CHAMBLISS CALLS PASSAGE OF FARM BILL A VICTORY FOR AMERICAN AGRICULTURE
Farm Bill Protects Safety Net, Boosts Funds for Nutrition, Energy Programs
The U.S. Senate today overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan Food and Energy Security Act of 2007 coauthored by U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The farm bill includes the most significant reforms to payment limitations in the history of American farm policy, as well as increased funding for nutrition, energy and conservation programs.
"Passage of the farm bill is a real victory for American agriculture," said Sen. Chambliss, who coauthored the bill. "The legislation will strengthen the nation's food security, protect the livelihood of our farmers and ranchers, preserve our efforts to remain good stewards of the environment, and enhance our nation's energy security efforts. I consider a safe, affordable and abundant food supply a critical national security interest and this bill takes us in the right direction to ensure those priorities."
Despite budget constraints, the Senate Finance Committee bill resulted in $3 billion in savings to the farm bill that helped increase spending on specialty crops, nutrition, conservation and energy programs. The nutrition title received the largest funding increase, totaling over $5 billion. Sen. Chambliss has noted that the increase was no small accomplishment and additional resources were made available by reductions in the commodity and crop insurance programs.
"This bill provides certainty to America's farmers, ranchers, conservationists, school lunch beneficiaries, and environmentalists in rural communities all across this great land," said Sen. Chambliss. "Today, the United States Senate set aside partisanship in favor of assisting those in need. We honor the commitment of the American agriculture sector with the passage of the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007. The bipartisan bill before us today is the culmination of years of hard work on the part the Senate Agriculture Committee and the millions of constituents we work so hard to represent with dignity and purpose."
Audio of Sen. Chambliss' floor speech on Senate passage of the farm bill can be found at http://agriculture.senate.gov.