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Rep. Kind Statement on Farm Bill Agreement

May 8, 2008
Press Release

Washington, D.C. ––U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) made the following statement about today’s farm bill agreement:

“Although many details are still missing regarding the latest farm bill agreement, it appears to leave a lot to be desired. Despite all of the lofty rhetoric coming out of the conference committee, this is not reform. It is not even the illusion of reform. Proponents tout reform of the income limit for farm programs, but the truth is that couples earning up to $1.5 million will still be eligible for direct payments, and there appears to be no income limit for other subsidy programs. Furthermore, there are no caps placed on the amount of subsidies a wealthy producer can receive, even while the agreement clamps down on the amount of assistance to farmers through conservation programs that have great tangible benefits to our communities. And while an additional $4 billion for conservation is a great achievement, it is well below the amounts passed by the House and Senate last year. What of the so-called “permanent disaster” program? No details have been released, but I assume there are still billions of dollars set aside for this additional layer of subsidies.”

“I could go on and on about how this is a bad bill for taxpayers, small family farmers, and the environment. I look forward to seeing the details of the bill in the coming days and to seeing what the President has to say about what looks like a very poor Congressional effort at reform.”