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Cotton Statement on the Farm Bill Conference Report

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Tom Cotton (R-Dardanelle) today released the following statement on the Farm Bill Conference Report:

“Growing up on a farm in Yell County, I learned a simple lesson: you can’t spend more than you take in.  That’s why I’ve worked hard to protect Arkansas taxpayers and that’s why I can’t support the food-stamp bill.  This bill spends too much and leaves Arkansas farmers with too little. Arkansas farmers will receive barely 0.5% of its bloated $956 billion price tag—half of what they received in the 2008 bill. Also, it imposes unfair regulations on livestock producers, opening all Arkansas farmers to retaliatory tariffs.  That’s one reason most livestock groups oppose the bill, as do countless Arkansas farmers I’ve heard from.  And even a small dip in crop prices from the bill’s historically high target prices could leave taxpayers on the hook for tens of billions of dollars.

“This bill can only be called a food-stamp bill when nearly 80% of its funding doesn’t support farmers. Food-stamp spending has grown by 86% under President Obama and enrollment is at a record high, while 70% of adults who receive food stamps have been on the program for more than 5 years. Yet this bill fails to make real reforms—lacking even common-sense work requirements that would provide job training to able-bodied adults receiving food stamps.

“Arkansas taxpayers cannot continue to foot the bill for President Obama’s failed policies and Arkansas farmers shouldn’t be held hostage to President Obama’s runaway food-stamp program. I will continue to fight for policies that support Arkansas farmers and protect Arkansas taxpayers.”

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