Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today criticized President Bush for continuing to obstruct progress on reauthorization of the Farm Bill.
"The President is threatening to veto the Farm Bill because he claims it costs too much," Hare said. "If we can spend $12 billion a month for the war in Iraq, we can certainly find the resources to invest in our farmers and their families."
Last year, both the House and Senate passed their own versions of the Farm Bill. Unfortunately, due to the President's veto threat, the sides were unable to produce legislation that could be signed into law before the current Farm Bill expired on Saturday. Instead, Congress passed an extension of all agricultural programs though April 18.
"These short term extensions are a disservice to our farmers," Hare said. "I will continue to fight for a 5-year reauthorization that closely resembles the House-passed Farm Bill."
The House-passed Farm Bill maintains a strong safety net for farmers, eliminating subsidies to millionaires for the first time. It makes historic investments in conservation and nutrition. It boosts funding for renewable energy by 600 percent. It also renews successful programs that provide vital healthcare and economic development to rural communities.
"The House-passed Farm Bill is a winning proposition for our farmers," Hare said. "The President should spend the next month listening to the concerns of the agriculture community and reconsider his misguided veto threat."
The Illinois Corn Growers, Farm Bureau, Soybean Producers, Dairy Farmers and Beef Producers all support the House-passed Farm Bill.