Rep. Paul Cook Votes Against Pork-Laden Farm Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) today voted against wasteful spending in a series of amendments and the final version of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013. Cook joined with 61 other Republicans and many Democrats who objected to final passage of the measure, which failed on a 234-195 vote.
Cook said, “I support our farmers, but I can’t vote for a bill that includes the pork-barrel spending I promised voters I’d help eliminate. At a time when we’re making massive cuts to the military and with families still struggling to make ends meet, the price tag on this bill was too much to swallow. For me to support a farm bill, I need to see wasteful spending eliminated, fewer taxes, and more targeted spending on programs that actually help our farmers without penalizing taxpayers.”
In addition to controversial billion-dollar subsidies – such as doubling food stamps monies compared to the 2008 version of the bill – the FARRM bill originally included numerous frivolous provisions such as the following: 1. A tax on Christmas trees. 2. The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, which subsidizes the marketing of sheep and goats. 3. Language to classify rocks as an agricultural product. Cook voted against all three items; however the Christmas Tree Tax was still included in the final version of the bill.Cook stated, “The American people are tired of Washington double-talk and want to see their tax dollars used in a rational manner. They deserve a better solution.”
A member of the House Armed Services, Veterans' Affairs, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook is a former educator who served as an infantry officer and retired as a Colonel after 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal with valor device and two Purple Hearts for actions in combat.