Dear editor,

In 2018, the White House announced a $12 billion bailout for farmers harmed by tariffs. In May, the agriculture secretary announced an additional $16 billion in welfare payments to farmers hard hit by Trump’s trade policies. What was the source of that $28 billion in unappropriated financial aid?

Research did not find any action by Congress to appropriate those monies, nor to approve the transfer of those billions from other programs. Unable to find an explanation to this mystery, on May 27, I contacted U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., and asked him to explain the source of these tax dollars going to Midwest farmers.

Apparently, Barr is also puzzled over the source of those billions, since he has failed to respond to the question. One would think that a member of Congress would want to protect the legislative prerogative of appropriating funding, but perhaps Barr is just not interested in the powers conferred on Congress in Article I of the Constitution.

If there are other taxpayers wondering where the president is getting money to prop up his rural supporters, perhaps you will have better luck if you ask Barr to give you an explanation. His Lexington office number is 859-219-1366 and his D.C. number is 202-225-4706.

Mike Nolan


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