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Roberts votes against farm bill, Moran votes for it

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Kansas senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran were on opposite sides Monday on the farm bill that was approved 66-27 in the U.S. Senate.

Moran voted for the bill, while Roberts voted against it.

In statements, the two Republicans gave their reasons.

“The Farm Bill passed in the Senate meets the two benchmarks most important to Kansas farmers and ranchers: strong, stable crop insurance and disaster programs to provide livestock producers with confidence when faced with Mother Nature’s uncertainty," Moran said.

But Roberts said, “In this budget environment and at a time when we are looking to make smart cuts to farm programs, I cannot justify a subsidy program that can pay producers more than the cost of production and essentially becomes nothing more than an income transfer program, not a risk-management tool."

The bill, which will cost nearly $1 trillion over 10 years, finances crop insurance and food assistance for low-income families.

The Senate bill would cut $4.1 billion from food stamps over 10 years. The measure now goes to the House, where it faces an uncertain future. A House version would cut food stamps by $20 million.

Roberts was the ranking Republican member on the Agriculture Committee during the last Congress and supported last year's Senate-approved bill.

Roll Call reports that this year, changes made in the bill to win the support of the new ranking member, Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and other Southerners caused Roberts to oppose the new version.link text

Earlier this year, Cochran asserted seniority privilege on the Agriculture Committee after having been dropped as the top Republican on another committee. This pushed aside Roberts as the top Republican on the committee, although he is still a member.

Comments

yourworstnightmare 1 year, 10 months ago

What a pickle these senators are in. To support or not support a social program for farmers.

They hate social programs for others, but like them for farmers.

From Robert's and Moran's statements, it is clear (or not clear, as the case may be) that they wish to obscure their reasons for their votes as much as possible, and obscure what the farm subsidies program and crop "insurance" are really all about (social programs for farmers whereby they get government handouts no matter what happens to their crops or prices).

Welfare for farmers. Much hand-wringing from the esteemed Kansas delegation.

yourworstnightmare 1 year, 10 months ago

“In this budget environment and at a time when we are looking to make smart cuts to farm programs, I cannot justify a subsidy program that can pay producers more than the cost of production and essentially becomes nothing more than an income transfer program, not a risk-management tool."

?? Hard to see wisdom in this statement. Is he referring to direct payments to farmers, the very thing that he was personally responsible for adding to the farm subsidies programs?

patkindle 1 year, 10 months ago

it passed so this article really does't matter usually the way they work it, the ones up for election vote the way the people want it and the rest vote to get the bill pushed thru.(or not) it is just a game they have played for years

bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

It matters if you care how your state senators voted. I do.

It still has to pass the House, so time will tell whether it really does/doesn't matter.

Carol Bowen 1 year, 10 months ago

Subsidies for corporate farming should be the issue. As George Will points out in today's column, "Sugar subsidies costly to consumers", subsidies needed during the great depression have become entitlements. Hmmm. Does that mean we are subsidizing Coca Cola? Why would our conservative support corporate entitlements and not Social Security that really is not an entitlement? Think tobacco, peanuts, ...

Ockhams_Razor 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess Billy Sol Estes didn't call Roberts and tell him how to vote this time.

Hal Larsen 1 year, 10 months ago

I hope they make these farmers take a drug test when they apply for assistance.

booksliveon 1 year, 10 months ago

Roberts isn't running for re-election...maybe he will stop pandering.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 10 months ago

The farm bill is welfare for lazy farmers too dumb to get a real job...let the free market decide.

riverdrifter 1 year, 10 months ago

Stop talking about our governor that way!

Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 10 months ago

More than $600k over ten years to his family's farm.... Where is the Republican outrage against this freeloading from the hard work of taxpayers? Crickets....

BringBackMark 1 year, 10 months ago

Roberts gets confused unless he's voting on something pertaining to weapons of mass destruction..... I wish just once that reporters would explain that these farm bills contain much more than subsidies and food stamps. Those are the key issues they think the public wants to hear about but there are many more issues that pertain to the health of rural America.

Carol Bowen 1 year, 10 months ago

Interesting, Mark. What other issues are you aware of?

BringBackMark 1 year, 10 months ago

One example is funding (loans and grants) for water and wastewater systems for unserved rural areas and small communities. Previous farm bills have included funding for these facilities to clean up the backlog of applications.

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