Monday, December 10, 2018

The Farm Bill and Payment Limitation

The Post editorial page says that Rep. Conaway got his nieces/nephews provision (see my previous post under this label) included in the farm bill, which will be included in the final appropriations bill, assuming Congress and the President can come to some agreement on it.

This seems to fit a long lasting pattern where public attention is limited in both time and scope.  So when people pay attention to how the farm bill is being put together in House and Senate payment limitation will get attention.  Attention means that the power of the lobbyists and "special interests" is somewhat diminished as the more fringe players have more of a place at the table.

But when public attention moves away from the subject the lobbyists/special interests then have more power.  Typically they exercise their power by adding provisions to appropriations bills or omnibus "must pass" legislation where the voices which oppose the provision, like the Post editorial writers, are drowned in concerns over the bigger picture--as now, whether or not part of the government will be shut down, mostly over a dispute over the President's "Wall".

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