Senate Votes on Paul Amendment to Farm Bill
Would restrict benefits to those with an adjusted gross income of $250,000 or less
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Senate today voted on a series of amendments to the 2012 Farm Bill, including an amendment introduced by Sen. Rand Paul that would limit payments and benefits listed in the bill to those entities with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $250,000 or less.
The amendment failed, with a vote of 15-84.
Prior to the vote, Sen. Paul spoke on the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to support his amendment.
This amendment will limit all payments or all farm subsidies to all Americans with an adjusted gross income of less than $250,000. My friends across the aisle are commonly saying why don't those of means pay more or receive less? This amendment would do precisely that.
Nine percent of farmers earn more than $250,000 worth of gross income. This would limit their payments. Currently nine percent of farmers are receiving nearly a third of the benefits.
A good question for the Senate might be, what do Scottie Pippen, Larry Flynt, and David Rockefeller have in common? The answer would be that besides being very rich, they've all gotten farm subsidies in the past.
I think this should change and that the wealthy shouldn't be receiving farm subsidies. This amendment would get rid of this. And I yield back the remainder of my time and encourage the senators to support this amendment.
BACKGROUND: The Farm Bill should not subsidize wealthy landowners and distort the market for land and food. The Paul amendment would ensure the bill only provides limited, means-tested assistance to aid family farmers in times of uncertainty or catastrophe. Furthermore, the amendment will not impact the majority of covered farms. About 91 percent of farms have an AGI less than or equal to $250,000 and collect about 71 percent of commodity payments. Farms with an AGI of more than $250,000 collect 29 percent of commodity payments and represent 9 percent of farms nationwide.
CBO has scored the amendment as saving $7 billion.