WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has brought together 28 of his colleagues to urge the leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee to reject any efforts to politicize the upcoming Farm Bill. “For decades, the Farm Bill has provided comprehensive farm and food policy that is supported by members of both political parties. But increasingly, crucial must-pass bills are used as opportunities to attach environmentally harmful provisions that are incapable of passing on their own,” the senators wrote in their letter to Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow.
“We write to you to express our strong opposition to gutting bedrock U.S. environmental laws with provisions that threaten our air, water, lands, and wildlife. We urge you to bring forward a 2018 Farm Bill that is free of these ideological distractions,” the Senators added. The letter comes on the heels of the House Agriculture Committee’s markup of a flawed bill with scores of harmful environmental riders.
In addition to Cardin, the anti-rider letter was signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Robert Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Margaret Wood Hassan (D-N.H.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).
The full letter can be found below and here.
April 26, 2018
The Honorable Pat Roberts The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Chairman Ranking Member
United States Senate Committee on United States Senate Committee on
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
328A Russell Senate Office Building 328A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6000 Washington, DC 20510-6000
Dear Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow:
We are Members who have voted for a Farm Bill in the past or new Members who would consider voting for one in the future. However, we oppose any efforts to erode fundamental environmental laws and therefore urge you to reject anti-environmental provisions that bring unnecessary controversy to the Committee’s important work and place vital updates to agricultural and rural policy at risk.
For decades, the Farm Bill has provided comprehensive farm and food policy that is supported by members of both political parties. But increasingly, crucial must-pass bills are used as opportunities to attach environmentally harmful provisions that are incapable of passing on their own. Polarizing anti-environmental provisions will attract unnecessary opposition and complicate the bipartisan cooperation needed to pass this legislation. To avoid these harmful outcomes, we write to you to express our strong opposition to gutting bedrock U.S. environmental laws with provisions that threaten our air, water, lands, and wildlife. We urge you to bring forward a 2018 Farm Bill that is free of these ideological distractions.
Instead of undermining the Farm Bill with anti-environmental provisions, we strongly urge you to produce viable legislation that is free of unnecessary controversies.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II