The Washington Times Inside Politics Blog

Nyet: Boehner denounces 'Soviet' dairy program as House weighs farm bill

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The House on Thursday heeded Speaker John A. Boehner’s plea to overhaul what he called the “Soviet style” dairy programs that could restrict American farmers’ production of milk.

The chamber voted, 291-135, in favor of an amendment to the five-year farm bill from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, to replace a supply-management system with a type of insurance program that’s typically used to protect other farm commodities.

In debate, Mr. Goodlatte said the change would save taxpayers’ money, and the nation would not have “a policy where we are actually having the government going to dairy farmers and say, ‘If you want to get your check, you’ve got to reduce the size of your herd.’ “

“Government should not have the power to tell dairy farmers that they will not be paid for the milk they produce,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Kansas Republican.

House Agriculture Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Minnesota Democrat, had urged the chamber not to change the current system.

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