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Taxpayers Oppose Supply Management Bill

11 April 2012

US - Three taxpayer organisations – Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens Against Government Waste and the National Taxpayers Union – teamed up last week to oppose including the proposed Dairy Market Stabilization Programme in the upcoming Farm Bill. The programme, which the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) also opposes, would allow the government to mandate supply controls on dairy production.

In a joint letter to key members of Congress, the groups called the programme an "anachronism that will be regretted if it becomes law." The programme is included in the Dairy Security Act introduced by Rep. Collin Peterson.

Even though Congress entered a two-week recess last Monday, activity on the Farm Bill continues to gain momentum. Last Friday, the House Agriculture Committee held its third farm bill hearing, this one in Arkansas, following earlier hearings in New York and Illinois. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas focused the hearing on ways to provide an effective safety net and risk management tools.

"As we visit with producers from different regions of the country, the overriding message we're hearing is just how important it is to provide a choice of policy options in the next Farm Bill," Mr Lucas said. "In order for our farmers to be successful and continue to provide the quality food and fiber that we all expect and enjoy, we need to give them the necessary tools to manage risk no matter what type of crop they're growing."

On the Senate side, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chair of the Senate Committee on Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry, last week confirmed that committee members want to pass a Farm Bill out of committee by the end of April. Ms Stabenow said she and Ranking Member Pat Roberts have been working closely together and committee members are serious about crafting a strong, bipartisan bill.

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