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Group urges Iowa delegation to vote against the Farm Bill

(Radio Iowa) – The conservative group “Americans for Prosperity” is urging members of the U.S. House to vote against the Farm Bill when it comes up for a vote, perhaps later today. Christine Harbin is federal policy analyst for Americans for Prosperity.

“This so-called Farm Bill is filled with food stamps and corporate hand-outs,” Harbin says. Her group objects to the subsidies farmers receive to buy crop insurance, calling that “corporate welfare.”

“It doesn’t overwhelmingly go towards small, struggling farmers like my grandmother and grandfather,” Harbin says. “They go to large, well-connected farm companies.” Last week the top Republican in the U.S. House, Ohio Congressman John Boehner, announced he would vote for the Farm Bill.

Americans for Prosperity is urging Iowa’s entire congressional delegation to vote against it. “We’re targeting and trying to hold accountable people on both sides of the aisle because people on both sides of the aisle get the Farm Bill wrong,” Harbin says.

Americans for Prosperity favors an end to farm subsidies. The group’s Iowa director says farmers are “doing quite well for themselves” and federal farm policy should be “based on free market principles” rather than “handouts.”

The group also argues consumers pay too much at grocery store because of Farm Bill policies. Last year lawmakers passed a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill when an updated Farm Bill stalled in the House.