everything they want — but that’s no reason to spike a bill that has achieved bipartisan backing for major reforms The Post has endorsed. We worked with members of both parties to pass legislation that will reduce the deficit and help create jobs. That’s exactly what the American people expect leaders to do.
Debbie Stabenow, Washington
The writer, a Democrat, represents Michigan in the Senate, where she chairs the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.