Conservative groups oppose farm bill compromise

The conservative groups Club for Growth and Heritage Action urged lawmakers on Tuesday to oppose the five-year farm bill compromise. 

Club for Growth called the bill, which is expected to pass the House by Wednesday, "another bloated proposal that House and Senate leaders are rushing through Congress without giving members and the public enough time to read and understand the bill."

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The groups will include the vote on their congressional scorecards. 

"This bill continues, for blatant political reasons, the unholy marriage of agricultural subsidies and food stamps — two completely separate issues," Andy Roth, Club for Growth's vice president of government affairs, wrote to lawmakers. 

"At a minimum, these two programs should be voted on as separate, stand-alone bills."

Roth argues that, if lawmakers were serious about an overhaul, they would have included a plan to "devolve the food stamp program to the states and eventually eliminate federal agricultural subsidies." 

"This bill is well short of that goal," he wrote. 

"Instead, it’s a Christmas tree bill, where there’s a gift for practically every special interest group out there with a well-connected lobbyist, including the fresh-cut Christmas tree industry."

The nearly 1,000-page measure, released on Monday after months of talks, includes nearly $1 trillion in funding over the next decade for agriculture subsidy, crop insurance and food stamp programs.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is working up a score on the bill. 

The measure also reduces food stamp funding by about $8 billion, much less than what Republicans had demanded and slightly more than the $4 billion passed in the Senate bill. 

The measure could save upward of $23 billion over the next 10 years.