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PNS Daily Newscast - September 25, 2020 

Democrats reported to be preparing a smaller pandemic relief package; vote-by-mail awaits a court decision in Montana.

2020Talks - September 25, 2020 

Senators respond to President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. And, former military and national security officials endorse Joe Biden.

Farm Bill Secrets: TN Wants to Know

February 18, 2008

Nashville, TN – "Secrets" are raising suspicions in Tennessee. Congress is working on the next U.S. Farm Bill behind closed doors. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill unless it sets limits on payments made to already-profitable corporate farms -- payments that don't benefit states like Tennessee.

Jim Lyons, of the anti-poverty advocacy group Oxfam, says with the economy teetering on edge of a recession, it's crucial to keep the Farm Bill sharply focused on domestic investments, such as food stamps, minority farmer programs, and economic development.

"We could address all those domestic needs –- conservation, nutrition, energy security -- by simply reallocating resources that currently go to very few farmers in the form of subsidies."

Supporters of the corporate payments say they help keep consumer prices low; Lyons argues the payments are not related to the prices Tennesseeans pay for food in stores. He notes they're more directly related to the demise of family farms, because the subsidies encourage overproduction. In some cases, he says, payments even go to people who no longer farm -- or never did.

"Everybody supports family farms, but it is a misrepresentation to say that current farm policy, and this Farm Bill, is going to benefit family farmers. "

The current U.S. Farm Bill, which has already been extended as Congress debates the details of the new legislation, is now set to expire next month.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - TN