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Public Statements

Issue Position: Agriculture

Issue Position

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* Standing up for the small family farmer and strengthening Wisconsin's proud agricultural tradition.

* Leading the fight for commonsense reforms to our bloated farm bills that lavish generous subsidies to corporate agribusiness and millionaires.

I believe that our farm policies should focus on providing a safety net for family farmers in times of need. Along with reformers on both side of the aisle, I have led the fight on behalf of the family farmer and the taxpayer. Congress continues to pass bloated farm bills that subsidize millionaires. It makes no sense to subsidize the New York Yankees at the expense of the Milwaukee Brewers; yet that is what Congress has done for too long with our pork-laden farm bills.

I have fought to ensure that Wisconsin farmers have an advocate in Congress. Because my colleagues in Congress have put corporate interests over that of the family farmer, I voted against the most recent farm bill. The $685 billion bill put off long overdue reforms to the commodity payment system and contained other indefensible provisions.

Instead, I supported the bipartisan Kind-Flake Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment. This amendment adopted critical reforms to make farm programs more efficient and market-oriented, and included no tax increases. This amendment would have also shifted savings into deficit reduction and provided more funding for conservation and nutrition programs. Finally, the amendment would have addressed trade-distorting subsidies. Unfortunately, this reform-minded provision failed when the Farm Bill was first brought to the House floor last summer.

I believe a farm bill should be designed to assist family farmers in times of need, rather than direct subsidies to massive corporate farming operations. We need to pass a farm bill that also gives the U.S. the ability to open up new export markets for our products. I will continue to push for reform with agriculture policies so that they work for the Wisconsin family farmer.


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