Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday proposed an amendment to the agriculture bill that would prohibit those with an income greater than $250,000 from receiving any federal farm payment.
"Nine percent of farmers earn more than $250,000 worth of gross income," he said on the Senate floor. "This would limit their payments. Currently nine percent of farmers are receiving nearly a third of the benefits."
"A good question for the Senate might be, what do Scottie Pippen, Larry Flynt, and David Rockefeller have in common? The answer would be that besides being very rich, they've all gotten farm subsidies in the past."
The amendment was defeated by a 15-84 vote after Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said the bill already limits subsidies to higher-income farmers. The farm bill cuts crop subsidies by $13 billion over 10 years.
Last week, Paul proposed an amendment to the farm bill that would have slashed the federal food stamp program by $280 billion. That amendment also failed.
Stabenow said in a statement that the farm bill in its current form would reduce the deficit by $23 billion by “eliminating unnecessary direct payment subsidies, consolidating programs to end duplication, and cracking down on food assistance abuse.”
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