Center for Rural Affairs Calls Senate Farm Bill “Fatally Flawed”

Release Date: 

12/14/2007

Contact(s): 

Contact: Dan Owens, dano@cfra.org, (402) 687-2103 ext. 1017
Or John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010
Lyons, NE – Today the United States Senate passed their version of the 2007 Farm Bill by a vote of 79 to 14.

“Any farm bill without real payment limits reform is doomed to fail. Rural people gain nothing from a farm bill that spends more money in a manner that destroys family farms and undermines rural communities,” said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs. “This farm bill is fatally flawed,” Hassebrook concluded.

Yesterday an amendment introduced by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that would have put real payment limits in the farm bill was defeated on a vote of 56 in favor to 39 opposed.

“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,” said Hassebrook.

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 pointed out that the Senate farm bill does include several important provisions that are steps in the right direction. They include investments in conservation and rural development. Hassebrook also praised the inclusion of livestock market reforms such as a prohibition on packer ownership of livestock and other competition provisions in the Livestock Title.

“But on balance, the Senate voted today for a farm bill that will continue to destroy family farming and undermine rural communities by preserving the unlimited subsidies that the nation’s largest farms use to drive their neighbors out of business,” said Hassebrook.

Get the Newsletter