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Conference Report on H.R. 2419, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008

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Location: Washington, DC


CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 2419, FOOD, CONSERVATION, AND ENERGY ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - May 14, 2008)

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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I say this regretfully, but this bill is an absence of leadership. This bill shows that we're not leading, that America is not leading, that the new majority is not leading.

Why do I say that? The new majority brought this bill to the floor and they waived PAYGO. They swept PAYGO under the rug and they're violating PAYGO in two places in this bill alone. They'll say, we're trying to conform with the Senate PAYGO rules. Well, that does so at the very expense of the House PAYGO rules. What I find interesting is, right after this bill is passed they're bringing up the new budget resolution, which if that passed before this bill passed would violate the Senate PAYGO rules. How convenient.

The point is this: We're sweeping money under the rug; this bill is hiding $23 billion in extra costs, it's not even measuring the amount of payment increases and price increases that are in here. But where this is really a loss in leadership is, I don't think the American taxpayer, who is having a hard time making ends meet today, who is stretching their paycheck really far with high gas and food prices, likes the idea that we're going to give couples earning $2.5 million subsidies for growing agriculture. Why are we giving agriculture subsidies to multimillionaires? This does not reflect the values that the taxpayers sent us here to achieve.

More to the point, Mr. Speaker, this will hurt the family farmers. That's what a farm bill ought to be about, helping family farmers, not corporate farmers. But by doing it this way, we're making it harder to open up markets for our family farmers so they can sell their corn, their beans, their dairy, and all their other products in foreign markets. Ninety-seven percent of the world's consumers don't live in this country, they're in other countries. We should open those markets for their products.

This bill, with its huge subsidies, closes those markets, it hurts the Third World from being able to lift their life out of poverty, and it wastes taxpayer dollars. And all you have to do is look at the rule that passed that says, ``Waive PAYGO one more time. The rules don't apply. Let's hide all this extra spending.''

This, among many other reasons, is why people should vote against this bill.

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