Farm State Senators Vote Against Family Farmers

Release Date: 

12/13/2007

Contact(s): 

Chuck Hassebrook, chuckh@cfra.org, (402) 687-2103 ext. 1018
Or John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010
LYONS, NE - The United States Senate voted down the Dorgan-Grassley farm program payment limitations amendment by a vote of 56 in favor to 43 opposed.

"The vote demonstrates that Southerners are not the primary obstacle to a farm policy that strengthens America's rural communities," said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs. "The responsibility for killing reform lies with a small handful of Northern Plains and Midwestern Senators who sided with selfish interests over the good of the overwhelming majority of farmers and rural people."

The Dorgan Grassley amendment would have closed loopholes, placed a hard cap of $250,000 on payments and invested the savings in small business development, beginning farmers and other initiatives to create future in rural America.

Hassebrook blamed North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad for engineering the defeat of reform. Conrad was joined in the vote by Midwestern and Northern Plains Senators Pat Roberts of Kansas, Ken Salazar of Colorado, Max Baucus of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, George Voinovich of Ohio and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

"These Senators are responsible for continuing the policy of destroying family farming and undermining rural communities by subsidizing mega farms to drive smaller operations out of business," said Hassebrook.

The amendment failed despite garnering support from a clear, bipartisan majority of 56 Senators. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had earlier announced a procedural maneuver requiring the Dorgan-Grassley amendment to gain a super majority of 60 votes for passage.

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