Posted by Katie on November 2, 2011
48 hours ago, we sent out an urgent alert asking you to make a call to leaders in the House and Senate Agriculture committees to tell them not to broker a backroom deal on a “Secret Farm Bill” that would have effectively killed the 2012 Food and Farm Bill.
Incredibly, more than 27,000 phone calls were made by Food Democracy Now! members to the 4 members of Congress that we identified as the leaders of this behind-closed-door process. As a result of your calls the proposed backroom deal has apparently stalled for the moment.
We heard back from dozens of members that they tried to leave messages with specific Senators and House members, but their voicemail boxes were full or their lines were busy. This is a great testament to your hard work and a major sign of the outrage over the broken process in Washington DC that has, until now, allowed agribusiness to dictate federal food and farm policy.
But that’s changing.
Already Food Democracy Now! members are helping to fundamentally rebalance the age-old equation that has let Big Ag to write the rules.
Your efforts are greatly appreciated and we’ll keep you updated on this process as it continues to unfold.
As we mentioned earlier, the deal is a part of the efforts to cut nearly $1.2 trillion from the U.S. budget and offers a targeted set of a proposed $23 billion (offered by the House and Senate Ag committees) or $33 billion (suggested by the White House) in cuts to food and agricultural programs over a 10-year period to be presented to the budget Super Committee. If allowed to pass, it would effectively cut real opportunities at reforming U.S. food and agricultural reforms until the next farm bill, which occurs in 2017.
Yesterday morning Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that an agreement had not been reached and the Secret Farm Bill committee had “missed their deadline”. That said, we will continue to be on alert for an updates on this process, which could be decided as early as November 23rd when the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is supposed to report to the rest of Congress on its anticipated cuts.
As always at Food Democracy Now!, we are in firm agreement with the famous quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
1. “Ag Committee struggles with farm bill”, Agirculture.com, 11/01/11
2. “Blunt pushes for ‘super committee’ to handle Farm Bill”, St. Louis Today, 11/02/11