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Real News From the Blaze': Farm Bill Debate Grows on Capitol Hill

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The country is experiencing the most severe drought since the 1950s as the House will face a vote this week on the farm bill, which comes up once every five years. While devastated Farmland and crops are bound to move some Americans now--and many more to come once the consumer begins to feel the results--it's worth taking a hard look at the details of the Farm Bill.

There is a nostalgic reaction that most Americans have to the family farm and the desire to help farmers who are the backbone of American agriculture, but as The Economist notes, payments to farmers have been running at around $12 billion a year since 2007. Since then, farmers have enjoyed record prices and incomes, and increasing yields. This has put farm income to its highest point in almost 40 years, with farm failures down to a rate of less than one in 200 a year. The Economist reports that the five-year cost of the 2008 farm bill ran to $283.9 billion, of which 67 percent went to nutritional assistance for the poor; mostly food stamps, while cash paid to farmers through income support and conservation payments only accounted for 23 percent.

Furthermore, conservative advocacy groups have begun to put pressure on House Republicans to strip renewable-energy subsidies out of the bill that contains support for a number of programs that aid rural biofuels producers.

Joined by Veronique de Rugy, the 'Real News' panel discussed whether lawmakers will look at the current economic situation and apply it to the sentimentally sensitive farm bill.

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