Bread for the World: Senators Waste Their Best Chance for Comprehensive Reform of the Farm Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 11, 2007
CONTACT: Bread for the World
Senators Waste Their Best Chance for Comprehensive Reform of the Farm Bill
Bread for the World Praises Thirty-Seven Senators Who Took a Bold Stand for Hungry People and Farmers of Modest Means; Urges Support for Grassley-Dorgan and other Reform and Nutrition Amendments
WASHINGTON, DC - December 11 -This afternoon, 37 senators supported reform of the outdated commodity payment system which would have saved billions of dollars to invest in nutrition programs, specialty crop programs, critical conservation initiatives and the McGovern-Dole international school feeding program by supporting the Lugar-Lautenberg Amendment to the farm bill. The amendment failed by a vote of 37 to 58.
Statement by Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World
Today the Senate wasted their best opportunity to create a food and farm policy that supports hungry people in this country and farmers of modest means. Instead, they showed that they were more interested in supporting an outdated system of commodity payments that primarily benefits a relatively small number of wealthy farms.
People of faith and conscience moved the conversation in a serious way this year. Constituents, even those from farm states, wanted reform of this depression-era system.
And while we are disappointed by the failure of the Lugar-Lautenberg Amendment, there are still some important amendments before the Senate. We will especially be watching to see if senators do the right thing by passing the Dorgan-Grassley Amendment. By placing a hard cap on commodity payments at $250,000 per household, they will save money to redirect to nutrition and conservation programs.
Even if they make this change, the Senate still has a huge issue to solve—finding secure funding for all their nutrition increases. In 2012, money will have to be found to make these changes permanent or nutrition benefits to millions of working families will be lost. The question then: When will they have the courage to finally take the money from the obvious source, an outdated, outmoded commodity payment program?
Senators Voting Yes On Lugar-Lautenberg Amendment:
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.