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Rep. Brat Introduced Amendment to the Farm Bill

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Washington, May 17, 2018 | Mitchell Hailstone (202-225-2815) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dave Brat introduced the following bipartisan amendment, the Brat-Blumenauer-Titus Amendment No. 24, that would establish restrictions and requirements for checkoff programs to ensure greater transparency and accountability.

Federal checkoff programs fall under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996. Funding for checkoff programs comes from producers, often in the form of mandatory per-unit assessment taxes.

“The mandatory checkoff program has a specific mission – that is to promote agricultural products – and we want to make sure that it is being used in line with that mission. This bipartisan amendment would require checkoff programs to be subject to necessary public transparency – that way the hardworking farmers and ranchers who are required to pay into these programs know their contributions are being spent in a helpful manner. Payments are not voluntary. In the past, funds from mandatory checkoff programs have been used to lobby against small farmers – we want to make sure since all farmers are required by federal fiat to contribute money to checkoff programs, they should be used in such a way that benefits all.”

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