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Congress Passes Veto-Proof Farm Bill

POSTED: 12:12 PM ET, 05/15/2008 by Derek Kravitz

UPDATE: Senators gave final congressional approval this afternoon to the farm bill by a veto-proof margin of 81-15, news services are reporting.

The Bush administration has pledged to veto the nearly $300 billion measure.If that occurs, each chamber must call a new vote and pass the bill by a two-thirds majority.

If a presidential veto is trumped, the five-year farm bill could be enacted into law by the end of next week.

***

The House yesterday passed a veto-proof version of a five-year farm bill, possibly signaling the end of a drawn-out fight with the Bush administration over the nearly $300 billion measure, Dan Morgan reports today for The Post.

Bipartisan support for the bill -- about 100 Republicans voted for the bill, allowing it to pass 318 to 106 -- came after intense lobbying by farm groups, anti-hunger advocates, environmental organizations and the biofuels industry. While continuing traditional farm subsidy programs, the bill increases spending on nutrition programs such as food stamps by $10.4 billion.

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and the Bush administration have criticized the bill, calling it a "bloated measure" loaded up with taxpayer-funded pet projects.

A 2006 Post examination into government spending for agricultural subsidies identified more than $15 billion in wasteful, unnecessary or redundant payments.

By Derek Kravitz |  May 15, 2008; 12:12 PM ET
Previous: Defendant in Spitzer Probe Pleads Guilty | Next: A New Feature for the Blog: Findings of the Government's Official Investigators

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



The Farm Bill has ended up being a joke. The obscene welfare going to farmers directly is still happening and going to some of the richest "farmers" in the world. I am working right now on a farm that has gas wells all around it. The well I am on now is a reworked well that is making about 70 thousand dollars a day in gas production with a lot of older wells around. The farm is primarily cotton and I am sure the family who owns the farm (they have other people farming it and most of them live in the really really nice part of town) are getting cotton subsidies on the 2300 acres under production.

I noticed the conferenced farm bill has passed the Senate and the House. Subsidies were left in but the justice was left out. The senate version of the farm bill had contract reforms that addressed some of the abuses of the largest companies against farmers. In the conference bill, those protections were given to GIPSA (Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration) to write up and enforce. The whole reason they were in the Senate version was that GIPSA was not even coming close to enforcing the law and an OIG investigation was so damning to the administration that JoAnn Waterfield left as head and is nowhere to be found. The OIG investigation documented GIPSA's fraud to Congress but from my perspective of being in the middle of it, let them off the hook, hence the Senate version of Title 10.

Now the same responsibilities that were always with GIPSA have been given to them again in the Farm Bill instead of being enacted into law. If they couldn't do anything but protect the big boys like Tyson in the first place, why give them the same responsibility again?

The worst thing is that the "reforms" again are put in the hands of the agriculture committees so that they again can take contributions from Tyson and the other poultry companies to do absolutely nothing that makes any difference at all. This is happening as the Senators and Congressmen spend countless minutes in front of C-Span about how good the job is that they have done. My friend in the business who testified in front of Congress committed suicide. Others have tried it that I know of. For what? All so Tyson et al can have a few billion more by stealing the value from farmers? So much for being president of the TN Poultry Grower's Association and trying to fight for fairness for my fellow farmers. Their cause is lost as long as legislators and the administration are taking payoffs from the industry. Money is the root of all evil and it has deep roots in the agriculture industry.

In my own case against Tyson, the same U.S. attorney that was put in charge of the illegal alien case that was dismissed against Tyson was promoted to be a federal judge. Guess who got my case? The same judge, Judge Mattice. In addition, Tyson hired his old law firm that he was a partner in to represent them. Mattice dismissed my case with prejudice against me so Tyson's attorneys could threaten me with having to pay their legal fees. I am in this cotton fields in a different state trying to make my farm payments (I did receive a new farmer loan from the FSA) and not put my family through bankruptcy. I have been home twice in the last nine months for ten days each. That doesn't help raise my 7 year old, my 14 year old and my 15 year old. So much for family values in our nation. So much for the family farm.

