Sen. John McCain waded into farmyard fight by opposing language in a farm bill that provides millions in revenue insurance subsidies for popcorn growers, Politico
The provision, according to Politico, was inserted by Nebraska’s two senators — Republican Mike Johanns and Democrat Ben Nelson — who are trying to butter up constituents in the state that grew more popcorn than any other last year and is home of ConAgra Foods. ConAgra’s brands include classic Orville Redenbacher’s, Fiddle Faddle, Poppycock, Crunch ‘n Munch, and Screaming Yellow Zonkers! The senators, who sit on the Agriculture Committee and initiated the provision, have been working with the Popcorn Institute, a Chicago-based industry trade group.
McCain, the Arizona Republican, filed an amendment to strike the 31 words of popcorn language in the 1,000 page farm bill. “This popcorn carve-out is a perfect example of farm bill politics,” McCain said in a statement. “There isn’t a kernel of evidence that shows they need this support from the taxpayers. Popcorn is doing just fine — prices are up and recent free-trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea are creating a boom for our popcorn exports.”
In May, a technical correction to the bill qualified popcorn growers for what could be millions in revenue insurance subsidies. The bill shifts away from direct cash to farmers, a practice begun in the 1990s, and toward a more market-focused approach tied to crop insurance to protect farm revenues.
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