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USCCB, other Catholic organizations weigh in on final farm bill

Catholic World News - February 03, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), joined by other Catholic organizations, has weighed in on the five-year, $500 billion farm bill that the House of Representatives has passed in a 251-166 vote.

The Senate is expected to vote on the measure this week.

“While we are disappointed that the final compromise continues to call disproportionately for sacrifices from hungry and poor people in this country and around the world, especially when large industrial agricultural operations continue to receive unnecessary subsidies, we are glad to see support will continue for domestic and international nutrition and development aid, rural development and conservation,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

“With one in eight persons around the world struggling to feed themselves each day, we welcome the renewed commitment by Congress to programs that tackle root causes of chronic hunger and appreciate its foresight in making programs more cost effective so we can serve more people with the limited resources available,” said Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace.

"We are disappointed to see that necessary reforms to farm commodity programs and payment levels have been struck down in the final bill,” added James Ennis, executive director of Catholic Rural Life. “Congress needs to close loopholes and set real payment limits. By doing so, the farm bill will help to save hundreds of millions of dollars and take a step towards leveling the playing field for all family farmers.”

The president of Catholic Charities USA said that “we continue to be concerned that those who are most vulnerable will bear the greatest burden when cuts are being considered in any programs that address poverty in this country. However, we realize that tough choices may have to be made and encourage our country’s decision-makers on this 50th anniversary on the War on Poverty to commit to ensuring that millions of our brothers and sisters are not being left out or left behind.”

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Savonarola - Feb. 04, 2014 1:23 PM ET USA

    Is this another area of expertise for the USCCB? Amazing!

  • Posted by: Savonarola - Feb. 04, 2014 1:23 PM ET USA

    Is this another area of expertise for the USCCB? Amazing!

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Feb. 03, 2014 6:54 PM ET USA

    The Farm Bill is frankenstein of different programs many of which do not work and just keep on increasing. The War on Poverty started in 1964 and trillions have been spent and yet we have morepeople in poverty than before. SNAP is a give away program that creates dependency on big government. Follow the money on many of these programs to help the "poor" and you will see the Church with a big purse hanging out there. Work on jobs not give aways and you will do more to solve the problem.

  • Posted by: unum - Feb. 03, 2014 6:27 PM ET USA

    Same old ... same old ... Spend more and more on government programs. Government is the answer. We don't care where you get the funds or what the effect will be on the economy or the rest of the population. We just want the government to spend more! Finance and politics have replaced spirituality in the U.S. Church!

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