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Tag Archive: Farm Bill

Happy Thankgiving! How does campaign cash affect the food on your plate?

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Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, with President Barack Obama scheduled to deliver the annual stay of execution for the National Thanksgiving Turkey on Wednesday. But on Capitol Hill, there's less goodwill: An end to the impasse on the farm bill is not in sight. Last year at this time we reported that Congress had let the massive bill that governs farm programs as well as food programs for the needy expired months before the holiday; this year is much the same, with little hope of the lawmakers -- who are off on their own holiday recess -- coming to agreement come ...

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Senators who write farm bill fine print reap agribusiness campaign cash

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As senators cast their votes today on the 1,139-page, $955 billion farm bill, the unseen backdrop is the more than $26 million in campaign cash that agribusiness has pumped into their political campaigns. All but two members of the current Senate have received money from these donors who represent every possible agriculture concern, from sugar growers to dairy farmers to chemical manufacturers and more.

It’s an axiom of agriculture politics that agribusiness interests concentrate their generosity on members of key committees who write and fund the farm bill. As the graphic below shows, the current Senate is no ...

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Thanks to lobbying, farm bill yields crop insurance funds

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Crop Insurance request letter

It's deja vu all over again as the Senate debates the farm bill this week--just as it did nearly a year ago without any legislation ultimately passing--and one of the hot button issues remains the crop insurance program whose cost has been steadily rising to more than $14 billion in 2012. The Senate bill reforms but also expands the Depression-era program; President Barack Obama has called for additional cuts and several senators are offering amendments to reform it.

On the other side are the agricultural trade associations representing the crop insurers and the farmers that make use of ...

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Happy Thanksgiving! How much did your tax dollars underwrite the feast?

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Nearly 400 years ago, at the very first Thanksgiving in the Plymouth Colony, Native Americans and pilgrims dined together on a meal of deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat. There was no such thing as crop insurance, sugar price supports, dairy subsidies, conservation easements, food stamps, or any other feature of the massive farm bill governing the nation's food policy, which expired on September 30.

Of course there was no such thing as the U.S. Congress either, which stalled on the farm bill last summer. In this country, food is a political issue, and where there is politics ...

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