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Congressman Steve Russell

Representing the 5th District of Oklahoma

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Congressman Russell Introduces Two More Cost Cutting Bills

May 26, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Steve Russell (OK-5) introduced two more cost cutting bills: the Stop Taxpayer-Funded Alcohol Marketing Act and the End Subsidies for Tobacco Act.

The Stop Taxpayer-Funded Alcohol Marketing Act would amend the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 to eliminate the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to award value-added agricultural product market development grants to support the development, production, or marketing of alcoholic beverages. It would also rescind additional funds that have been made available for these grants. If passed, it would cut $8 million in wasteful government spending. Congressman Russell spoke of the need for the elimination of these grants, saying, “The federal government should not spend the taxpayers’ hard earned money on creating and marketing alcoholic beverages. These types of grants are simply wasteful, and they add up to a considerable amount of wasted taxpayer money that could be going toward paying off our debt.”

The End Subsidies for Tobacco Act would amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act to eliminate crop insurance subsidies for tobacco, saving the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars annually. This bill does not prohibit tobacco farmers from purchasing crop insurance. It simply stops government subsidies from funding crop insurance for tobacco. In recent years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided $108 million in subsidies to tobacco farmers. While the USDA has been giving these subsidies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has spent $230 million on anti-smoking ads, and the Food and Drug Administration has similarly spent $230 million to reduce teen smoking. Congressman Russell addressed this contradiction, stating, “Why is the federal government propping up a commodity while trying to discourage us from using it at the same time? This pattern leads to hundreds of millions of dollars in waste that can go toward reducing our deficit. We need to carefully consider every dollar the federal government spends.”

Both of these bills were introduced by Congressman Russell last Congress, and together they would cut tens of millions of dollars in federal spending. Congressman Russell has now introduced nine cost cutting bills this Congress, which if enacted would save the taxpayer $17.5 billion. His legislation has saved $4 billion thus far, and he has published six editions of his Waste Watch report highlighting $300 billion in wasteful government spending.