Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CALL YOUR SENATORS AGAIN! (new ammendment proposals)

It looks like the Senate floor debate will be lengthy. Close to 100 amendments have already been filed. Our most important amendments are scheduled to be introduced first so it is imperative that you call today if you have not already done so. The toll-free number and talking points are listed below.

Please call your senators toll-free RIGHT NOW at 1-800-826-3688. Urge them to support the following amendments to the farm bill as they come to the floor:

Lugar/Lautenberg Amendment
Grassley/Dorgan Amendment
NEW: Brown/Sununu Amendment
NEW: Menendez Amendment
Other amendments that strengthen nutrition programs
(Note: This toll-free number will connect you to the Capitol switchboard; please ask to be connected to your senator’s office in order to leave your message.)

The Senate vote on the farm bill will make a critical difference in whether the 2007 farm bill will include changes that benefit hungry and poor people in the United States and around the world and make programs more fair for U.S. farm and rural families.

Here's some info on what those amendments are:

Lugar/Lautenberg Amendment: Would broaden the agricultural safety net by making a free revenue insurance program available to all farmers, saving billions of dollars to be used for nutrition, conservation, the McGovern-Dole international school meals program and more.
Grassley/Dorgan Amendment: Would cap commodity payments at $250,000 per household, helping ensure that payments are targeted to those who need them.
NEW: Brown/Sununu Amendment: Would reform crop insurance programs to bring the insurance companies' underwriting gains more into line with other types of insurance and lower their Administration & Operations ('A&O') reimbursement. No farmers would see any change in their premium costs or coverage. It would save money to reinvest in food stamps, conservation and McGovern-Dole international school feeding program.
NEW: Menendez Amendment: Would make a small cut to Direct Payments and reinvest the savings in food stamps and conservation.
Other amendments that add funding to nutrition programs: Several other amendments will likely be offered to increase funding for the Food Stamp Program and other vital nutrition programs.

The amendments would improve the Agriculture Committee's bill: providing a safety net for all farmers—not just those who grow program crops; making our commodity system fairer for smaller family farmers; and adequately funding vital needs in nutrition.

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