Texas Farmers Union Rates 
U. S. Senators on Key Farm Votes

Texas Farmers Union (TFU) today assessed how the state's U. S. Senators measured up on key farm bill votes prior to the January races.

TFU derived the score by analyzing 14 key roll call votes during recent Senate farm bill discussions. "The higher the senator's support for family agriculture and rural America, the higher their percentages," said TFU President Wes Sims.

According to Sims, Senator Gramm voted 8 percent, while Senator Hutchinson scored 28 percent. Nation wide, 18 senators voted 100 percent with the family farm and ranch organizations and just over half had a voting record of 50 percent or better.

The key votes included:

prohibition of packer ownership, which TFU supports;

attempts to reverse improvements to the dairy safety net, which TFU opposed;

efforts to substitute farm safety net provisions with insurance vouchers or savings accounts, which TFU opposed;

a motion that TFU supported to kill an amendment that would have removed the no-cost sugar program from the Senate Agriculture Committee Farm bill proposal;

an attempt to pass the House farm bill proposal, which would allow lower rates than the Senate version and would not address concentration or renewable energy issues;

a TFU supported amendment to ban the use of mandatory arbitration on farmers involved in contracts, and

three failed cloture motions, which could have limited debate and allowed the Senate to complete the farm bill process in 2001.

"Farmers Union avidly supported the motions to invoke cloture with hopes for a new farm bill in time for farmers planning and planting spring crops," Sims said. "These and the other votes included on our scorecard speak volumes about how our elected officials have acted in addressing the challenges that confront rural America."

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556