Conrad Torpedoes Dorgan Amendment, Family Farmers' Hearts Sink
Washington, D.C. - After months of debate, hearings and discussions, Congress is putting the final touches on the 2007 Farm Bill. However, the Grassley-Dorgan amendment, a key reform many family farmers were banking on, failed to pass. It would have reined in subsidies for mega-farmers by capping payments at $250,000 per farm.
Chuck Hassebrook with the Center for Rural Affairs says this is a blow to family farmers, but controlling farm payments is an issue that isn't going away. "Overwhelming majorities of farmers, overwhelming majorities of rural Americans, and overwhelming majorities of all Americans want a stop to farm programs that provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to mega-farms and destroy family farming."
Hassebrook says this would have been the single most effective thing the Senate could have done to revitalize family farms and rural communities.
"What this means is that we will continue to have a farm policy in America that destroys family farming. We will continue to have a policy in America of refusing to invest in the future of rural America and allowing small communities to die."
Hassebrook blames the reform's defeat not on southern Senators but on Sen. Kent Conrad. Hassebrook says Conrad undermined the efforts of his North Dakota colleague, Sen. Byron Dorgan.