Los Angeles

Tracking the Farm Bill

Dan Owens is live-blogging the Senate debates on the Farm bill on the Blog for Rural America.

C-SPAN.org carries House and Senate sessions on their website for those interested in the debates who have the time and bandwidth to tune in. (If so, you may wish to check out Dan’s blog, noted above, for a sense of whether the Farm Bill debate is ongoing, or whether the Senate is discussing other matters.)

Nicole Gaouette writes in today’s Los Angeles Times about murmurs of a Farm Bill veto. Seems no one’s happy with the Farm Bill’s current state.

Carolyn Lochhead of the San Francisco Chronicle also covers the debate, noting that

California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Democrats, have not yet taken positions on the bill. “I think it’s real clear that Boxer and Feinstein are really crucial swing votes,” said Mark Lipson, policy program director for the Organic Farming Research Foundation in Santa Cruz. “It could really come down to them making the difference.”

Telephone numbers for Senators Feinstein and Boxer were noted in yesterday’s post: Many Slow Food supporters are contacting these senators to voice support for the Dorgan-Grassley Amendment (which caps subsidy payments to $250,000 per farmer), for the Brown-Durban Amendment (which affects the average crop revenue program), and the Lugar-Lautenberg Amendment (aka The Fresh Act, which expands crop insurance to farmers whose incomes are less than $250,000 per year and benefiting all farmers, regardless of the type of crop grown). The Lugar-Lautenberg Amendment is also a sharp attack on subsidy payments and would eliminate millions (some say billions) of dollars in such payments.