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Statement of Dan Smith, U.S. PIRG Tax and Budget Advocate, on the Farm Bill rejected by the U.S. House:
“U.S. PIRG applauds the House for rejecting a Farm Bill (H.R. 1947) that would have kept the gravy train flowing for big agribusiness, locking in their unjustified corporate handouts for the next five years. With Congress focused on how to fix the budget, our elected leaders shouldn’t squander the opportunity to cut off these outrageous giveaways to Big Ag once and for all.
“Before the bill failed, the House narrowly rejected even modest amendments to reduce subsidies for the most profitable agribusinesses. The Kind-Petri amendment, which would have cut off certain subsidies for agribusinesses with high incomes, failed with a narrow 208-217 vote.
“The rejected Farm Bill would have continued the current practice of disproportionately subsidizing the largest agribusinesses, which are already profitable and don’t need taxpayer handouts. While the Big Ag lobby claims to stand up for small farmers, just 4 percent of agribusinesses eat up 74 percent of these subsidies, with more than 60 percent of farms never seeing a dime.
“The failure of this Farm Bill is a wake-up call: The House now has the chance to make serious changes to this legislation. Our elected leaders should stand up for taxpayers, not Big Ag, by ending wasteful subsidies once and for all.”
U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.
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