Monday, December 17, 2007

Senate Passes Farm Bill, but many not Happy

The Senate passed their version of the farm bill, but it was far from the bill some groups wanted to see (from Cattle Network):

"Despite record commodity prices and farm income, the Senate today proposed to extend lavish subsidies to a handful of large commercial farms. The farm bill passed today extends depression-era price supports that help few farms, harm small farmers, raise food costs, and violate our commitments to our trading partners and the poor.”
(Source: Grocery Manufacturers Association Press Release, December 14, 2007)
Cal Dooley, President & CEO, Grocery Manufacturers Association, expressing
disappointment at the contents of the senate bill.

"The Democratic leadership of this Congress has come down at almost every turn in favor of subsidized big agriculture. They've shown a spectacular deference to a small
group of wealthy special interests."
(Source: Washington Post, December 14, 2007) Ken Cook, president of the Washington-based Environmental Working Group, agreeing with Dooley.

"The president's advisers would recommend he not sign this bill. We look forward to working with Congress to develop a fiscally responsible farm bill that includes real farm program reform while providing a strong safety net for farmers."
(Source: Reuters, December 14, 2007) Dana Perino, White House spokeswoman said in a statement, signaling an inevitable presidential veto.

“But for cattlemen, the Senate package is far from perfect. Most notably, a ban on packer ownership of cattle would jeopardize many of the marketing alliances cattlemen have worked hard to build. NCBA policy supports a competitive, free-enterprise market. It is unfortunate that the Senate chose to include legislative language that limits cattlemen’s ability to market their cattle in ways that provide the best return on their investment. This provision will hurt consumers, stifle the
entrepreneurial spirit of cattle producers and put the government in charge of a
rancher’s business decisions.”
(Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association press release, December 14, 2007)
Jay Truitt, NCBA Vice President, Government Affairs, still pushing for a ban on the ban of packer ownership.

No comments: