Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Sean Rushton or Philippa Jeffery
December 4, 2001(202) 467-5300


Washington, D.C. - The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today blasted Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT.) for his dairy provision to the farm bill reported by the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. 

The Leahy provision would establish an unprecedented floor under the Class I (fluid milk) price for milk, to which the Class I differential must be added, which would raise the price of a gallon of milk by 10 percent (26 cents).  According to Tom Schatz, "simply put, this is akin to establishing a national dairy compact, which would impose a milk tax on all Americans."

The provision would also institute a new government subsidy for dairy farmers by setting up a $300 million a year deficiency payment program, which would be distributed in direct payments to dairy farmers based on the amount of milk they produce each month.

"The Leahy language would increase the cost of milk to consumers by $1.8 billion annually and constitute a new raid on the federal treasury," Schatz said.  "The greatest financial benefits of the program would accrue to those dairy farmers least in need.  At a time when many American citizens are struggling with the effects of a sluggish economy, but dairy farmers are realizing a very profitable year, this proposal is without merit."

Dairy compacts and other policies that artificially raise milk prices have proven to be policy failures.  While they increase consumer costs for dairy products and impose heavier burdens on American taxpayers, they have failed to reverse the decline in the number of dairy farms.

Schatz urged Congress to support the Crapo motion to strike the Leahy provision and announced that CCAGW intends to consider the vote to eliminate this costly and unnecessary dairy scheme for inclusion it its 2001 Congressional Ratings. Schatz also stated that CCAGW will urge the President to veto the farm bill should this language be retained in conference.

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest taxpayer advocacy group with over one million members and supporters nationwide.  It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.



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