Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Antonio González, William C. Velásquez Institute, 323-222-2217, agonzalez@wcvi.org
Sean Crowley, Environmental Defense 202-572-3331,
scrowley@ed.org

Farm and Food Policy Reform Amendment Provides at Least $3 Million More for Most Hispanic Members than Extending Farm Bill, Analysis Shows

(Washington, D.C. – July 26, 2007) – If Congress passes the bipartisan Fairness in Food and Farm Policy Amendment instead of extending the 2002 Farm Bill, it would increase federal farm spending by at least $3 million in 21 out of 25 congressional districts represented by Hispanic House members. The net gain for all districts represented by all 25 Hispanic House members would be $335 million. That’s the conclusion of an analysis conducted by a former USDA official on behalf of Environmental Defense, a national environmental group, which was released today as the House begins debate on the Farm Bill Extension Act.

The 21 Hispanic caucus “winners” are listed by state below:

ARIZONA                              Ed Pastor (4th district)                                    $24,133,195

CALIFORNIA                       Dennis A. Cardoza (18th district)                     $3,257,203 CALIFORNIA              Xavier Becerra (31st district)                         $24,150,652

CALIFORNIA                       Hilda L. Solis (32nd district)                           $12,400,413

CALIFORNIA                       Lucille Roybal-Allard (34th district)              $18,786,674

CALIFORNIA                       Grace F. Napolitano (38th district)                $11,061,590

CALIFORNIA                       Linda T. Sanchez                                            $10,560,065 CALIFORNIA               Joe Baca (43rd district)                                           $15,265,475

CALIFORNIA                       Loretta Sanchez (47th district)                       $10,778,114 COLORADO                John T. Salazar (3rd district)                                  $71,323,860

FLORIDA                              Ileana Ros-Lehtinen  (18th district)               $24,998,957

FLORIDA                              Lincoln Diaz-Balart (21st District)                 $12,356,515

FLORIDA                              Mario Diaz-Balart (25th district)                   $23,758,127

ILLINOIS                              Luis V. Gutierrez (4th district)                       $20,573,714

NEW JERSEY                       Albio Sires (13th district)                                $16,293,158

NEW YORK                          Nydia M. Velazquez (12th district)                $26,631,038

NEW YORK                          Jose ´ E. Serrano (16th district)                     $38,354,816

TEXAS                                   Silvestre Reyes (16th district)                       $25,781,218

TEXAS                                   Charles A. Gonzalez (20th district)                $24,314,592

TEXAS                                   Ciro Rodriquez (23rd district)                        $33,334,828

TEXAS                                   Henry Cuellar (28th district)              $41,813,031

The Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment to the Farm Bill Extension Act will be offered by a bipartisan group of legislators to reduce and restructure farm subsidies and to increase spending on USDA nutrition, conservation and rural development programs, to help more farmers and to better address hunger, health and environmental challenges.

“This analysis shows, in fact, that districts of most of the Hispanic Members of Congress would significantly benefit if the Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment to the Farm Bill were approved today,” said Antonio Gonzalez, President of the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI). “In total, Hispanic House members would gain nearly $335 million with ‘Fairness Amendment.’ That is important new information, contrary to some of the spin we have heard on The Hill. It is all the more reason why Latinos should vote yes on the ‘Fairness Amendment’ today.”

“The Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment will help ensure that our farm and food policies help more farmers, consumers and communities,” said Scott Faber, Farm and Food Policy Campaign Director for Environmental Defense. “This analysis shows that voting for reform and against the status quo will be a vote to meet the needs of local farmers, the hungry, and the environment.”

The Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment would reform subsidies by replacing depression-era prices guarantees with a modern, revenue-based safety net developed by USDA, placing reasonable limits on crop subsidies, controlling the administrative costs of crop insurance, and by gradually reducing "direct" subsidy payments linked to past production.

The amendment increases nutrition spending by $5.4 billion over five years, increases conservation spending by $6 billion over five years, and makes other investments to help fruit and vegetable growers, minority farmers, and boost rural development.

To learn more about individual congressional districts, visit http://www.environmentaldefense.org/farms.

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William C. Velasquez Institute is a paramount national Latino-oriented nonprofit policy and research organization with offices in Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Miami founded in 1985. WCVI serves the 45 million strong U.S. Latino community, over 5,000 Latino elected officials, and a voter/leadership network of over 500,000.  www.wcvi.org.

Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. www.environmentaldefense.org

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