AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - July 13, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 710 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, H.R. 4766.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Bonilla amendment and believe that the chairman of the committee is moving in the right direction. The Common Computing Environment program I think does render very valuable technical assistance, but I understand the pressures that we are under to try to get money out on the local level to the farmers.
One of the things that has always disturbed me as a Member of Congress is when we allocate money for anything, military, education, health care, whatever, it is astounding the amount of the dollars that stay in Washington, D.C. As I drive around this beautiful city, I do not see too many farmers. I see a lot of monuments and some lakes and some parks, but I do not see many corn fields or cow pastures or hog pens. Yet if we support the Bonilla amendment, we are pushing the dollars out of town towards those agencies, the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Rural Development Agency, towards the farmer, towards the local people.
It is interesting, as somebody who represents rural southeast Georgia with 29 different counties in it, as I go around visiting my farmers and those in the agriculture community and the agriculture family, they speak highly of these agencies and the work that they do. The rural development folks, they do all kinds of housing opportunities in my area and some other much-needed projects that we think are very important for economic development in the smaller towns. The Natural Resources Conservation Service is very important for erosion control and best cultivation practices and good technical assistance to the farmers. Of course, the Farm Service Agency delivers the farm credit program to farmers all over the country.
But what I like best about these folks is they are Federal Government, USDA employees, 100 percent on the USDA salary, but they answer 100 percent to the farmers back home in Bacon County and in Appling County and in Coffee County, the folks who I am trying to serve and represent in Washington. That is the same people that these agencies are serving.
As the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. LaHood) said earlier today, these are the people that our farmers ask for assistance from; and they really do not ask for more money in the USDA bureaucracy as much as getting it back home to rural Texas, rural Illinois, rural Iowa, rural Georgia and so forth.
I stand in strong support of the Bonilla amendment and hope that our colleagues give it a majority.