BEEF Daily

Is Compromise A Dead Word In D.C.?


The farm bill failed in Congress last week. Was it because of its contents, or because of the bull-headedness of members of Congress?

Over the weekend, my husband and I rented a few movies to watch on Saturday night. We had to call our working day short due to a passing storm that hit some areas with damaging winds and hail. Luckily, we just got a good shot of rain, so the break from throwing square bales was welcomed and enjoyed by all.

We rented the 2012 hit movie, “Lincoln,” which depicted the story of President Abraham Lincoln’s political maneuvering for passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which freed the slaves. One scene in the movie featured a debate in the House of Representatives. The debate portrayed intense discussions on Civil War-era politics. The heated speeches and frequently tossed insults from across the aisle made me realize that not much has changed in our nation’s capital since 1865.

Last week, the farm bill failed to pass. Big shocker. With Democrats fighting cuts to the food stamp program and Republicans trying to cut overall costs and hang onto farm subsidies, the word compromise isn’t even in the current vernacular of our nation’s capital.

Perhaps the farm bill needs to be broken up, separating the nutrition assistance programs from the production needs of farmers and ranchers, who rely on the program for the government programs that will dictate how they will operate and manage their businesses. Obviously, that isn’t a new or novel idea, but we need to do something to facilitate Congress to move forward with its responsibilities rather than leave millions of people in limbo waiting for our elected representatives to come to agreement. It’s an irresponsible use of power for Congress to sit on its hands and refuse to work together, and I think it’s high time we start calling Congress out on it.

Of course, I better be careful for what I wish. If our elected officials do decide to get to work, I might not like what results, either.

Our country’s leaders have come through in the clutch numerous times during our nation’s history. We freed the slaves, granted women the vote, and guaranteed equal rights to all individuals, regardless of race, creed or color, to name a few. However, we’ve still got a long way to go when it comes to dealing with each other. That’s something we’re still working on 150 years after Lincoln’s time.

What are your thoughts on the stalemate in Congress? Is it good, bad, or indifferent? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 9

Lyle Kenner (not verified)
on Jun 25, 2013

The fact is we owe $16,000,000,000 and we can not afford food stamps for the lazy or taxpayer subsidies for fat cat farmer crop insurance.

Steiger (not verified)
on Jun 25, 2013

As a farmer, I would challenge your portrayal of farmers as "fat cats". You're welcome to come out any time and see what its really like. I agree that the debt situation is unsustainable and needs to be addressed.

on Jun 25, 2013

I'm afraid to see how high privatized insurance might be though. Of course it could be cheaper if we aren't paying for all of the RMA staff. Of course if we do away with all of these government programs/groups, then we're going to drive up the unemployment rate quite a bit. It's sad with two jobs and a farm in our household, we still qualified for WIC (Women, Infant & Children). I do not wait for the government to "tell" me what I can do, I'm just curious if it's going to be status quo, or if we are really going have some progress.

Frank Schlichting (not verified)
on Jun 25, 2013

No reason that the government should subsidize agriculture. It should sand on it's own two feet like any other business. What happened to free enterprise?

Larry (not verified)
on Jun 26, 2013

This would be OK but what about BIG OIL.and most other corporations.If you take away from fRMERS,THEN TAKE IT ALL AWAY.

Steiger (not verified)
on Jun 25, 2013

While it would be nice to have a break from the farm bill debate, life goes on. When both sides in Washington agree, it's time to get scared. Washington looks out for Washington, it's up to us to look out for ourselves.

Sandy knight (not verified)
on Jun 25, 2013

Farmer crop insurance should be privatized.Too many .Too much abuse.

AB (not verified)
on Jun 25, 2013

Here is what they do in Europe
To every registered farmer/cattleman who actually works Spain spends/gives 5600 Euros
France 20,936
UK 18,331
Germany 15,680

End of story

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jun 25, 2013

Maybe it is different now than when we had WIC, but it was not designed for maximum benefit at minimum cost. The max dollar amount was high, but the limit to the amount of food purchased was low. I could have gotten 2-3 times the food getting cheaper brands. Years later in the grocery line I saw someone trying to buy the 2 gallons of the same milk is cheaper milk. The cashier, who also disagreed with the policy, said the WIC program did not allow that, only single gallon purchases. The buyer said she was trying to save the program money, and WIC then paid more for the milk. I think WIC coupons entitled me to 2 pounds of cheese, but with a high dollar figure that could have bought 4-5 pounds of cheese. They should have lowered the $ figure and allowed the WIC recepient to select more inexpensive cheese.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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