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AFP to Farm Bill Conferees: Fix Overspending, Keep House Nutrition Reforms

Aug 2, 2018 by AFP

Group is asking for further reforms to both nutrition and agriculture sides of the bill. 

Arlington, VA – Americans for Prosperity sent a letter to recently-selected members of the conferee committee who will reconcile House and Senate versions of the farm bill legislation.

AFP Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner urged conferees to include reforms to both sides of the farm bill — both nutrition and agriculture — or short of that, pass a clean, one-year extension of the current farm-bill law to give Congress room to make serious fixes to overspending on the farm bill.

Gardner said in the letter: 

“In their current forms, both farm bills fall short on meaningful reforms to our bloated federal farm programs and subsidies, leaving in place the status quo of corporate welfare, government overreach and irresponsible spending.

“…In an era of escalating spending and spiraling deficits, all government programs should be reviewed and scarce taxpayer resources preserved for those who need them the most. This includes the safety net. This conference committee can start its process by [incorporating reforms to agriculture subsidies and then by] adopting the work-requirement reforms included in the House bill that will pave the way for more Americans to return to work. However, the unsustainable fiscal path the nation is on means that we cannot simply add large new benefit programs. Even if they are ‘paid for,’ we must reexamine the efficacy of these programs, especially those with unsatisfactory track records such as job training.”


A list of reforms AFP is requesting are included in an addendum to the letter. Among them are adjustments to crop insurance and commodities subsidies to ensure they’re targeted to those who need them most; closing a loophole that allowed farms to collect extra subsidies by claiming multiple farm managers; capping spending through ARC and PLC; and more.


This letter is of a piece with a broader effort at Americans for Prosperity to highlight the federal government’s continued overspending problem.

In May, AFP launched the Stop Overspending (SOS) campaign targeting a bipartisan group of House lawmakers with direct mail, print and radio ads, and a grassroots effort to hold the big spenders accountable while thanking those who stood up for taxpayers. The group followed up in July, engaging a bipartisan group of senators. The effort came in the wake of the House passage of a trillion-dollar omnibus package that increased discretional by 13 percent. Click here to read more.

Grassroots activists can send messages to their lawmakers at

AFP has consistently fought for more debate and discussion over our nation’s spending trajectory, including supporting the Budget Control Act of 2013, which helped put the brakes on discretionary spending through spending caps.