WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation today that would cut spending by limiting payments and closing loopholes. The bipartisan Rural America Preservation Act of 2012 would reform the farm payment program by closing loopholes, placing caps on farm payments, and reduce fraud. Also sponsored by U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tim Johnson (D-SD), the Rural America Preservation Act of 2012 would ensure that only working farmers have access to critical farm safety net programs.
“A strong safety net is critical for Ohio’s farmers, but it must also be fair to taxpayers,” Brown said. “For too long, farm programs have gone uncapped, creating a cycle where the biggest farms bring in windfall profits and get bigger while small and mid-sized farms struggle to compete. With this reform, we are closing loopholes and placing caps on farm programs, to make sure the farm safety net is just that—targeted assistance for the farmers who need it most.”
Specifically, the Rural America Preservation Act of 2012 would:
- Place $50,000 caps on all commodity programs—except the marketing loan program;
- Establish a $75,000 cap on loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains (150,000 for a married couple);
- Limit caps to $250,000 for married couples; and
- Subject any new program authorized through future Farm Bills to a $50,000 cap.