A Status Quo Farm Bill Is Simply Unjust

The farm bill has come to be dominated by powerful interest groups. But this year, things are different. Much of the religious community is calling for reform of the farm bill. Church people across the country are writing and calling Congress to insist on farm bill reform.

We are joined by environmental groups and taxpayer groups, and the press is doing its job on this issue.

Most of the commodity payments go to affluent people, some of them very wealthy people. Some of that money could be shifted to programs that help farm and rural people of modest means, and that same shift would open opportunities for struggling rural people in Africa and other parts of the developing world. The farm bill also includes food stamps, and the fastest, most direct way to reduce hunger in America is to make it possible for food stamp families to eat for the whole month.

Should America tax dollars really go to farmers with incomes over $300,000? It doesn't seem fair, and I don't think prophets like Isaiah or Hosea would think so either.

In the Bible, the book of Proverbs tells us that "a poor person's field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away." A status quo farm bill is simply unjust.

Right now, Congress has a chance to create a farm bill that's better for most farmers, better for rural America and better for hungry and poor people everywhere.

We call on the House Agricultural Committee to wiggle free of its deep ties to special interests and develop a farm bill that is better than the status quo. We call on Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) to make it clear that a Democratic House of Representatives will insist on farm bill reform. And we call on all members of Congress, both liberals and conservatives, to vote for farm bill reform.

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