Some U-S House members are attacking the Farm Bill as being too full of subsidies and price supports for wealthy non-farmer “farmers” like C-N-N founder Ted Turner and N-B-A star Scottie Pippen. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says those Farm Bill opponents must not have read the bill.Harkin says the so-called Scottie Pippen Amendment that’s in the bill would exclude anyone with an adjusted gross income in excess of two-point-five million dollars from getting subsidy payments. Still, opponents in the House hope to derail the bill today and send it back to committee. Iowa Congressman Tom Latham is one of those against the bill.Latham says the purpose of the Farm Bill should be to help medium and small-sized “family” farmers, but he says the bill goes in the wrong direction. Latham, a republican, says the bill helps the bigger farms get bigger.Latham aims his criticism at Senator Harkin, who is chair of the Senate Ag Committee. Latham says Harkin is saying large-scale livestock operators like Jack DeCoster will benefit to the tune of 450-thousand taxpayer dollars to build more facilities. DeCoster has been cited by the state of Iowa for numerous environmental violations at his livestock facilities in northern Iowa. Iowa Farmers Union president Gary Hoskey is urging House members to approve the Farm Bill this morning, so the Senate can take up and pass the compromise measure this afternoon before adjourning.Hoskey, who raises hogs in Tama County, says other issues the Farm Bill doesn’t contain can be taken up later, like a ban on packer ownership of livestock. Hoskey appeared on a conference call this morning with Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Hoskey admits the Farm Bill doesn’t contain everything the Farmer’s Union wanted, but says it’s important to get something passed.Hoskey says the previous six years under “Freedom to Farm” have been disastrous, so he wants the new Farm Bill passed quickly.
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