As sure as orchards blooming in the spring, there is likely to be an effort in Congress to pass a Farm Bill this year. And coming as it may in an election year, it is likely to be loaded with pork — possibly more for the producers of ag commodities than for Food Stamp recipients. The 2008 Farm Bill weighed in at $248 billion.
Observers also note that this year's Farm Bill deliberations have been less transparent than ever before. Environmental groups coined the term "Secret Farm Bill" to describe a failed effort by the budget "Supercommittee" in late 2011 to craft a bill behind closed doors. It has been historically done in open committee sessions.
In that spirit, the WatchDog is sharing a backgrounder on the 2012 Farm Bill done by the Congressional Research Service. Congress keeps these reports, paid for with taxpayer money and containing no national security information, secret from the public. We thank the Federation of American Scientists for publishing it.