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Rep. Schweikert: farm bill should be split to expose social welfare spending

Arizona congressman says agriculture subsidies should be separated from $800 billion for food stamps.

A massive spending bill in the name of farm subsidies is actually a welfare package that should be torn apart to expose it for the social program it actually funds, a Republican lawmaker said Monday.

By dividing the farm bill into two measures — one for agriculture subsidies and the other funding $800 billion for food stamps ?? Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) says the real work can begin to reform both programs.

??It??s unfair to call it a farm bill when 80 percent goes to social welfare spending,? Schweikert said. ??This bill is really bad policy the way it is packaged.?

The farm bill was passed by the Senate in June and the House Agriculture Committee last week and seeks to spend nearly $1 trillion over a ten-year period.

But both chambers are at odds over how much should be cut from the food stamp program, which has grown significantly during the Obama administration. The Senate is seeking cuts totaling less than $5 billion, while House Republicans want to cut $35 billion.

The number of Americans on food stamps has quadrupled since 2001 when more than 17 million collected the benefits, and is now received by nearly 45 million people. In 2003 the food stamp program consumed 64 percent of the entire farm bill, this year it is expected to total nearly 80 percent.

??This administration has literally turned (food stamps) into a recruitment tool for dependency on the federal government,? Schweikert said. ??We are in a dependency crisis.?

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has not set a date for the bill to come to the House floor for a vote. Boehner is reportedly concerned the farm bill vote will expose divisions among the Republican ranks and divert attention from the party??s pre-election agenda supporting a stronger economy, tax cuts, and regulatory reform.

But if the bill is split, Schweikert said Republicans can put a ??magnifying glass? to the legislation so that needed reforms and spending cuts will have a ??fighting chance.?

??I think we just need to step up and deal with it, and deal with it honorably,? Schweikert said.

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Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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archive

Rep. Schweikert: farm bill should be split to expose social welfare spending

A massive spending bill in the name of farm subsidies is actually a welfare package that should be torn apart to expose it for the social program it actually funds, a Republican lawmaker said Monday.

By dividing the farm bill into two measures — one for agriculture subsidies and the other funding $800 billion for food stamps – Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) says the real work can begin to reform both programs.

“It’s unfair to call it a farm bill when 80 percent goes to social welfare spending,” Schweikert said. “This bill is really bad policy the way it is packaged.”

The farm bill was passed by the Senate in June and the House Agriculture Committee last week and seeks to spend nearly $1 trillion over a ten-year period.

But both chambers are at odds over how much should be cut from the food stamp program, which has grown significantly during the Obama administration. The Senate is seeking cuts totaling less than $5 billion, while House Republicans want to cut $35 billion.

The number of Americans on food stamps has quadrupled since 2001 when more than 17 million collected the benefits, and is now received by nearly 45 million people. In 2003 the food stamp program consumed 64 percent of the entire farm bill, this year it is expected to total nearly 80 percent.

“This administration has literally turned (food stamps) into a recruitment tool for dependency on the federal government,” Schweikert said. “We are in a dependency crisis.”

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has not set a date for the bill to come to the House floor for a vote. Boehner is reportedly concerned the farm bill vote will expose divisions among the Republican ranks and divert attention from the party’s pre-election agenda supporting a stronger economy, tax cuts, and regulatory reform.

But if the bill is split, Schweikert said Republicans can put a “magnifying glass” to the legislation so that needed reforms and spending cuts will have a “fighting chance.”

“I think we just need to step up and deal with it, and deal with it honorably,” Schweikert said.

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Fox News to Air Fake Republican Group’s Pro-Mueller Ad.

U.S. POLITICS

The Left’s Weaponization of Journalism. 

U.S. POLITICS

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