For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 22, 2008
President Bush Disappointed by Congress' Failure on Farm Bill
I am disappointed that Congress has failed to put forward a good farm bill, leaving farmers and ranchers in a state of continued uncertainty as to how they will be affected by Federal policies.
The farm bill proposal currently being discussed by conferees would fail several important tests that I have set forth. With record farm income, now is not the time for Congress to ask other sectors of the economy to pay higher taxes in order to increase the size of government. The proposal would increase spending by at least $16 billion, masked in part by budgetary gimmicks and funded in part by additional tax revenues. These tax revenue provisions are unacceptable - including tax compliance initiatives being considered by the House and Senate Conference Committee. As important, the proposal also lacks the important reforms I've repeatedly called for.
After last week's short-term extension of the farm bill, Congress now has only four days to provide certainty to America's farmers and ranchers. Despite the passage of more than a year since my Administration unveiled a responsible and forward-looking farm bill proposal, there are no signs that the conference committee will reach agreement on an acceptable farm bill by Friday. I therefore call on Congress to provide our agricultural producers with the certainty to make sound business and planting decisions about this year's crop by extending current law for at least one year.
# # #