Congressman Jeb Hensarling

Representing the 5th District of Texas

Hensarling on the Farm Bill

Jan 29, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), a leading conservative and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement regarding his opposition to the Federal Agriculture Reform & Risk Management Act (H.R. 2642):

“While the official title of this legislation is the Federal Agriculture Reform & Risk Management Act, the reality is almost 80% of the direct spending in this legislation is for food stamps. Under this president, America has become a food stamp nation with a part-time economy when we need to be an opportunity society with upward mobility. A record 47 million Americans – almost one in six – are on food stamps, and the majority of households now receiving benefits are adults of working age, not children and the elderly.

“As part of a fifth-generation farm family, and having grown up working on my family’s farm, I understand the challenges faced by agricultural producers. I believe the most effective way the government can help farmers and ranchers is by respecting private property rights, reducing regulatory burdens, permanently repealing the Death Tax, expanding trade opportunities abroad, and promoting American energy independence.

“I fundamentally do not agree with using taxpayer funds to make payments to subsidize able-bodied farmers at the expense of others, especially our children and grandchildren. As we are confronted by the realities of our unsustainable, unconscionable, and immoral national debt, now, more than ever, we must once put a stop to taxpayer-subsidized insurance plans. America is on the verge of a debt crisis, and we can no longer afford to do things simply because we’ve done them in the past. In every industry there are risks associated with doing business, and farming is no different. It is my hope that one day, Congress and the federal government will end the market-distorting policies they have injected into the agricultural industry for the last century, phase out these programs, and allow the free market to work.

“I appreciate the work of Chairman Lucas and the members of the House Agriculture Committee, and look forward to working with them in the future to remove government interference in agriculture and give Americans the freedom to farm that includes a vigorous private market for crop and livestock insurance.”