Crop insurers successfully lobbied to keep several proposals out of the farm bill set to pass the U.S. Congress today -- such as a requirement that would have forced farmer-lawmakers to disclose benefits they receive.
The Senate passed and sent President Barack Obama a measure that sets U.S. agricultural policy for five years, ending the toughest legislative battle on renewal of the farm bill in almost two decades with cuts to crop subsidies and food stamps.
A fundamental question faces the U.S.: Is our vision of the future “Made in America” or “Saudi America"? Does the U.S. want to reclaim its value-added manufacturing economy, or become an extractive petro-state? Will the U.S. produce cars and the fuels to power them, or keep importing both foreign cars and refined fuels even as we export cheap domestic oil and natural gas?