Issue Position: Agriculture
In late July, the House of Representatives passed its 2007 Farm Bill, a piece of legislation affects everyone - both in rural and urban areas. Because our farm and food policies are so far-reaching, it is important they are as modern as our farmers and reflect the diversity of our agriculture industry and rural landscape. Unfortunately, many of our current farm laws favor a few large and very wealthy agribusinesses over family farmers. Simply put, these Depression-era policies are outdated and need to be reformed.
That is why I led an effort to reform our farm policies by introducing the Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment. This proposal sought to modernize the farm safety net, make farm programs more equitable, and make significant investments in conservation, nutrition, and rural development. At the same time, the proposal would have reduced our nation's deficit and made our agriculture policies more trade compliant and less market-distorting.
While the House failed to pass the most meaningful aspects of my proposal, our reform coalition was able to change the tenor of the debate and force the Agriculture Committee to recognize the diversity of our agriculture industry and provide much-needed funding for important conservation and nutrition programs that promote fruit and vegetable producers and healthy food programs. The final farm bill also made some modest inroads on income limits for subsidy recipients.