$173.5 Million Spent Lobbying 2008 Farm Bill

As Congress considered the 2008 farm bill, they were lobbied by over a thousand companies and trade groups – to the tune of $173.5 million. Talk about shoring up special interest handouts!

The National Journal reports that a new study from the Food & Water Watch finds that: “special interests hired ‘an army’ of well-connected lobbyists, including 45 former members of Congress, at least 461 former congressional or executive branch staffers and a ‘host of K Street firms.’” As Heritage Action’s CEO Michael Needham and COO Tim Chapman wrote: “This corrupt nexus is at the heart of the dissatisfaction across the country towards Washington.”

Not surprisingly, the words “sugar” and “dairy” appear repeatedly among the list of “Top 25 Commodity Interests’ 2008 Farm Bill Lobbying.” Conservatives on the House Agriculture Committee tried to fix these programs, but the amendments were defeated.

Now remember that this lobbying happened when the 2008 farm and food stamp bill was projected to cost $604 billion over ten years. Because of this massive price tag, then-President George W. Bush vetoed the bill, but the Nancy Pelosi-led Congress, along with 100 Republicans, overrode that veto.

Back then, $604 billion over ten years was far too much, and resulted in $173.5 million spent by lobbyists. At nearly $1 trillion, the current farm bill costs 62% more than the initial 2008 bill. How much money do you supposed lobbyists have been spending for this one?

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