Club for Growth Disappointed in Conservatives’ Betrayal on Farm Bill


Today, Club for Growth President David McIntosh issued the following statement in response to the House passage of the Farm Bill conference report:

“Club for Growth is disappointed by all the fiscal conservatives who voted in support of the farm bill conference report,” stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “In particular, we had great hopes that three House conservatives who were recently elected to leadership positions would help lead the House Republican minority back to its conservative roots, and with that find a path to return to the majority.  Representatives Mark Walker (R-NC), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Gary Palmer (R-AL) have all scored well on the Club for Growth scorecard in the past.  They have all stated publicly their opposition to the egregious, big government programs in the Farm bill as passed by Congress.   We find it incredulous that, nonetheless, their conservative rhetoric did not carry the day when it came time to vote up or down on legislation that is nothing less than socialism with a Republican seal of approval on it.”

Here is what each of these Representatives has publicly stated about the farm bill and work requirements:

Rep. Mark Walker, incoming Vice-Chair of Republican Conference: “House conservatives, the President, and the vast majority of Americans support policies that encourage work and help lift people out of poverty.  As I’ve said for months, those provisions have to stay.”  They were taken out of the bill!  Rep. Walker voted “yes.”

Rep. Mike Johnson, incoming Chairman of the Republican Study Committee: “Rather than giving people the chance to escape poverty through meaningful work opportunities, this bill continues to incentivize able-bodied adults to rely on government assistance. While I believe fiscal reforms and work requirements in a Nancy Pelosi-controlled House will be nearly impossible to achieve, the final version of the ‘Farm Bill’ missed a vital chance to make real, long-overdue adjustments.”  Rep. Johnson voted “yes.”

Rep. Gary Palmer, incoming Republican Policy Chairman: “Giving people the ability to stay on food stamps while they are getting job training or getting a job . . . and it’s just beyond my comprehension that anyone would oppose that for able-bodied adults without children.  The opposition to it violates the laws of common sense.” Rep. Palmer voted “yes.”

“The powerful agri-business lobbyists pressured conservatives in agriculture states.  While these new House leaders folded, many others, including former Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), stood for principle and voted ‘no.’”

“We see this as a very bad sign that the new House Republican leadership – which these gentlemen are part of – will likely continue the losing strategies of the past,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh continued.  “The American people are tired of politicians who say one thing to get elected and do another after the election is over.   Republicans must act to restore confidence that they have a genuine commitment to freedom and limited government – one that extends all the way to the legislation they actually vote for and pass out of Congress.”