Congressman Gerry Connolly said he voted against the Farm Bill on the House floor Thursday, noting "The American people would be forgiven for smelling the stench of hypocrisy in the halls of Congress."
Citing massive cuts in food and nutrition programs contained in the bill and House Republicans' refusal to consider his simple amendment to prohibit members of Congress or their spouses from benefiting personally from provisions of the bill, Connolly (D-VA) said, "Beyond the human face of hunger, a tragic irony is lost within this policy debate. The very people who routinely call on this body to limit government and rein in spending are today asking for government handouts in the form of crop subsidies and insurance payments."
Connolly said many of the bill's supporters faced a conflict of ideology, if not an obvious conflict of interest. "They want the American taxpayer to cover their risks, while telling those at risk of hunger that they are on their own. It is a bold-faced Darwinian philosophy except, of course, when it involves them," he said.
"Who are the takers? Poor babies and their mothers trying to put food on the table? Or those who pocket tens of thousands of dollars in crop subsidies and insurance payments and tax credits and accelerated equipment depreciation and federally-funded soil and crop R&D, and then have the gall to vote with a straight face to cut nutrition programs," Connolly asked.