“[Conaway] and Stabenow are fighting over this stuff, and Pat and I just sit and look at each other and roll our eyes,”
Agriculture bills are massive vehicles for crony capitalism. Corn, sugar, cotton, peanuts, meat, you name it, each ag lobby has a pet taxpayer financed program(s) or special regulation(s) that it jealously guards.
Notice that the battle isn’t over WHETHER this taxpayer money should be spent, but HOW it is spent. The taxpayer? Well, the taxpayer doesn’t have a lobbyist.
Conaway isn’t happy about how the Senate bill would eliminate a $2 billion perk for rural utilities that borrow from the federal government, a trade-off that opened up funding for a number of Stabenow’s priorities, including initiatives promoting renewable energy development and local and regional food, research funding for urban and indoor farming, and assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers.