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Public Statements

Food, Conservation, and Energy Security Act of 2008--Veto Message from the President of the United States

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the farm bill, and the words before me say ``the very same farm bill passed by this body last week with an overwhelming bipartisan majority.'' Now we find that it is not quite the same farm bill because of an enrolling error or something in the transmission of the document. I certainly hope that we can find an amicable way to make sure that the trade title of this bill, which is an important title, is included in the final product, whether as a part of a joint resolution or by some other means of adopting that.

This bill was a collaborative effort, crafted by Members on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol, and is historic in the amount and degree of reform. It costs less than either the House or the Senate bills and ensures Americans will continue to enjoy access to a safe, affordable, and reliable food supply.

Last week, the 318 bipartisan votes in favor of the farm bill sent a clear message: This is a good bill and there is significant support for it. Despite what has been opined by editorial boards throughout the country, this bill contains significant reforms and is the most reform-minded farm bill this body has ever considered. Granted, everyone didn't get exactly what they wanted. We all gave a little and we all got a little. But such is the nature of compromise. Given the diverse nature of a farm bill, it is extremely difficult to manage the scope of needs within the farm bill, and even more difficult when you're not given the resources needed to do so.

This bill contains many of the ideas suggested in the administration's farm bill proposal. Like the administration, we utilized the adjusted gross income to reduce payments to the wealthiest farmers and ranchers. We eliminated the three-entity rule, created a revenue-base countercyclical program, modified and modernized the dairy program, modified planting flexibility rules, increased the efficiency of the crop insurance program, directed funding to the development of cellulosic ethanol, included programs for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, and created beneficial interest for the loan programs.

Variations of these measures were included in the administration's proposal. We may not have gone as far as the administration wanted, but these reforms help make this a better bill than the House or Senate farm bills.

It is important to point out that despite comments to the contrary, this bill is completely paid for, without any tax increases. While many throughout the world are feeling the effects of increased food prices, U.S. consumers have been largely insulated from spikes in food prices because many years ago we established a food production system that maintains an adequate supply in good times and in bad. Because it is produced domestically, we know it to be safe and affordable.

This bill ensures that Americans will continue to enjoy the access to a safe, affordable, and reliable food supply, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this farm bill, which moved substantially in the direction that the President asked for, but which did not meet all of his goals. I think we have increased the support for this bill substantially by almost 90 Members in the process, and I urge my colleagues to support this override vote.


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