House Passes Worst Farm Bill Ever!
July 11, 2013 - In a surprise move, House Republican leaders waived their three-day rule to rush a new, but not improved, Farm Bill to a successful vote. No amendments were allowed and the bill passed in a vote that split the parties. We thought it couldn't get much worse than the bill the House failed to pass last month, but this is truly the worst Farm Bill ever. It saves billions of dollars in subsidies for Big Ag's GMO crops and factory farms, while eliminating food stamps and cutting $5 billion from conservation and sustainable farming programs that conserve top-soil, protect drinking water and provide habitat for wildlife.
SUPPORT STATES' RIGHTS TO REGULATE FOOD & FARMING!
The King Amendment is back! Our biggest concern for the 2013 Farm Bill is that a pro-Monsanto Congressperson will slip language into the bill that will take away states’ rights to label genetically modified organism. The bill that passed today includes an amendment introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that is intended to overturn state laws that protect farm animal welfare, but is so broadly written that it could impact just about any state law regulating food or farming, including new laws in Connecticut and Maine to label GMOs.
Use the form below to tell your Congresspersons to respect states’ rights to regulate food and farming!
FARM BILL AID SHOULD GO TO THE NEEDY, NOT THE WEALTHY!
Food Stamps left out! The Farm Bill is composed primarily of two main subsidies that provide economic stimulus to the U.S. food system: those that subsidize the purchase of food and those that subsidize the production of food. Food purchasing subsidies are means tested - they only go to those who can prove they need the help. Food production subsidies, by contrast, can be collected by wealthy people and profitable businesses, whether they need them or not. The bill the House passed today keeps subsidies for the wealthy and cuts subsidies for the needy.
According to the Environmental Working Group, Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) collected a total of $3.48 million in production subsidies from 1999 to 2012. In 2012, the congressman was cut a government check for a $70,000 direct payment. Direct payments are issued automatically, regardless of need, and go predominantly to the largest, most profitable farm operations in the country. Fincher’s $70,000 farm subsidy haul in 2012 dwarfs the average 2012 SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefit in Tennessee of $1,586.40, and it is nearly double Tennessee’s median household income.
10 Republican Congresspersons who have received about $6.7 million in production subsidies all voted to take money out of the mouths of hungry children for their own personal gain. That’s inexcusable. Government subsidies should go to people in need, not corporate welfare queens like Rep. Fincher!
Use the form below to tell your Congresspersons to spend Farm Bill money on hungry families and working farmers in need, not rich farm owners!