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Author Topic: Profiles in Courage  (Read 16593 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Profiles in Courage
« Reply #150 on: November 15, 2018, 12:54:35 pm »

Quote
November 15, 2017

Dear Mr. Gelbert:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Farm Bill.  I appreciate hearing from you regarding its critical programs and the certainty it provides for farmers, families, and communities across the country.

Every five years, Congress must pass a Farm Bill to address the needs of producers, support consumers, and establish programs to ensure America’s agricultural industry remains strong, sustainable, and profitable.  The Farm Bill touches every single person in this country and establishes our values as Americans.  I am proud to fight for a good bill that addresses the interests of our dairy farmers, sustainable conservation programs, nutritional support for families, rural development programs, international food aid, organic agriculture, animal welfare, and the health and safety of consumers and producers everywhere.  As former Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and author of the first Organic Farm Bill more than 25 years ago, I recognize how much impact this bill has on our daily lives and these priorities continue to be important as I work on this bill.

On June 28, 2018, the Senate passed our version of the Farm Bill which included many significant wins for Vermonters.  You can read more about the Senate bill here.  We are now negotiating with the House of Representatives to reconcile the vast differences between our two versions of this bill.  On September 5, 2018, we had a public meeting of Farm Bill conferees from the Senate and House of Representatives.  I gave a statement highlighting Vermont priorities and will continue to fight for what is important and right in this Farm Bill.  You can read my full statement here.

I have heard from hundreds of Vermonters about the importance of the Farm Bill in supporting organic and sustainable agriculture, reducing the use of pesticides and protecting water quality, and protecting animals and endangered species everywhere.  This bill also must provide some assurances for our struggling Vermont dairy farmers, protect the ability of families to receive nutritional assistance, maintain a strong international food aid presence with programs like McGovern-Dole, and address the unique challenges faced by rural communities.  It is important that this bill continues to fully fund conservation programs and ensure our environment is protected and our agricultural industry is sustainable.  I am proud that the Pet and Women Safety Act, of which I am a cosponsor, is included in the Senate Farm Bill and I will continue to fight for animal welfare provisions in this bill.

In addition to undermining the critically important Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the House 🐉🦕🦖 version of this bill prevents towns and cities from making their own choices to reduce the use of chemicals, undermines the endangered species act, and attacks bedrock water quality and other environmental protection laws.  As we work on a compromise bill, I will continue to oppose the provisions that provide exemptions for anti-environmental forestry management plans and dangerous pesticide applications that skip the proper approval process.  I promise to fight for strong enforcement of organic standards and for the rights of communities to protect themselves from hazardous materials. 

Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as the conference process continues and we work towards a compromise on the Farm Bill that treats everyone fairly and takes care of the farmers who provide quality products while respecting our air, land, and water.

Thank you again for contacting me.  Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

PATRICK LEAHY
United States Senator
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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