"Good morning. Thank you Chairman Lucas; I am pleased that we are finally meeting to consider the 2012 Farm Bill.
"As I have said repeatedly, we need to finish the 2012 Farm Bill and send it to the President before the 2008 bill expires on September 30th. Today's meeting brings us yet another step closer to achieving this goal. I am pleased to see a commodity title in place that will work for all parts of the country as well as continued support for the no-cost sugar program and my Dairy Security Act that will reform current dairy programs.
"I remain concerned with the proposed changes to nutrition programs. There are better, more responsible ways to improve and reform federal nutrition programs; ways that would clean up some of the mess states have made with these programs. However, the bottom line is that we need to move the legislation; and I understand that these are the cuts that need to be done in order to get the farm bill through Committee and through the House floor. I am confident that today this Committee will work together and ultimately pass this bill.
"Only 13 legislative days remain before the August recess. If the House leadership fails to bring up this farm bill before the recess, they will jeopardize one of the economic bright spots of our nation's fragile economy. Farmers need the certainty of a five year farm bill. We cannot wait for the mess that will occur during the lame duck and, frankly, I think an extension of current farm policy potentially creates more problems than it solves. I am hopeful the House leadership gets this right and brings the bill to the floor shortly, so we can ultimately finish the bill in September. It's time to move past the partisan games and get to work.
"Again, I thank the Chair for holding today's meeting and encourage members to support the legislation."