Cold Comfort Farm Bill
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) will introduce a farm bill today that he describes as "good for family farmers and the environment and rural communities." Harkin, who is chair of the Senate Agricultural Committee, is generally well-liked by environmentalists, but not all of them agree with his assessment of the bill. Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group said, "If Harkin were a Republican, he’d be hammered." Harkin’s bill calls for $44.5 billion for conservation over 10 years, just a smidgen more than the $43 billion allocation in a competing Republican bill. Still, the senator said his proposal offered 20 percent more money for conservation than a bill approved earlier this year by the House.