This farm bill was nothing but a political payoff bill. Can't we even ask Congress to act like statesmen once every five years for real family farmers? Can't we ask of the justice system a fair shake in our cases? Can't we ask for real repercussions for regulatory agencies who are representing thosw who they are supposed to regulate?

Congress patting themselves on the back for this farm bill shows that we have more than the president's administration that is the problem. The rule of law is gone except in the perception of minds who will be deceived by politicians who like to praise themselves and their colleagues while leaving the avenues of corruption intact. Buying off constituencies stayed in the bill as well as the selling of justice.

Contact me at terrys@cafes.net if you want to know the full story.

Posted by: Farmer | May 15, 2008 4:32 PM

The Farm Bill has ended up being a joke. The obscene welfare going to farmers directly is still happening and going to some of the richest "farmers" in the world. I am working right now on a farm that has gas wells all around it. The well I am on now is a reworked well that is making about 70 thousand dollars a day in gas production with a lot of older wells around. The farm is primarily cotton and I am sure the family who owns the farm (they have other people farming it and most of them live in the really really nice part of town) are getting cotton subsidies on the 2300 acres under production.

I noticed the conferenced farm bill has passed the Senate and the House. Subsidies were left in but the justice was left out. The senate version of the farm bill had contract reforms that addressed some of the abuses of the largest companies against farmers. In the conference bill, those protections were given to GIPSA (Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration) to write up and enforce. The whole reason they were in the Senate version was that GIPSA was not even coming close to enforcing the law and an OIG investigation was so damning to the administration that JoAnn Waterfield left as head and is nowhere to be found. The OIG investigation documented GIPSA's fraud to Congress but from my perspective of being in the middle of it, let them off the hook, hence the Senate version of Title 10.

Now the same responsibilities that were always with GIPSA have been given to them again in the Farm Bill instead of being enacted into law. If they couldn't do anything but protect the big boys like Tyson in the first place, why give them the same responsibility again?

The worst thing is that the "reforms" again are put in the hands of the agriculture committees so that they again can take contributions from Tyson and the other poultry companies to do absolutely nothing that makes any difference at all. This is happening as the Senators and Congressmen spend countless minutes in front of C-Span about how good the job is that they have done. My friend in the business who testified in front of Congress committed suicide. Others have tried it that I know of. For what? All so Tyson et al can have a few billion more by stealing the value from farmers? So much for being president of the TN Poultry Grower's Association and trying to fight for fairness for my fellow farmers. Their cause is lost as long as legislators and the administration are taking payoffs from the industry. Money is the root of all evil and it has deep roots in the agriculture industry.

In my own case against Tyson, the same U.S. attorney that was put in charge of the illegal alien case that was dismissed against Tyson was promoted to be a federal judge. Guess who got my case? The same judge, Judge Mattice. In addition, Tyson hired his old law firm that he was a partner in to represent them. Mattice dismissed my case with prejudice against me so Tyson's attorneys could threaten me with having to pay their legal fees. I am in this cotton fields in a different state trying to make my farm payments (I did receive a new farmer loan from the FSA) and not put my family through bankruptcy. I have been home twice in the last nine months for ten days each. That doesn't help raise my 7 year old, my 14 year old and my 15 year old. So much for family values in our nation. So much for the family farm.

This farm bill was nothing but a political payoff bill. Can't we even ask Congress to act like statesmen once every five years for real family farmers? Can't we ask of the justice system a fair shake in our cases? Can't we ask for real repercussions for regulatory agencies who are representing thosw who they are supposed to regulate?

Congress patting themselves on the back for this farm bill shows that we have more than the president's administration that is the problem. The rule of law is gone except in the perception of minds who will be deceived by politicians who like to praise themselves and their colleagues while leaving the avenues of corruption intact.

Posted by: Farmer | May 15, 2008 4:53 PM

Without looking into the details of the Bill, I assumed that if G.W. Bush would veto this, then I would support it. Sadly, I guess that I agree with Bush on this one, though probably for other reasons. Bush's world view has been so ideological and contrary to what I believe is fair and just that it comes naturally to me to be diametrically opposed to him.

Posted by: bob | May 20, 2008 6:18 AM

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