U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. wants to limit taxpayer-funded payments to wealthy farmers. He joined a bi-partisan group of senators this week in introducing legislation that would focus farm payments to genuine family farmers.
The Rural America Preservation Act of 2012 would limit annual per farm commodity subsidy payments and marketing loans to $250,000 for married couples. Individual farmers would be capped at $150,000. The bill also improves the “measurable standard” by which the U.S. Department of Agriculture determines who should and should not receive farm payments.
“There’s no better time than when our nation is in deep debt to stop making payments to people who don’t need it. Under the current system the federal government is making payments to people who don’t farm. This bill would change that,” Enzi said.
Enzi said the Rural America Preservation Act would save money and he hopes it will be included in this year’s Farm Bill. The Senate narrowly missed including similar provisions in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Enzi is joined by GOP Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democrat Senators Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York in cosponsoring the legislation.