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NTU to President Bush: Reject Bloated Farm Bill
May 7, 2008
The Honorable George W. Bush
Dear Mr. President,
Congress appears ready to complete work on H.R. 2419, the "Food and Energy Security Act of 2007." Beginning with the presentation of the United States Department of Agriculture's 2007 Farm Bill proposals, your Administration has been an advocate of farm program reform. Regrettably, neither the House nor the Senate is following that lead.
We urge you to follow through on your commitment to veto any farm bill legislation that does not contain significant reforms or that contains budget gimmicks or tax increases to boost program funding. Reports of a pending conference committee report indicate that as much as $10 billion in additional funding will be added to the current farm bill baseline, and millionaire farmers will continue to be eligible for payments with some farm subsidies increased over current levels. These proposals being considered in both the House and Senate fail to correct the shortcomings of the status quo. This is unacceptable.
Further, the sugar industry is poised to receive additional protection from imports, along with promises for the government to buy excess sugar for questionable ethanol purposes. The Senate is demanding the inclusion of a new multi-billion dollar disaster fund (with few safeguards against waste or abuse) that will benefit just a handful of states.
With so many voices supporting reasonable income caps on farm payments, the House and Senate appear ready to largely retain the status quo or worse. Anything less than a veto of an unreformed, bloated Farm Bill will continue to place an unfair burden on taxpayers.