CONFERENCE REPORT ON S. 1932, DEFICIT REDUCTION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 18, 2005)
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Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report for the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
Several months ago, when the Committee on Agriculture was given instructions to find savings within the programs under our jurisdiction, we took the task seriously and reported to the Budget Committee a total package that exceeded our original instructions. We did so without the support of our colleagues from across the aisle and found ourselves in a similar situation when the Deficit Reduction Act was brought to the House Floor several weeks ago.
Our efforts to try to gain control of mandatory spending have been politicized and demonized by Members of the other party who claimed that this was the wrong time and the wrong way to rein in mandatory spending. If not now, then when? If we continue to stand by and play the passive observer role, in 10 years mandatory will grow to consume 62 percent of the federal budget. I will also note that throughout this process, we have yet to see a comprehensive proposal from the minority. This bill will not solve all of our problems and it isn't a magic solution, but it is a step in the right direction. It is unrealistic to think we can meet the pressing challenges facing our Nation without reducing federal spending and redirecting priorities.
Additional costs associated with recent disasters further necessitate the need for budget reform. The Agriculture Committee has worked with our counterparts in the Senate to come up with a compromise that contributes to the deficit reduction while maintaining the interests of American agriculture. Our producers rely on our domestic agriculture policy. The 2002 Farm Bill, provided our producers with a foundation they could base their decisions on through 2007, which is when we will re-examine the Farm Bill for reauthorization. It would be irresponsible to rip the rug out from our producers midway through the Farm Bill and I am pleased that this legislation keeps the policies of the 2002 Farm Bill intact.
Mr. Speaker, it is not easy to limit or reduce funding for any program, but it is imperative that instead of cowering away from the problem, we take a stand and vote yes to reducing the deficit and vote yes to responsible spending.
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