Rep. Maloney Lauds Passage of Farm Bill

May 13, 2008
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) applauded the nutrition, renewable energy, conservation, and food security provisions in “The Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007” (H.R. 2419) that passed the U.S. House of Representatives today with a strong bipartisan vote of 318 to 106.

“The bipartisan Farm Bill will help ease the strain of rising food prices for millions of families and invest in renewable energy to help lower prices at the pump,” said Rep. Maloney.  “Every penny of new spending in the Farm Bill is fully paid for to prevent further increases to the national debt, which has skyrocketed since 2001, contributed to our economic downturn, and mortgaged our children’s future.”

Nearly three-fourths of the Farm Bill – an additional $10.4 billion – goes to nutrition programs that will help 38 million American families afford healthy food.  The bill updates the food stamp program to reflect the current state of our economy.  The new food stamp provisions will increase the standard deduction and index it to inflation to help about 11 million people, mostly families with children, afford increasing food prices in the future.  The bill also provides much-needed support to emergency feeding organizations, such as food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens that are struggling in these tough economic times.

“Right now, too many Americans don’t have enough to eat.  The Farm Bill is the most important opportunity Congress will have this year to address the nutritional needs of disadvantaged children, struggling working families, and seniors,” continued Rep. Maloney.

The Farm Bill will also help lower gas prices by reducing the current tax credit for corn-based ethanol by six cents per gallon and creating a new tax credit to promote the production of cellulosic biofuels.  The bill invests $1 billion in renewable energy focusing on new technologies and new sources, including $320 million in loan guarantees for biorefineries that produce advanced biofuels and a new program to encourage the production of new biomass for cellulosic ethanol and other energy production, helping producers learn how to harvest, store, and transport biomass to bioenergy facilities. 

“The provisions in the Farm Bill will help ensure we are sending our energy dollars to the Midwest and not to the Middle East,” Rep. Maloney said.  “They will also help reduce the sky-high cost of energy that is hurting so many struggling American families.”

Recent food scares have made Americans more interested in knowing where their food comes from, and the farm bill makes critical food labeling of our nation’s meat supply and produce mandatory after six years of Republican delays.  The bill also boosts spending to conservation programs, which reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water and air quality, increase wildlife habitat and reduce damage caused by floods and other natural disasters. 

The Farm Bill also provides $60 million to purchase emergency food aid overseas and an additional $84 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program for infant, child, and school nutrition programs in underdeveloped countries. 

“The Farm Bill provides a new direction for our nation’s food security, and food and fuel prices.  This bipartisan bill will help strengthen American agriculture to meet the 21st Century needs of the United States and the world with safe and stable food supply,” concluded Rep. Maloney.