Obama Statement on the Farm Bill
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released the following statement on the Farm Bill. Today, the Senate failed to stop a Republican filibuster of the bill; the cloture vote failed 55 to 42:
"I was disappointed to see that important improvements and solutions for our family farmers in this bill fell victim to partisan politics and obstructionism. Those who stood in the way of this bill stood against our farmers and a clean energy future. While the bill that passed committee didn't include everything I would have liked, including specific reforms to help family farmers instead of big agribusiness, it did take much-needed steps to invest in conservation, nutrition, specialty crops and rural development. It provided funding for renewable energy and recognized farmers who are working to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And it included a packer ban, which is so important for market transparency.
"It also included my legislation to ensure that thousands of African-American farmers would have an opportunity to have their discrimination claims reviewed under the Pigford settlement. For far too long, this country's hardworking black farmers were discriminated against by our own government, and this legislation offered an important chance to begin righting the wrongs they suffered.
"I will continue to work with Chairman Harkin in fighting for America's family farmers."