New Farm Bill is smaller -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New Farm Bill is smaller

January 31, 2007 

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration proposes to reduce farm payments $18 billion over the next five years.

The administration is seeking to eliminate farm payments for wealthy producers and to limit subsidies to those who make less than $200,000 in annual adjusted gross income. The current income cap is $2.5 million.

The farm bill -- really a series of federal programs -- gives farmers payments and other help to supplement their incomes, support crop prices and manage supplies. The current farm bill expires at the end of this year.

The plan would cost $87.3 billion over the next five years, not counting food stamps and other nutrition programs, compared with $105 billion spent on farm programs over the past five years.

Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss had this to say about the new Farm Bill:  "I appreciate Secretary Johanns and the Department of Agriculture bringing new ideas to the table as Congress begins to debate the next farm bill," said Sen. Chambliss. 

"My goal is and always has been to make certain that the American farmer's voice is heard and their concerns are addressed in this process.  I value the Secretary's recommendations; however, ultimately it is up to Congress to write comprehensive farm policy.  Most importantly, this proposal should not be seen as a revision of our offer in the Doha Round." 

"Congress will have the final say and set the final spending limits in the farm bill.  It would be unproductive for our trading partners to assume otherwise.  I look forward to working together with members of the committee to conquer the challenges we have ahead this year."