WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today released the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the Farm Bill (H.R.2419), which passed by a vote of 79 to 14:
“By passing the Farm Bill today, the Senate has taken an important step towards renewing our nation's commitment to our farming communities and a clean energy future. This legislation invests in conservation, nutrition, specialty crops, and rural development. It puts resources into renewable energy and recognizes those family farmers who are working to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And it includes a packerban, which is so important for market transparency.
“I am especially proud that this legislation includes my proposal to ensure that thousands of African-American farmers will have an opportunity to have their discrimination claims reviewed under the Pigford settlement. For far too long, this country's hardworking black farmers were discriminated against by our own government, and this legislation offers a chance for us to begin to right these wrongs.
“While the Farm Bill is a step in the right direction, I am disappointed that those who blocked payment limitations chose to put big agribusiness ahead of family farmers. I will continue to fight for meaningful payment limitations legislation that will target subsidies to the farmers and ranchers who most need assistance."
“I thank Senator Harkin for his leadership on this issue, and will continue to work with him to stand up for America's family farmers.”