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No more secrets

(article, Culinate staff)

With the collapse, just before Thanksgiving, of the Congressional federal-deficit supercommittee came a good deal of post-failure analysis and what it might mean for the "Secret Farm Bill" the committee hoped to pass under the table. 

The political blog The Hill predicted how various members of Congress would haggle over the bill in the next several months. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group offered five takeaway lessons from the legislative shenanigans, ranging from the obvious (secrecy is bad in lawmaking) to the more subtle (why the subsidy lobby is so devious).

The environmental blog Grist was hopeful that the temporary death of the secret Farm Bill might mean an improved eventual bill, while Marion Nestle, on her Food Politics blog, provided a list of the "most interesting" provisions in the secret Farm Bill and a wrap-up of Farm Bill predictions. 

She also passed along a funny quote about the prospects of Farm Bills in general:

bq. The agriculture committees will now try to achieve an unprecedented feat: passing a Farm Bill in an election year. Even in the best of times, passing a Farm Bill is like “passing a kidney stone,” quipped Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) in 2008.