Friday, December 30, 2005

End of the Year and Republicans Fail to Deliver the MILC

We are the dairy state right? So does this mean helping dairy farmers should be a priority? Well, not if you are a congressional Republican. Back in 2004 Congressman Mark Green and Bush made several appearances together promising to renew the MILC (Milk Income Loss Contract) program. After that election year was over, we did not hear a peep from either of them about the matter. This year we did not hear anything substantive from Mark Green until he started feeling the pressure. He tried some last minute maneuvers obtaining a letter from Speaker Dennis Hastert. The letter apparently means nothing as we are now at the end of the year and the MILC program has not been renewed.

Yesterday in an editorial, the Capital Times calls out Green for allowing the year to end without an extension of the MILC program.

Despite claims by U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Green Bay, that he had personally secured renewal of the Milk Income Loss Contract a critical safety net program for Wisconsin farmers it now appears certain that the year will end without the renewal that the Republican candidate for governor promised.


Because Green's Republican compatriots in Congress rejected a request by U.S. Rep.Dave Obey, D-Wausau, that renewal of the MILC program be included in a piece of so-called "must-pass" legislation, the 2006 defense spending bill. While U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was able to insert new liability protections for the pharmaceutical industry into the defense bill, along with other giveaways to corporate lobbies, Frist and other Republican leaders refused to even consider including a measure that will help tens of thousands of small farmers stay in business.

For all his talk about using his influence in Washington to aid Wisconsin farmers, Green has failed to deliver.

We can also lay some blame at the feet of Congressman Paul Ryan. Herb Kohl was able to get the renewal of the MILC program included in the Senate version of the budget. Remember, he is in the minority party! Paul Ryan, member of the House Budget Committee failed to do the same. Why? Too busy cutting programs for the poor and handing more tax cuts to the rich? Maybe he doesn’t worry too much about the dairy farmers in his district until election time. Whatever the reason, Ryan, Mark Green and their fellow Republicans dropped the ball on the MILC program.

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