"Today I am encouraging Republican leaders in the United States House of Representatives to bring their chamber's version of the 2012 Farm Bill to the floor for consideration and a vote of the full body. Agriculture and our nation will be well served if the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2012 is voted on so work can begin immediately after the summer recess on reconciling it with the Senate bill which passed last month. The House Agriculture Committee passed the bill out last week on a strong bipartisan vote.
I also call on my opponent in this race to join me in supporting key provisions of the House Bill which are critical to North Dakota producers and American taxpayers.
Her support of the Senate version of the bill, which links conservation compliance with federal crop insurance, is out of touch with what is good for North Dakota and a step backwards. Not since 1996 has conservation compliance been required to buy federal crop insurance. At a FARRM Bill Roundtable I facilitated last week with ND Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, every agriculture group leader and farmer said they support the de-coupling of conservation compliance and crop insurance eligibility.
Pam Gulleson is living in the last century and ought to take the time to listen to what North Dakota farmers and ranchers are saying instead of getting her talking points from left-wing financial supporters from the east coast.
The message I am hearing loud and clear from virtually every commodity group is "Provide a modest safety net and let us farm our land.' Like most liberals, my opponent thinks Washington bureaucrats will take better care of our land than the people who live and rely on it. North Dakota agriculture producers know a lot more about feeding a hungry world and caring for their land than the Sierra Club. I put my faith in North Dakotans every time.
Another reason she supports the Senate bill over the House bill is because it spends more tax dollars. The House bill makes bigger cuts in spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or "Food Stamps").
I am concerned about the amount of money going to SNAP, a program which constitutes about 80% of the Farm Bill's $1 trillion price tag. To revive the economy, we must get spending under control, and the proposed $16 billion cut, which represents a modest 2% reduction, is a small step in the right direction.
Over the past four years, enrollment in the food stamp program has doubled to over 45 million people. We have a $16 trillion dollar debt and failing economy. We need policies that put people to work, not create permanent dependency."