Congressman Russell Introduces Second Waste Cutting Bill in as Many Weeks
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Steve Russell (OK05) introduced the End Subsidies for Tobacco Act, which will eliminate tens of millions of dollars a year in federal crop insurance subsidies for tobacco. During the last two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided $108 million in subsidies to tobacco farmers. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control has spent at least $230 million on anti-smoking ads, while the Food and Drug Administration has likewise spent $230 million to reduce teen smoking over that same time. This bill does not prohibit tobacco farmers from purchasing crop insurance; it simply removes the taxpayer-funded subsidy for this insurance.
Congressman Russell spoke about the End Subsidies for Tobacco Act, saying, “In my Waste Watch series, I have highlighted many instances where the federal government throws good money after bad, and ends up wasting millions of dollars of the taxpayers’ hard earned money. Why is the federal government propping up a commodity and trying to discourage us from using it at the same time? This leads to hundreds of millions of dollars in waste that can go to reducing our deficit and helping out all Americans by reducing our sizable debt. We need to prioritize every dollar the federal government spends, and decide if it is really necessary and wise to spend that money. Our economy and national security are at risk if we do not address our runaway deficit immediately.”
The End Subsidies for Tobacco Act was inspired by Senator Jeff Flake’s Wastebook 2015, which highlighted crop insurance subsidies and other federal spending on tobacco. Last week, Congressman Russell introduced the Stop Taxpayer-Funded Alcohol Marketing Act, which will end millions of dollars of federal grants for alcohol products. Congressman Russell highlighted these grants in Waste Watch No. 4.
You can read all four editions of Congressman Russell’s Waste Watch series here: