The Wall Street Journal declared this morning that efforts to reform the farm bill have been defeated. (If you have a WSJ subscription, you can get the article here.) Lauren Etter and Greg Hitt write that “farmers, at least so far, have succeeded in stopping the strongest effort in years to shrink the government safety net that doles out billions of dollars to them each year.”
“We got rolled,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and would be farm bill reformer. “The agriculture community circled the wagons.” It didn’t hurt also that ag groups spent more than $80 million on lobbying.
There were strong efforts to change the land. “But now,” the Journal reporters write, “serious reform is likely to be left behind like corn husks flung from a combine. As Congress tries to finish writing the new farm bill, the final tab is likely to be larger than the 2002 bill, which totaled more than $260 billion.”