The Senate and House provisions that are purported to deny payments to the wealthiest landowners are just as laughable. The loopholes in the income limits are big enough to drive a combine through. For example, Nancy Pelosi (the 13th richest member of Congress) would still qualify for farm payments under the House and Senate farm bills because most of her family’s income is in her husband’s name. And 40 percent of wealthy landowners could simply switch from crop share arrangements to cash rents and collect farm payments through higher cash rents.
No farm bill that undermines family farming is worthy of passage. We can do better than this.
A true reform proposal put forth by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) would close payment limitation loopholes and strengthen family farms and rural communities. Their proposal deserves our support.