April 26, 2018

Cardin Leads Senators in Urging a Farm Bill Free of Environmental Poison Pill Riders

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has brought together 28 of his colleagues to urge the leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee to reject any efforts to politicize the upcoming Farm Bill. “For decades, the Farm Bill has provided comprehensive farm and food policy that is supported by members of both political parties. But increasingly, crucial must-pass bills are used as opportunities to attach environmentally harmful provisions that are incapable of passing on their own,” the senators wrote in their letter to Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow.

“We write to you to express our strong opposition to gutting bedrock U.S. environmental laws with provisions that threaten our air, water, lands, and wildlife. We urge you to bring forward a 2018 Farm Bill that is free of these ideological distractions,” the Senators added. The letter comes on the heels of the House Agriculture Committee’s markup of a flawed bill with scores of harmful environmental riders.

In addition to Cardin, the anti-rider letter was signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Robert Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Margaret Wood Hassan (D-N.H.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).

The full letter can be found below and here.

April 26, 2018

 

The Honorable Pat Roberts                                                The Honorable Debbie Stabenow

Chairman                                                                         Ranking Member

United States Senate Committee on                                   United States Senate Committee on

Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry                                    Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

328A Russell Senate Office Building                                   328A Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510-6000                                            Washington, DC 20510-6000

Dear Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow:

We are Members who have voted for a Farm Bill in the past or new Members who would consider voting for one in the future. However, we oppose any efforts to erode fundamental environmental laws and therefore urge you to reject anti-environmental provisions that bring unnecessary controversy to the Committee’s important work and place vital updates to agricultural and rural policy at risk.

For decades, the Farm Bill has provided comprehensive farm and food policy that is supported by members of both political parties. But increasingly, crucial must-pass bills are used as opportunities to attach environmentally harmful provisions that are incapable of passing on their own. Polarizing anti-environmental provisions will attract unnecessary opposition and complicate the bipartisan cooperation needed to pass this legislation. To avoid these harmful outcomes, we write to you to express our strong opposition to gutting bedrock U.S. environmental laws with provisions that threaten our air, water, lands, and wildlife. We urge you to bring forward a 2018 Farm Bill that is free of these ideological distractions.

Instead of undermining the Farm Bill with anti-environmental provisions, we strongly urge you to produce viable legislation that is free of unnecessary controversies. 

Sincerely,

###