The Secret Farm Bill In Washington

2012 Farm Bill Legislation

How can a truly representative form of government be said to exist when out of a total of 438 435 members of Congress, only 4 members get to determine the fate of one of the largest legislative bills in government: The Federal Farm Bill?

Roughly every 5 years, Congress spends months hammering out the details of each new Farm Bill before it gets voted upon in the House of Representatives, and confirmed in the senate. According to the Environmental Working Group, for last year alone (2010), the program spent over 94 billion dollars.

Not this time.

In closed sessions over only a matter of weeks, the gang of 4, will decide the new provisions of the bill that will be presented to the budget deficit committee, itself a super committee. These 12 (super) legislators (6 Republicans and 6 Democrats) may ultimately decide the fate of this Farm Bill, along with wider recommendations (if they can reach a consensus vote) for cutting overall government spending to the tune of more than a trillion dollars.

For those who are not normally drawn to wonkish policy battles in Washington, this is one bill that literally effects every citizen in this country over the food on our table, and the price of food that we buy.

Check out these posts for a good crash course on what the government is deciding in secret about the federal farm bill, in the name of deficit reduction:


    • says

      Yes, I was referring to the House of Representatives in the post. Including the senate, there are 535. The 438 figure is slightly off, it should be 435. Good catch!

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