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Farm Bill debate starts by focusing on tax increases on businesses

House floor debate on the 2007 Farm Bill — H.R. 2419 — began at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, with a contentious beginning focusing on a last-minute approach to funding expansions of nutritional and food stamps programs to the tune of $4 billion. To fund those programs on a pay-as-you-go basis, foreign firms with U.S. operations would be taxed. This riled many of the Republican supporters of the Farm Bill, including Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who had stood with the Chairman of the Agriculture Committee in his staunch support of the bill. Goodlatte said that would represent a sweeping change in the tax system and “put American jobs against American farmers.” Others, like Rep. Rose DeLauro (D-Conn.), called those companies “tax dodgers.” And it just started. Looks like it's going to be a long debate.