Spartz Defends Her Anti-Checkoff Amendment Before It Fails in the House

Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-IN-5th District). Photo courtesy of C-SPAN.


Representative Victoria Spartz’s (R-IN-5th) controversial anti-checkoff amendment to the Ag Appropriations Bill failed before the full House late Wednesday. Before the vote, defended her amendment proposal on the House Floor late Tuesday night.

“So, if you want to force farmers to pay some money, I think part of what farmers need to know where the money goes. You know? Do they promote commodities or promote very wealthy jobs for … people in fancy suits? Farmers work hard for this money,” she said. “So, my amendment has two parts. To have more transparency with trying to do the Farm Bill, but also, you know, no taxpayer’s money should be used unless we know what’s happening with this checkoff dollars.”

The amendment would have prevented taxpayer money from being used for checkoff programs. However, opponents point out that checkoffs are paid for by producer dues and no taxpayer money is going to the programs, therefore the amendment was unnecessary.

Rep. Glenn G.T. Thompson (R-PA-15th), who also serves as House Agriculture Committee Chairman, gave a voice to the opposition on the House Floor.

“Research and Promotion programs, commonly referred to as checkoffs are time-tested programs that expand markets, increase consumer demand, develop new uses for those covered commodities, and quite frankly … helps to fund the resources needed to be able to deal with issues related to those crops or those commodities. These programs are voluntarily created by producers for producers, and they receive no taxpayer dollars for any other activities or for USDA oversight of their activities,” he said.

Thompson said the debate about checkoffs should be considered during Farm Bill deliberations not the current ag appropriations bill because no funds from the ag appropriations bill goes to the programs.

After a voice vote late Tuesday on the sparsely populated House Floor was deemed in favor, Thompson requested a recorded vote, which was held the next day.

The final tally Wednesday evening was 49 in favor, 377 against.

Among the 377 who voted down Spartz’s amendment, 190 were Democrats, while 187 were Republicans—among her own party.

Following the defeat of her amendment, Spartz made the following statement on her Twitter, or “X” social media account:

“That’s how we measure the depth of the swamp – almost 400 people deep. Thank you to the 49 of my colleagues who are willing to stand with Main Street – not K Street or Wall Street!” said Spartz.

Among Spartz’s colleagues in the House who voted with her in favor of her amendment were Republican Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1st), Lauren Boebert (R-CO-3rd), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14th)—while House Democrats who voted for the Spartz amendment included Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14th), Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5th), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-12th).

Click below to watch Spartz’s comments on the House floor during the early hours of Wednesday morning defending her anti-checkoff amendment before it was voted down on Wednesday afternoon.



Recommended Posts