Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Lawmakers won’t have to disclose the farm subsidies they receive
A provision requiring members of Congress and the administration to disclose what crop insurance subsidies they receive was quietly dropped from the farm bill that the House passed on Wednesday.
Section 11001 of the House-passed farm bill had a provision that “requires disclosure (by name) of the amount of crop insurance assistance received by Members of Congress, Cabinet Secretaries, and members of their immediate families.”
That provision was taken out in closed-door conference negotiations before the bill was released on Monday. The bill cleared the House in less than 72 hours, before many lawmakers had a chance to review it, and now heads to the Senate.
Taxpayers for Common Sense spotted the change in the bill.
“Considering a bunch of lawmakers receive those subsidies (including those on the Conference Committee) it’s a wonder how it got in there in the first place,” said Taxpayers for Common Sense staffer Steve Ellis.
In 2012, 15 members of Congress received direct farm commodity payments according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group. Direct crop payments are already public, while crop insurance premium assistance has not been subject to disclosure in the past.
With the new farm bill, that secrecy will continue.