U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, who has held senior agriculture committee posts in Congress for years, said Tuesday that he will oppose the Farm Bill Conference Report, saying it is not market-oriented enough and that it is too expensive.
Roberts, who was bumped as the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee last year, criticized the new target price program or Price Loss Coverage Program for setting high fixed target prices. He said it guarantees overproduction and long periods of low crop prices. He also said the subsidy programs included in the legislation open American agriculture to global trade disputes, which the U.S. will likely lose.
Roberts also said the federal food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has grown too large and that proposed cuts in the conference bill don’t go far enough.
“While we all want to provide certainty to producers, the conference has missed an opportunity for greater and necessary reforms to our nation’s farm programs, federal nutrition programs, and burdensome regulations,” he said in a statement. “I cannot march backwards and deliver more spending, more regulations and more waste.”