WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a Golden Plow Award winner, today voted against final passage of S. 3240, the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill. The five year reauthorization bill has a ten-year taxpayer cost of $1 trillion. The bill passed the Senate by a 64 to 35 vote.
“Two weeks ago, I voted against a procedural motion on the farm bill because the measure was loaded with welfare programs that have nothing to do with farming, and because it was designed to help support the crops of only a few states,” said Inhofe. “Today, I voted against the bill’s final passage for the same reasons. Roughly 80 percent of the bill’s $1 trillion spent on the Food Stamp program, a program that has doubled in cost over the last four years. Despite considering over 70 amendments, this bill was not significantly improved during Senate debate.
“The Democrat controlled Senate rejected common sense improvements to the Food Stamp program, including an amendment I offered with Senators Rand Paul and Lindsay Graham. Unfortunately, this bill is geared toward protecting the profits of a few farmers in particular areas of the country. It does not work for Oklahoma and fails to protect our farmers from the risks associated with multi-year price collapses. I am hopeful that Committee Chairman Frank Lucas will be able to work a bill through the House that works for the entire country’s agriculture community, including our farmers in Oklahoma.”
The Inhofe amendment, S. Amdt. 2421, would have cut the Food Stamp program by $285 billion over ten years and given all authority to design and run the program to the states. Inhofe believes that states, closer to the needs of their own communities, should have the right to design welfare programs on their own. Inhofe pledged to continue fighting to protect farmers and rural communities from the intrusive overregulation from the EPA.
The House will look to work on their own version of the Farm Bill after the July 4th recess.