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Organizations Oppose Agriculture Committee Proposals to Increase Farm Subsidy Reference Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, organizations representing taxpayers and consumers issued the following statements in opposition to proposals to increase farm subsidy reference prices.

On Friday, the House Agriculture Committee proposed to increase farm subsidy reference prices by 10% to 20%.

Below are statements from the Heritage Foundation, National Taxpayers Union, R Street Institute, Environmental Working Group, and Taxpayers for Common Sense:

David Ditch, The Heritage Foundation
“The proposed changes to reference prices would cause inflationary market distortions, and most of the benefits would flow to financially secure businesses. With the national debt now roughly $265,000 for every household in the country, Congress should be looking for ways to save tax dollars rather than making handouts more generous.”

Bryan Riley, National Taxpayers Union
"USDA projects net U.S. farm income of $116.1 billion for 2024. Instead of increasing reference prices or other farm subsidies, Congress should prioritize improving subsidy transparency, means testing payments, and opening foreign markets to U.S. farm goods." 

Nan Swift, R Street Institute
"Reference price hikes are unjustifiable in the face of fiscal reality. Production costs are falling and farm incomes remain high. At the same time, our nation’s finances have never been more precarious. Taxpayers cannot afford this costly cronyism."

Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group
"Increasing reference prices will benefit the largest, most successful farmers growing a handful of crops,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s Vice President for Government Affairs. “Only 30 percent of farms even grow the crops eligible for these subsidies, and the largest 10% of those who are eligible collect more than 70% of all payments” 

Josh Sewell, Taxpayers for Common Sense
“Farm bill reference prices give Washington an outsized role in picking winners and losers in American agriculture,” said Joshua Sewell, Director of Research and Policy at Taxpayers for Common Sense. “We believe that it is long overdue to place faith in American farmers and treat them with the respect they deserve as sophisticated and innovative business leaders. Lawmakers should be looking to reduce Washington’s financial footprint in agriculture, not increase dependence on federal subsidies.”