Mr. BACA. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3509) to reauthorize State agricultural mediation programs under title V of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The text of the bill is as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Agricultural Credit Act of 2009''.
SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
Section 506 of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (7 U.S.C. 5106) is amended by striking ``2010'' and inserting ``2015''.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from California (Mr. Baca) and the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Lucas) each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
Mr. BACA. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on the bill H.R. 3509.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?
There was no objection.
Mr. BACA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise today in support of H.R. 3509, the Agricultural Credit Act of 2009. This bill would reauthorize funding for the State agricultural mediation grant program, which operates under title V of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987. The grant program for the agricultural mediation program was established more than 20 years ago to respond to the agricultural crisis of the 1980s. Mediation helped agricultural producers, their creditors, and USDA agencies address disputes through a confidential and nonadversarial process that takes place outside the traditional legal system of foreclosure, appeals or litigation. This bypasses a lot of the bureaucratic red tape that usually comes with resolving these conflicts, saving taxpayers money in the process.
Earlier in the month, the House Agriculture Committee approved this bipartisan legislation by unanimous voice vote. I urge my colleagues to support the extension of this successful initiative.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. LUCAS. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise today in support of H.R. 3509, the Agricultural Credit Act of 2009. I'm an original cosponsor of this bill, and I ask my colleagues to join me in voting for this legislation to reauthorize the State agricultural mediation program. The State mediation program provides our farmers and ranchers with a voluntary and low-cost service to mediate disputes that may arise between their creditors and themselves and to address adverse decisions with the USDA. The State programs do this in a confidential and nonadversarial setting outside of the traditional legal process of foreclosure, bankruptcy, appeals, and litigation.
Like most of the country, the agricultural sector is currently experiencing increased financial stress, which has created a greater need for the services of the agricultural mediator program. The Agriculture Committee favorably considered this bill with no opposition, and I ask my colleagues to join me today in supporting the continuation of the USDA agricultural mediation program.
Madam Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. BACA. Madam Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Oklahoma for carrying this legislation. I think it's good bipartisan legislation. I urge my colleagues to support it.
I yield back the balance of my time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Baca) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 3509.
The question was taken.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
Mr. BACA. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.