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Farm Bill: A Quick & Dirty Rewrite

October 31
06:12 2011

Tom Laskawy writes:

Earlier this week, according to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the House and Senate Ag Committees suddenly announced that they would write the entire 2012 Farm Bill in the next two weeks.
This new Farm Bill will also be smaller, thanks to the deal cut to avoid a government default over the summer. In the wake of that agreement, Congress convened a “super committee” of House and Senate negotiators that’s required to come up with a plan by this Thanksgiving to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. Of that total, $23 billion must come from the USDA budget—a number recently recommended by House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders. There is panic in the fields of Big Ag at such a drastic reduction in farm and food spending.
As well there should be: The prospect of a small group of negotiators who are not beholden to traditional farm interests working behind closed doors to slash farm spending might strike some as a sign that our long national industrial agriculture subsidy nightmare is over. But as Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and an advocate for farm subsidy reform, told me, it’s likely that we will get a “secret farm bill” with “no accountability” for those involved.

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