Sending Office: Honorable Earl Blumenauer
While Congress voted on the Farm Bill
GAO RELEASED A REPORT ON FARM SUBSIDY ABUSE
While the House was voting on a Farm Bill that expands loopholes for farm subsidies, GAO released a report highlighting just how much taxpayer-funded farm subsidies are at risk of being abused. The GAO
report highlights that in 2015:
- The federal government made about $2.7 BILLION in payments, distributed among 95,417 subsidy recipients;
- The top 50 farming operations received an AVERAGE OF $884 THOUSAND in payments; and
- One farming operation even received $3.7 MILLION in farm subsidies.
H.R. 2, the House Farm Bill, would only make this problem worse by weakening limits on subsidies that were added in the 2014 Farm Bill because of clearly documented abuses by farmers using non-farming family members to receive additional
subsidies. Several members introduced bipartisan amendments to reverse these changes and strengthen limits, but none were allowed any debate on the floor.
What is clear is that farm subsidies are out of control. They give too much money to the wrong people, drive family farms out of business, and incentivize farmers to plant the wrong crops in the wrong places. Many of these subsidies go to “farming operations”
that consist of a handful of absentee owners, corporations, and others who may have an ownership interest in a farm. They are farming the taxpayer, not their fields.
As the House continues its work to reauthorize the Farm Bill, we urge you to join us and the bipartisan coalition working to reign these limits and reform our food system.
Earl Blumenauer Ron Kind
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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