Saturday, December 15, 2007

Farm Bill passed in Senate 12/14

From Bread for the World:
Yesterday, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill by a vote of 79-14. Although the bill makes improvements in the nutrition programs, the funding for those measures is temporary. Trade-distorting commodity payments were protected, despite the fact that two reform amendments received majority votes.

Statement by Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World:

"I am outraged that two amendments that would have cut payments to the wealthiest farmers in this country passed with majority votes, but were shut down by backroom shenanigans by Senate leadership. Senators who voted against these amendments did not just vote to protect wealthy special interests, they voted against helping working families who struggle to put food on the table.

Voters-and especially many Christians-are ahead of the politicians on this issue. The abuses in the farm bill have been exposed, and this issue will not just be swept under the rug.

It's the most wonderful time of the year for the farm lobby. When is Christmas going to come for hungry and poor people?

My prayer is that the president, Republican and Democratic congressional leadership can come together to improve this bill in conference. At the very least, they must find a way to make the funding improvements in the nutrition programs secure and permanent. But, they can solve that problem and many others by cutting funding to direct payments."

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