MN-02 : Understanding Kline’s Votes FOR Ag Subsidies

John Kline (R-MN-02) states the problem simply :
The Minnesotans I talk to say Washington must stop spending money it doesn’t have. They and their families are doing more with less, and they expect Washington to do the same. We cannot afford to keep saddling our children and grandchildren with this growing mountain of debt. The time is long overdue for Washington to tighten its belt, just like everyone else.”

As such, the 2012 appropriations should prove to voters who is serious about reforming the budget which means reducing spending and/or subsidies.

The House has adjourned for the week on Thursday having completed one spending plan … HR 2112 – Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs.

The Agriculture Department oversees a vast array of food assistance programs, all of which were cut in the House bill.
The bill cuts WIC aid for pregnant women, infants and children by $650 million – forcing the program to turn away up to 350,000 low-income women and young children next year. This but breaks a 15-year commitment by past Administrations and Congresses to provide enough WIC funding to serve all eligible women, infants, and children who apply.

That was not enough for the most powerful woman in the House … as Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05) offered an amendment to transfer $82.5 million from Women, Infants and Children to the Spending Reduction Account … that was just a little too much for many Republicans as it was defeated however a majority of Republicans 119 agreed that the cuts were needed including Minnesotans, Mr. Kline and Michele Bachmann (R-MN-06).

Cutting food assistance for pregnant women and their offspring was one thing … what about cutting subsidies?
Such as those provided through the Commodity Conservation Corporation (CCC) to the Brazilian Cotton Institute (BCI).
Yep, you read that right … US taxpayers have been paying a subsidy to Brazilian cotton farmers every year to protect the U.S. cotton program—and the profits of companies like Monsanto and Pioneer. (Here’s the background.)

Ron Kind (D-WI) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of taxpayer subsidies to the Brazilian Cotton Institute, a cost savings of $147 million a year, and it passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. … although only 95 Republicans voted for it … while 141 Republicans embraced Big Agri-business including Minnesotans Mr. Kline, Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) and Raymond Cravaack (R-MN-08).

Congressman Kind assessed the vote : “I’m pleased that a bipartisan group of Members agreed with me that supporting Brazil’s cotton industry with taxpayer dollars is wasteful and unnecessary. But the bill as a whole still irresponsibly overlooks other commonsense cuts such as the billions of dollars in outdated farm subsidies going to very few large agribusinesses. We cannot afford to continue spending carelessly and cutting recklessly, especially in this tough economy.”

Which brings the real question … how much should TaxEnoughAlready citizens have to subsidies Big-Agribusiness ?

And here, Jeff Flake (R-AZ) offered :
An amendment to prohibit the use of funds to provide any benefit described in section 1001D(b)(1)(C) of the Food Security Act of 1985 to a person or legal entity if the average adjusted gross income of the person or legal entity exceeds $250,000.

Now, $250,000 may seem like a lot of money … and it can add up … did you know that $3.1 million in farm payments went to the District of Columbia … or $4.2 million has gone to people living in Manhattan … And $1 billion of taxpayer money for farm payments has gone to Beverly Hills 90210 ? Yet, Congress has refused to lower it to that level … in fact, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) pushed legislation to do that in 2007 … only to be rejected.

Now, with Congressman Flake pushing this legislation, may be a small portion of Washington’s reckless spending will stop.

NOPE. Although 102 Democrats joined with 84 Republicans, this amendment failed.
as 152 Republicans wanted to keep giving away our taxdollars. The only Minnesota Republican to vote against this was … JOHN KLINE.

Considering that Mr. Kline has a vested interest in 534 acres in Houston Minnesota … it’s no wonder that he is Thankful for Farm Subsidies.

Mr. Kline’s votes have not helped women or children … but they sure help his “friends“.

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