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Rosa DeLauro

Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is speaking.  She's a heavyweight in farm politics, due to her position as chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.  She controls much of the money that will be spent through the farm bill.

DeLauro is praising improvements in conservation, nutrition (food stamps), and food safety.  DeLauro had introduced her own "marker bill" months ago that included her priorities.  Many of them were included in the final farm bill in the House, now under consideration.

Paul Ryan Speaks Up

Paul Ryan (R-WI) is speaking against the rule.  Rough excerpts:

"My amendment is being blocked on real payment limits- It received a vote in 2002 and got 200 votes"

"The House Farm Bill extends farm commodity programs with no real reform"

"The commodity reform is a sham"

 "This increases the limits on direct payments while removing limits on marketing loans"

"The bill hurts people in the developing world"

We've Begun

Things are underway. Rep. Cardoza of California (D-CA) read the rules governing the bill, gave a short introduction, and now Rep. McGovern (D-MA) is speaking in favor of the bill and particularly in support of food programs. See the previous post for details on how his preferred programs got paid.

Representatives are currently arguing over the method in which new spending is being paid for in the farm bill.  Democrats say they're closing tax loopholes to raise the necessary fund, while Republicans are saying they're raising taxes.

Does Congress do Anything on Time?

It's 5:30 in DC (4:30 in the home office) and Congress STILL hasn't taken up the farm bill. It makes one wonder if they have the votes to pass it. In the meantime, here's an update from Congress Daily that was forwarded to our inboxes a few minutes ago. It looks like Pelosi needed to find more Democratic votes to pass the farm bill, since a large number of Republicans are now set to oppose it. In our view, she had two choices to find more Democratic votes.

While We Wait

The House Leadership is seemingly in no hurry to get this Farm Bill debate underway. They continue to debate an appropriations bill for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and related agencies for FY 2008.

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