Monday, February 10, 2014

Senate passes the Farm Bill. Alexander votes "Aye;" Corker votes "No."

The Senate has now passed the negotiated final version of the Farm Bill, voting 68 in favor and 32 opposed . Opposition to the bill primarily came from eight liberals unhappy with the modest food stamp cuts and 24 and the Senate's 45 Republicans who either thought the cuts did not go far enough or had a principled opposition to the the concept of welfare for farmers and central economic planning. Sen. Lamar Alexander voted for the bill and Sen. Bob Corker voted against it.

One of the things disappoint me about Republicans is their support of agriculture central planning and welfare for farmers. We should not pay rich Hollywood farmers and Wall Street farmers for not growing crops on their farms. We should embrace a free market in agriculture. Republicans who rail against government control of health care and advocate a market approach to health care turn around and support government central planning in agriculture and price-fixing. They rail against welfare queens and support welfare for farmers.

Because many farmers vote for Republicans, many Republicans support the central planning status quo and welfare for farmers that is our agriculture policy. I assume some Republicans voted for this farm bill however, not because they are buying votes or support the bad policy of economic central planning, but simply because this is the best bill they could get. If I were voting on this bill however, I would have voted against it and I would vote against it every year no matter how much it cut food stamps.  As misguided and wasteful as I think food stamps are, I am more offended by economic central planning and paying so-called farmers to not grow crops. 

Among the Senate Republicans who voted against the bill were Ted Cruze (TX), John McCain (AZ), Mike Lee (UT), Rand Paul (KY), Jeff Session (AL).

Among the Republicans who supported the bill were Orin Hatch (UT), Mitch  McConnell (KY), and David Vitter (LA). To see how all Senators voted on the bill, follow this link.

The Tennessee House Republican congressional delegation were also split on the bill. To see how the house voted, follow this link.

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