March 18,2008

Baucus: Farm Bill Proposal “Dead On Arrival”

Finance Chairman opposes “slashing” of disaster assistance for America’s farmers

Washington, DC – Finance Chairman Baucus this afternoon called a new outline of
proposed spending for this year’s farm bill “dead on arrival” with him and with other
Senators. Baucus has led the Finance Committee in creating a fully paid-for $5.1 billion
fund for permanent agriculture disaster assistance for America’s farmers, and in
converting some farm payment programs to tax credit programs, both to free up funds for
the Agriculture Committee to spend on additional farm bill priorities. Baucus is also a
senior member of the Agriculture panel.

From Chairman Baucus:

“This new farm bill proposal is dead on arrival. I won’t vote for or help to fund any
agreement that does not do disaster assistance right for our farmers in need. I bet
other Senators will feel the same. The National Farmers Union made stable,
permanent disaster assistance its number-one priority for the farm bill, but this
slashes the Senate’s good plan for disaster assistance in half.

“On the farm bill, the Finance Committee did something it’s done nowhere else,
finding resources and freeing up funds for the Agriculture Committee to pursue
priorities like nutrition programs. If we continue to work together, we can keep
America’s farmers from getting the short end of the stick on disaster assistance.
This proposed agreement isn’t good enough.”

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