Senator Lisa Murkowski today voted against the $969 billion 2012 Farm Bill, saying it contains far too many subsidies and is not the cost-saving bill that it is being portrayed as. She shared her reasoning after the vote:
"In 2008, I voted against the five-year Farm Bill because it was too bloated and gave unnecessary handouts to farmers across the country. That bill averaged $61 billion a year. This one averages nearly $97 billion a year. There are new subsidies for maple syrup, a new payout for "gleaners" who find food for food banks, and an increase in the size of "rural' communities that qualify for development grants from 20,000 to 50,000. I don't consider Juneau or Fairbanks "rural.'
"While this bill has a few positive aspects, this was not a choice where the perfect is the enemy of the good. This bill simply puts us on a fiscally unsustainable course.
"Some are claiming this farm bill saves money, but that's only true if you compare this bill to a 10 year continuation of current stimulus fund levels. Point blank: this bill spends more next year than we spent last year. That's not saving money.
"We need to make difficult decisions about where to put our limited resources for our nation's financial health, and I am disappointed the Senate could not demonstrate more sound leadership today."