Senate Agriculture Committee deal-making is flying fast and furious today, and important details are emerging on the critical issue of farm program payment limits in the Senate bill. First we'll have a couple of posts on new developments, followed by a statement, and then more analysis as the details unfold. Hint -- It's not good. We don't like it. And we're going to fight back like hell.
From the subscription-only Congress Daily PM:
Senators Detail Farm Bill Limits On Nonfarmer Payments
Senators announced details today of a deal to move a farm bill that would limit payments to nonfarmers, a provision Senate Budget Chairman Conrad said is the "most significant reform" in the longstanding debate over payment limitations. Conrad said the bill would lower the income cap for nonfarmers receiving payments to $750,000, which now stands at $2.5 million. It also would lower the income cap for farmers from $2.5 million to an amount that is still under negotiation. "All payments will be attributed to an actual, living, breathing human being rather than some paper entity," Conrad said, adding that he expected an effort on the floor to lower the amount further.
Plain and simple this is not a payment limit proposal. It places no limits on the multi-million dollar checks that the nation's largest farms use to drive family farmers out of business. Like the now widely-denounced House bill, the proposal is meant to provide political cover for legislators not willing to stand up for REAL payment limits reform.
Senate Agriculture Committee markup is scheduled for a week from today.