Sending Office: Honorable Ron Kind
Sent By:
Ethan.Holmes@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

 EXTENDED CLOSING COB THURSDAY 13th

Current Cosigners: Sen. Durbin , Sen Grassley, Rep. Mark R. Meadows, Rep. Ron Kind, Rep. Mark Walker, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Jim Cooper, Rep. Mark Sanford, Rep. Peter De Fazio, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Chellie Pingree, Rep. Ted Budd, Rep.
Glenn Grothman, Rep. Scott Perry, Rep. Bill Posey, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Rep. Jared Huffman, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Rokita, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo.

Dear Colleague,

I want to bring to your attention a letter that I am leading with Senator Grassley, Senator Durbin, and Rep. Mark R. Meadows, and urge you to sign on and support these simple reform efforts to end “actively engaged loopholes. ”The letter urges Farm Bill
Conferees to maintain provisions included in the Senate-passed Farm Bill in the final conference agreement to reduce abuses related to what it means to be “actively engaged” in farming. This provision would mean that allowing only one additional manager per
farm entity to be eligible for $125,000 in Title 1 farm subsidies or $250,000 if the manager is married. 

I believe in a “safety net” for farmers that assists when there is a sudden change in the markets or a natural disaster. I do not believe the safety net should provide payments to successful billionaires, to distant relations, or to unrelated “farm managers”
who do not work on the farm. It is time to end the practice of  “conference call farmers,”  and ensure that only real farmers receive these payments.

Please contact Rep.Mark Meadows office (chad.yelinski@mail.house.gov) or Rep. Ron Kind office (Ethan.Holmes@mail.house.gov) if you have any questions or would
like to sign onto the letter.

Sincerely,

Ron Kind

Letter Text:

Dear Chairman Roberts, Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson, and Ranking Member Stabenow:

The Farm Bill is an $860 billion spending bill that impacts every single American. While there are significant differences between the House and Senate bills, there is one area where overwhelming bipartisan, bicameral agreement exists— allowing only one
additional manager per farm entity to be eligible for $125,000 in farm subsidies or $250,000 if the manager is married. 

We believe in a safety net for farmers that provides assistance when there is a sudden change in markets or a natural disaster. We do not believe the farm safety net should provide unlimited payments to farmers year. Unfortunately, current law also allows
most farmers who organize their farms as general partnerships or joint ventures to designate an unlimited number of farm managers for the purposes of collecting additional farm subsidies. The impact of this loophole is that large farms crowd out young and
beginning farmers by increasing the price of land and cash rent. The fact that few young people are starting farms and staying in rural America is not surprising considering they have to compete with established farmers who have millions in equity and access
to unlimited farm subsidies. 

To provide a farm safety net we can all be proud of, we urge you to maintain Sections 1704, 1705, and 1706 of the Senate passed Farm Bill in the final conference agreement. Sections 1704 and 1705 reduce abuses related to what it means to be “actively engaged”
in farming. Section 1705 still allows any farmer to get up to $500,000 per year in subsidies from taxpayers. Additionally, Section 1706 of the Senate farm bill sets the income eligibility threshold for farm subsidies at no more than $700,000 per individual
or $1.4 million per married couple. In combination, these modest reforms will help ensure that farm subsidies are better targeted to real farmers and make the programs more defensible to the taxpayers.

The House Farm Bill significantly expands eligibility of farm subsidies by eliminating the current means test altogether and making extended family members eligible to collect farm subsidies. With our national debt at $21.3 trillion, we cannot afford to
give cousins, nieces, and nephews $125,000 in farm subsidies when they may have nothing to do with the farm. We strongly urge you to reject sections 1603 and 1604 of HR. 2. A Congress committed to fiscal restraint should not extend farm payments to distant
relatives or make billionaires like Charles Schwab, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates eligible for farm payments.

To ensure that farm subsidies are going to the small farmers they were intended for, we must close the actively engaged loophole that enables large farms to collect multiples of the $125,000 subsidy limit. As the Government Accountability Office recently
found, too many “farm managers” who do not work on the farm are the beneficiaries of these programs. Many of these “farm managers” live in America’s largest cities.

As you finalize the 2018 Farm Bill, we urge you to support these common-sense reforms that limit farm payments to farmers who work on farms and that tighten an existing means test so that billionaires are not receiving farm subsidies.

 

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Agriculture, Appropriations, Environment, Government, Natural Resources

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