The Senate refused to agree to the amendment proposed by Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., by a vote of 37-58 Tuesday (Dec. 11). The amendment was the first of 40 — 20 on each side — that could be offered for the 2007 farm bill under an agreement reached by Senate leaders.
Both Lugar and Lautenberg tried to cast the amendment, also known as the Farm Ranch Equity Stewardship and Health (FRESH) Act of 2007, as a reform measure that would save taxpayers roughly $4 billion and enable more beginning farmers to get into the business.
“The farm bill we have before us does not provide meaningful reform,” said Lugar, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee when Freedom to Farm was enacted. “Our current farm policies, sold to the American public as a safety-net, actually hurt the family farmer.”