Paul Ryan and the Farm Bill

Photo By: Gage Skidmore
Photo By: Gage Skidmore

Following Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential nominee, political pundits are pouring over Ryan’s record, examining his stances on various agricultural issues.

For most of the year, agricultural issues have taken a backseat to political issues. With the presidential election coming up, along with crucial elections in the House and Senate, issues like the farm bill and drought relief have been stalled due to political infighting.

After Romney’s Vice Presidential announcement, however, some political pundits have begun linking election politics to agricultural issues. In particular, the media are dissecting Representative Ryan’s stances on major agricultural issues, like the farm bill and agricultural spending.

Ryan has been criticized by some groups for his focus on budget cuts. Ryan’s controversial budget would have significantly cut agricultural spending (including lowering crop insurance returns, increasing premium payments, cutting food stamp funding, and reducing farm subsidies).

However, some farm groups are defending Ryan. According to a policy director for the Farm Bureau Federation, Ryan is an “equal opportunity budget cutter,” whose cuts are across the board. “We in agriculture don’t feel he’s someone who is picking on agriculture,” Farm Bureau officials said. Other groups are pointing out that Ryan voted for the House’s drought relief bill shortly before the August recess.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer