1) Privatizing Social Security with mandatory contribution worker retirement IRAs has been a republican policy for ending SS for decades and now is pushed by Third Way corporate democrats speaking of Chain CPI as well....lowering exiting senior SS monthly payments. Remember, over $3 trillion in payroll taxes paid between the Reagan Administration and now was sent to the Treasury and not the Trusts so that needs to come back. The COLA has been used on several occasions to lower senior's benefits. When they tell you there isn't enough money remind them that from the 1950s to the 1970s people were dying well before they received benefits....there is a huge surplus awaiting the baby boomers.
2) Student Loan Forgiveness Act or as we call it THE NEXT TRILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT OF BANKS AND THE RICH BILL! This approach to student loans is designed to move private student loans much of which is filled with fraud and much of which will see the debt forgiven go to the elite students with the $150,000 - 350,000 student loans while the middle/lower class students with the $20,000 - 30,000 student loans will pay almost all of their loans off in the 20 year period....which is the point of this bill. This mirrors the Federal Housing Relief Act that Obama and the Third Way did where mortgage modifications where made and the low mortgage interest rates all benefit mortgage loans of up to $700,000 as this was the first legislation Third Way democrats did after the 2008 elections.....widening the Federal Home Loan Insurance window from $400,000 to 700,000 just so the affluent could get out of the damages caused by the massive subprime loan fraud. Meanwhile, the middle/lower class that were devastated by the fraud and the economic crisis caused by fraud all were let to lose their homes just as this Student Loan Forgiveness Act will have them pay all of their debt while the affluent get huge write-offs.....THIS IS THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS WORKING FOR WEALTH AND PROFIT!! We are demanding the alternative bills also moving through Congress that have the student loans discharged in bankruptcy so the banks take some responsibility and the Warren bill that places the interest rate at the same 0% that banks and corporations get. These two bills work for the people not profit as Obama's bill does.
3) The Agriculture bill that SUPERSIZES agribusiness subsidy as it decreases FOOD STAMPS for the poor. THIS IS TRULY AUTHORITARIAN......IT IS UGLY, CRIMINAL, AND INHUMANE AND IT IS THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS DOING THIS.
Food stamp rules are tied to the Farm Bill for just this reason....so pols can pretend they must give Agribusiness all they want so the poor can be protected. The supermajority of democrats that had all three branches of government in 2009 would have made correcting this a priority as they knew this Farm Bill was due for renewal. As with all protections of the people.....these pols went into overdrive to protect profit and wealth knowing the people's assets would become prey. This bill is an example of this. REMEMBER, IT IS THE GOAL OF THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS TO END ALL NEW DEAL AND WAR ON POVERTY PROGRAMS,......LABOR AND JUSTICE.....SO THIS IS NOT A SURPRISE, IT IS THEIR MISSION. It has nothing to do with the democratic platform and they should not be running as democrats. We can reverse all of this simply by running and voting for labor and justice. Now, the subsidy to Agribusiness is seen in yet more insurance paid by taxpayer for crop loss. Farmers already hedge their losses in the commodities market....they get aid from FEMA from disaster relief, and now your Third Way corporate democrat has created a crop insurance for these mid-western farmers planting corn and soy right in what is to become a dust belt because of global warming. This means that it has become more profitable for farmers to lose their crops than to sell them to you and me. On top of all of this......prices at the market are manipulated up under the guise of loses from disaster even as they are profiting. YOUR THIRD WAY DEMOCRAT KNOWS THIS AND WORKS TOWARDS THIS.
4) WOOPS........we hear the Affordable Care Act is keeping more and more people from accessing health care and they say it is because of loopholes Third Way corporate democrats just didn't see. So, as almost a trillion dollars in 'savings' in Medicare comes from cuts to entitlement spending leading to limited access....medical institutions of all stripes are seeing profit margins climb and medical insurance rates are climbing. Wait they say for the policy to set in....OH YEAH!!!!! The Affordable Care Act mirrors the bank consolidations driven by Clinton as they worked to create these global banks they are working to create global health systems that will be just as greedy, predatory, and unaccountable as Wall Street. They will prey on the elderly, poor, and chronically ill not care for them! THAT IS THE THIRD WAY CORPORATE PLAN FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM!!!! That is why across the nation movements for universal care are now on the rise. We need to cap the size of these health systems to regional entities and we must cap the profit margin. Remember, the 2% administrative cap in the Affordable Care Act is already being ignored by loopholes and circumvention.
RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS.....80% OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS LABOR AND JUSTICE.....STOP ALLOWING CORPORATE DEMOCRATS IN THE DNC CHOOSE YOUR CANDIDATES!!!
Op-Ed Contributors How Austerity Kills
By DAVID STUCKLER and SANJAY BASU Published: May 12, 2013 New York Times
EARLY last month, a triple suicide was reported in the seaside town of Civitanova Marche, Italy. A married couple, Anna Maria Sopranzi, 68, and Romeo Dionisi, 62, had been struggling to live on her monthly pension of around 500 euros (about $650), and had fallen behind on rent.
Because the Italian government’s austerity budget had raised the retirement age, Mr. Dionisi, a former construction worker, became one of Italy’s esodati (exiled ones) — older workers plunged into poverty without a safety net. On April 5, he and his wife left a note on a neighbor’s car asking for forgiveness, then hanged themselves in a storage closet at home. When Ms. Sopranzi’s brother, Giuseppe Sopranzi, 73, heard the news, he drowned himself in the Adriatic.
The correlation between unemployment and suicide has been observed since the 19th century. People looking for work are about twice as likely to end their lives as those who have jobs.
In the United States, the suicide rate, which had slowly risen since 2000, jumped during and after the 2007-9 recession. In a new book, we estimate that 4,750 “excess” suicides — that is, deaths above what pre-existing trends would predict — occurred from 2007 to 2010. Rates of such suicides were significantly greater in the states that experienced the greatest job losses. Deaths from suicide overtook deaths from car crashes in 2009.
If suicides were an unavoidable consequence of economic downturns, this would just be another story about the human toll of the Great Recession. But it isn’t so. Countries that slashed health and social protection budgets, like Greece, Italy and Spain, have seen starkly worse health outcomes than nations like Germany, Iceland and Sweden, which maintained their social safety nets and opted for stimulus over austerity. (Germany preaches the virtues of austerity — for others.)
As scholars of public health and political economy, we have watched aghast as politicians endlessly debate debts and deficits with little regard for the human costs of their decisions. Over the past decade, we mined huge data sets from across the globe to understand how economic shocks — from the Great Depression to the end of the Soviet Union to the Asian financial crisis to the Great Recession — affect our health. What we’ve found is that people do not inevitably get sick or die because the economy has faltered. Fiscal policy, it turns out, can be a matter of life or death.
At one extreme is Greece, which is in the middle of a public health disaster. The national health budget has been cut by 40 percent since 2008, partly to meet deficit-reduction targets set by the so-called troika — the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank — as part of a 2010 austerity package. Some 35,000 doctors, nurses and other health workers have lost their jobs. Hospital admissions have soared after Greeks avoided getting routine and preventive treatment because of long wait times and rising drug costs. Infant mortality rose by 40 percent. New H.I.V. infections more than doubled, a result of rising intravenous drug use — as the budget for needle-exchange programs was cut. After mosquito-spraying programs were slashed in southern Greece, malaria cases were reported in significant numbers for the first time since the early 1970s.
In contrast, Iceland avoided a public health disaster even though it experienced, in 2008, the largest banking crisis in history, relative to the size of its economy. After three main commercial banks failed, total debt soared, unemployment increased ninefold, and the value of its currency, the krona, collapsed. Iceland became the first European country to seek an I.M.F. bailout since 1976. But instead of bailing out the banks and slashing budgets, as the I.M.F. demanded, Iceland’s politicians took a radical step: they put austerity to a vote. In two referendums, in 2010 and 2011, Icelanders voted overwhelmingly to pay off foreign creditors gradually, rather than all at once through austerity. Iceland’s economy has largely recovered, while Greece’s teeters on collapse. No one lost health care coverage or access to medication, even as the price of imported drugs rose. There was no significant increase in suicide. Last year, the first U.N. World Happiness Report ranked Iceland as one of the world’s happiest nations.
Skeptics will point to structural differences between Greece and Iceland. Greece’s membership in the euro zone made currency devaluation impossible, and it had less political room to reject I.M.F. calls for austerity. But the contrast supports our thesis that an economic crisis does not necessarily have to involve a public health crisis.
Somewhere between these extremes is the United States. Initially, the 2009 stimulus package shored up the safety net. But there are warning signs — beyond the higher suicide rate — that health trends are worsening. Prescriptions for antidepressants have soared. Three-quarters of a million people (particularly out-of-work young men) have turned to binge drinking. Over five million Americans lost access to health care in the recession because they lost their jobs (and either could not afford to extend their insurance under the Cobra law or exhausted their eligibility). Preventive medical visits dropped as people delayed medical care and ended up in emergency rooms. (President Obama’s health care law expands coverage, but only gradually.)
The $85 billion “sequester” that began on March 1 will cut nutrition subsidies for approximately 600,000 pregnant women, newborns and infants by year’s end. Public housing budgets will be cut by nearly $2 billion this year, even while 1.4 million homes are in foreclosure. Even the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s main defense against epidemics like last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak, is being cut, by at least $18 million.
To test our hypothesis that austerity is deadly, we’ve analyzed data from other regions and eras. After the Soviet Union dissolved, in 1991, Russia’s economy collapsed. Poverty soared and life expectancy dropped, particularly among young, working-age men. But this did not occur everywhere in the former Soviet sphere. Russia, Kazakhstan and the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) — which adopted economic “shock therapy” programs advocated by economists like Jeffrey D. Sachs and Lawrence H. Summers — experienced the worst rises in suicides, heart attacks and alcohol-related deaths.
Countries like Belarus, Poland and Slovenia took a different, gradualist approach, advocated by economists like Joseph E. Stiglitz and the former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev. These countries privatized their state-controlled economies in stages and saw much better health outcomes than nearby countries that opted for mass privatizations and layoffs, which caused severe economic and social disruptions.
WHAT THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS ARE DOING BY HAVING A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT AND CAPITOL HILL ADOPTING REPUBLICAN POLICY THAT KILLS THEIR VERY CONSTITUENTS IS TO CAPTURE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SO THAT IT BASICALLY ELIMINATES THE PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO AFFECT POLICY. IT ELIMINATES THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WHEN THIRD WAY MOVE FURTHER AND FURTHER RIGHT.
If you listen to the media like NPR they pretend that it is the republican party being eliminated as democrats lead the policy issues. As Third Way move right by adopting republican policy .......Third Way becomes the only policy-making group. ALL THIS POLICY IS FREE MARKET, FREE TRADE, EMPIRE-BUILDING, AND CORPORATE RULE.....ONE PARTY = NO POLITICS......THAT IS THE GOAL OF THIRD WAY.
It is important for democrats to kick Third Way out of the party by not allowing the DNC choose your candidates.....run and vote for labor and justice next elections!!!!
Reality Check: Obama Cuts Social Security and Medicare by Much More Than the GOP
Obama plans to cut between $200 billion and $380 billion more from Social Security and Medicare than Republicans in the next ten years Derek Thompson Apr 11 2013, 12:52 PM ET More
The president's budget doesn't cut entitlements enough. That's been the unison response from Republicans since Obama released his plan yesterday. A brief sampling:
- Here's Sen. Mitch McConnell: "If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there's no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes."
- Here's Sen. Mike Johanns. "I don't believe the budget proposal went far enough."
- Here's Sen. Saxby Chambliss: "It is nowhere near what we need to do."
- And here's Paul Ryan to ABC News: "I don't know if I would say that he cracked the door on entitlement reform. He has proposed to change a statistic, which saves money. That is really not entitlement reform."
On Social Security: Ryan didn't cut Social Security by a penny. The president has proposed cutting the program's spending by $130 billion, by adopting a slower-growing measure of inflation.
On Medicare: Ryan's budget kept Obamacare's Medicare cuts and added another $127 billion. His budget projects $6.74 trillion in Medicare spending between 2014 and 2023. Obama cuts even deeper with $380 billion in cuts below his baseline, and his budget projects $6.67 trillion in Medicare spending over the same period. Upshot: Obama's ten-year Medicare budget is $70 billion below the GOP, and his announced cuts are about $250 billion deeper than the GOP. (See below for brief explainer on differences.*)
In fact, as Michael Linden at the Center for American Progress (who helped me with many of these numbers), pointed out, Obama's new proposal would mean about $1 trillion in lower Medicare spending in this decade compared to projections from before he took office. That includes the effects of slowing health-care inflation after the Great Recession. That's a 13 percent reduction!
Two questions I can anticipate.
(1) If the GOP isn't cutting Social Security and Medicare (and they're certainly not cutting defense), what are they cutting? Everything else, really. Obamacare gets demolished, and Medicaid (which, to be fair, is considered an entitlement), income-support for the poor, and non-defense discretionary all get the guillotine.
(2) Have I forgotten about Ryan's Medicare reforms after 2023? Nope. But I don't understand why, in 2013, it's considered reasonable, brave, or admirable to propose a dramatic and radical Medicare change that won't take effect for another ten years. That's seven years after Obama has left office. It's not for another two presidential election cycles plus another midterm. I'd rather talk about what these budget plans for this year, and this decade.
And here's the bottom line: Obama preserves federal Medicaid spending, he doesn't unwind Obamacare, and he spends much more on mandatory and non-defense discretionary programs than Ryan proposed. But his cuts to Social Security and Medicare combined are somewhere between $200 billion and $380 billion deeper than the GOP budget. On these programs there is no room to "compromise." The president is already to the right of the right.
* It's hard to compare these numbers perfectly because they're operating off different baselines. The GOP budget uses the CBO baseline. The White House budget uses the OMB baseline. The baselines are close, but there are subtle differences, because not every budget analyst in Washington agrees on the exact same inflation and wage growth projection (which affects Social Security) or health-care cost growth projection, which affects Medicare.
If you have a student loan now you know that the Department of Education is run by credit collection agencies that are preying on people with delinquent loans. Not only are they harassed and soaked with high fees, these agencies are openly committing fraud by attaching $3,000 loan processing fees at random and refusing to show any documentation of balances.
It is an open criminal enterprise and it is Arne Duncan and Obama....Third Way corporate democrats!
Obama Student Loan Policy Reaping $51 Billion Profit Posted: 05/14/2013 11:18 pm EDT | Updated: 05/15/2013 3:49 pm EDT Huffington Post
The Obama administration is forecast to turn a record $51 billion profit this year from student loan borrowers, a sum greater than the earnings of the nation's most profitable companies and roughly equal to the combined net income of the four largest U.S. banks by assets.
Figures made public Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office show that the nonpartisan agency increased its 2013 fiscal year profit forecast for the Department of Education by 43 percent to $50.6 billion from its February estimate of $35.5 billion.
Exxon Mobil Corp., the nation's most profitable company, reported $44.9 billion in net income last year. Apple Inc. recorded a $41.7 billion profit in its 2012 fiscal year, which ended in September, while Chevron Corp. reported $26.2 billion in earnings last year. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo reported a combined $51.9 billion in profit last year.
The estimated increase in the Education Department's earnings from student borrowers and their families may cause a political firestorm in Washington, where members of Congress and Obama administration officials thus far have appeared content to allow students to line government coffers.
The Education Department has generated nearly $120 billion in profit off student borrowers over the last five fiscal years, budget documents show, thanks to record relative interest rates on loans as well as the agency's aggressive efforts to collect defaulted debt. Representatives of the Education Department and Congressional Budget Office could not be reached for comment after normal business hours.
The new profit prediction comes as Washington policymakers increasingly focus on soaring student debt levels and the record relative interest rates that borrowers pay as a potential impediment to economic growth. Regulators and officials at agencies that include the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Reserve Bank of New York have all warned that student borrowing may dampen consumption, depress the economy, limit credit creation or pose a threat to financial stability.
At $1.1 trillion, student debt eclipses all other forms of household debt, except for home mortgages. It's also the only kind of consumer debt that has increased since the onset of the financial crisis, according to the New York Fed. Officials in Washington are worried that overly indebted student borrowers are unable to save enough to purchase a home, take out loans for new cars, start a business or save enough for their retirement.
Policymakers also are worried about the effect that high interest rates on outstanding student debt may have on the broader economy. Congress sets interest rates on federal student loans, with rates fixed on the majority of loans at 6.8 and 7.9 percent.
But as the Federal Reserve attempts to lower borrowing costs for everyone from households and small businesses to large corporations and Wall Street banks, student borrowers have not been able to benefit.
Compared to a benchmark interest rate -- what the U.S. government pays to borrow for 10 years -- student borrowers have never paid more, increasing the burden of their student debt as wage increases and yields on investments and bank accounts fail to keep up with the relative increase in student loan interest payments.
President Barack Obama recently asked Congress to tie federal student loan interest rates to the U.S. government's borrowing costs. In a possible sign of congressional intent, leading Democratic senators on Tuesday proposed legislation that would keep existing interest rates on some student loans for the neediest households fixed at 3.4 percent, rather than allowing them to revert back to their original 6.8 percent rate.
The legislation, dubbed the "Student Loan Affordability Act" and proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), aims to help a small subset of future student borrowers who take out loans over the next two years. The bill does nothing for existing student debtors.
"Today's figures from the CBO underscore the urgent need for Congress to prevent the July 1 interest rate hike and address the crushing debt placed on students," said Tiffany Edwards, spokeswoman for Democrats on the House Education and Workforce Committee.
Rohit Chopra, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official overseeing the regulator's student debt efforts, has warned policymakers to not focus solely on future borrowers.
“The whole student loan problem is a problem that should be of deep concern to this body,” said Richard Cordray, CFPB director, during testimony last month before the Senate Banking Committee. “These are young people that we should care a great deal about.”
“They’re the ones with the ambition, aspirations and dreams, and they're getting saddled with debt that they don't understand,” Cordray said of student borrowers. “It's holding them back and it's making them unable to rise and succeed and become leaders in our society.”
He added: “It's a significant problem and we're going to be doing everything that we can to address it at the bureau.”
The CFPB has been focusing on helping existing borrowers refinance high-rate debt or modify the terms of their loans. In a report earlier this month, the CFPB lamented that borrowers are unable to refinance their obligations after they have graduated from college and secured well-paying jobs.
"Corporate entities, homeowners, and many others have been able to refinance debt at quite low rates, and student loan borrowers are wondering why they can't do the same," Chopra said.
The CFPB suggests that increased concentration in the student loan market may inhibit refinancings and debt workouts. Lenders and the Education Department profit when borrowers pay higher rates than they otherwise would in a normally-functioning market.
Unlike traditional lenders, though, the Education Department's profits are barely dented by loan defaults. For loans made in 2013 that eventually default, the department estimates it will recover between 76 cents and 82 cents on the dollar. Bankruptcy rarely discharges student debt.
The Education Department's collection efforts are aided by loan default specialists, including NCO Group Inc., a company owned by JPMorgan.
Most of any savings from cutting Food Stamps will go to agriculture industry subsidies......STARVING CHILDREN AND THE POOR TO PAD PROFITS FOR THE RICH.....
THIS IS THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATIC POLICY FOLKS.......THEY CAME UP WITH THIS BEFORE THE SEQUESTER!!!
Part of that savings would go toward the deficit reduction, but the rest of the money would create new programs and raise subsidies for some crops while business is booming in the agricultural sector.
Farm Bill Approved By House Agriculture Committee, Includes Food Stamp Cuts
By MARY CLARE JALONICK 05/15/13 11:53 PM ET EDT
WASHINGTON — The House Agriculture Committee has approved a sweeping farm bill that would trim the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program.
The panel approved the bill 46-10 late Wednesday after rebuffing Democratic efforts to keep the food stamp program whole.
The legislation would cut about $2.5 billion a year – or a little more than 3 percent – from the domestic food aid program, which is used by 1 in 7 Americans.
The cuts are part of massive legislation that costs almost $100 billion annually over five years and would set policy for farm subsidies, rural programs and the food aid. The Senate Agriculture Committee approved its version of the bill Tuesday.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
A House committee rebuffed Democratic efforts Wednesday to keep the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program whole, as debate on the farm bill turned into a theological discourse on helping the poor.
The House bill would cut about $2.5 billion a year – or a little more than 3 percent – from the food stamp program, which is used by 1 in 7 Americans.
The committee rejected an amendment by Democrats to strike the cuts 27-17, keeping them in the bill.
The legislation would achieve the cuts partly by eliminating an eligibility category that mandates automatic food stamp benefits when people sign up for certain other programs. It would also save dollars by targeting states that give people who don't have heating bills very small amounts of heating assistance so they can automatically qualify for higher food stamp benefits.
Republicans argued that the cut is small relative to the size of the program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and that people who qualify for the aid could still sign up for it, they just wouldn't be automatically enrolled. They defended the cuts after Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., quoted the Book of Matthew in opposing them: "When I was hungry you gave me food. When I was thirsty, you gave me drink."
Several Republicans talked about their Christianity and said the Bible encourages people to help each other but doesn't dictate what the federal government should do. "We should be doing this as individuals, helping the poor," said Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif.
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., offered the amendment to do away with the cuts. He said taking the hunger assistance away from people will just make the poor "more vulnerable and more miserable."
"Christians, Jews, Muslims, whatever – we're failing our brothers and sisters here," McGovern said.
The cuts are part of massive legislation that costs almost $100 billion annually over five years and would set policy for farm subsidies, rural programs and the food aid. The House panel started work on the legislation Wednesday, one day after the Senate Agriculture Committee approved its version.
Last year more than 47 million people used the SNAP program with the cost more than doubling since 2008. The rolls rose rapidly because of the economic downturn, rising food prices and expanded eligibility under President Barack Obama's 2009 economic stimulus law.
Republicans criticized Obama in last year's presidential campaign for his expansion of the program, and many House conservatives have refused to consider a farm bill without cuts to food stamps, which make up about 80 percent of the bill's cost.
The Senate approved much smaller cuts to the program, about $400 million a year. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., will have to appease all sides as he tries to push the farm bill through for the third year in a row, balancing calls from House conservatives to cut the program with Senate Democrats who are reluctant to touch it.
"I expect it to come from all directions," Lucas said last week of the food stamp debate.
The House bill would cut around $4 billion a year from food aid and farm spending, while the Senate bill would trim roughly $2.4 billion. Those reductions include more than $600 million in yearly savings from across-the-board cuts that took effect earlier this year.
Much of the savings in the House and Senate bills comes from eliminating annual direct payments, a subsidy frequently criticized because it isn't tied to production or crop prices. Part of that savings would go toward the deficit reduction, but the rest of the money would create new programs and raise subsidies for some crops while business is booming in the agricultural sector.
The Senate bill would eliminate direct payments immediately, while the House bill would phase out payments to cotton farmers, who rely on the program, over the next two years.
Like the Senate bill, the House measure also includes concessions to Southern rice and peanut growers who also depend on direct payments. The bills would lower the threshold for rice and peanut subsidies to kick in when prices drop.
There are protections for other crops as well. Both bills would boost federally subsidized crop insurance and create a new program that covers smaller losses on planted crops before crop insurance kicks in, favoring Midwestern corn and soybean farmers, who use crop insurance most often.
The committee made no changes to the subsidy programs in the bill Wednesday, and Lucas made no apologies for broadening some farm programs.
"Let's give certainty to an industry that has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal economy," he said as he opened the committee meeting.
The farm bill passed the Senate last year but the House declined to take it up after conservatives in that chamber objected to the cost and insisted on higher cuts to food stamps. This year, the full House will consider the bill.