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Saturday, July 28, 2007

CBC Gets $100 million for Black Farmer Discrimination

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) persuaded the House to add $100 million to The Farm Bill (H.R. 2419) to help the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) settle discrimination lawsuits filed by African American farmers. No matter which way we turn, racism stands in the way of full participation in the American dream by all its citizens. This unique sickness leads to inefficiencies wherever it is exercised. The American South is still trying to catch up with the rest of the country because it practiced the sickness more and for a much longer time period than other areas. Kudos CBC.

The House passed the 741 page $286 billion farm bill by a vote of 231 to 191 with 19 Republicans joining 212 Democrats in favor. It increases spending for grassland preservation wildlife habitat and mandates a study of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, $212.5 million over five years for programs to clean up the Bay, and $292 million for which bay states will be eligible. The bill includes new credits and loan guarantees for biofuels produced from grasses and biomass.. It updates the food stamp program by increasing the minimum benefit and indexing benefits to inflation. It includes more money for food stamps ($4 billion increase), more than $30 billion a year, than for farmers. It ends the subsidy payments to farmers earning more than $1 million a year. It includes $840 million for an international food aid program (Wash Post, Florida Herald Tribune, Balt Sun,)

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