DONATE!

close

The Farm Bill: Real Reform or Political Bait and Switch?

Hosted by  • 

Every few years, Congress takes up the massive Farm Bill, with members of both parties loading it up with pork barrel spending. After George W. Bush vetoed the Farm Bill in 2008, the Senate over-rode him with 82 out of 100 votes. This year, the bill totals almost a trillion dollars with passage expected before the end of this week. It's the historic epitome of pork barrel spending — but, in this era of partisan gridlock, it's also a sign that the parties can get together if only they want to. Direct payments to farmers are being abolished, but critics complain that new subsidies for crop insurance are really the same thing. Will a last-minute fight over food stamps derail the last major legislation expected to pass before the November election?

Credits

Guests:
Alan Bjerga - Bloomberg News - @AlanBjerga, Joe Boddiford - peanut farmer, Ed O'Keefe - Washington Post - @edatpost, Bruce Babcock - Iowa State University, Mary Kay Thatcher - American Farm Bureau Federation

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Anna Scott, Caitlin Shamberg, Gideon Brower