In the 2008 farm bill, Congress required the USDA to cross-reference its recipient lists with the Social Security Administration’s master list of deceased individuals, but Portman said several agencies have not fully implemented the requirement.

The Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill earlier this year that would end the farm subsidy program and replace it with a crop insurance program that farmers would pay into. The Senate bill reduced spending by $24 billion over 10 years; most of the savings came from eliminating waste and fraud within the subsidy system. 

The Senate has requested a conference committee with the House to work out major differences between the House and Senate farm bills. The current farm bill expires next month. If lawmakers don’t agree on a farm bill by the end of September, the current subsidy system will likely be extended for another year.

Portman also criticized the 2009 stimulus bill, which reportedly distributed $18 million to 72,000 dead people.