Has the ultra-conservative think tank Heritage Foundation and its lobby arm Heritage Action been banned from the Republican Study Committee’s farm bill meetings? Yes, according to reporting in the National Journal by Tim Alberta and in Thomas Driscoll’s excellent Ag-to-Go policy newsletter.
In previous farm bill debate, all the Heritage did was misrepresent itself, mislead many Republican House members and embarrass House Speaker John Boehner.
According to Ag-to-Go, Heritage recommended—to cheerleading from many conservatives in and out of Congress—that the farm part of the farm bill be split off from the food stamp part for a separate vote. Many Republicans agreed, and Heritage hinted it was on board.
One ag blogger predicted the foundation would love to split these two elements of farm legislation so they could pick off either one easily. Wait! That was me. The Republicans did pass a stand-alone farm bill that has no chance of becoming law, but what do you know? There was the Heritage Foundation working against it!
There are some things only government can do. They should do those things—well. One of those is a national food security safety net with the labor, environmental and health regulations WE want. If our food is grown somewhere else after we force our own farmers out of business, we will have much less control over all of that.
This kind of thing makes it hard to be a conservative. I really shouldn’t say “I told you so,” but—“I told you so.”