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Public Statements

Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FORTENBERRY. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the leader of the Ag Committee for his important leadership on this issue and many, many others.

Mr. Speaker, just like in Nebraska where we're hoping for rain, I'm actually hoping for a long-term farm bill. Agriculture remains the only bright spot in the American economy, and it is critical that we build a multi-year farm bill that is built upon our strengthens and provides certainty for our Nation's agriculture producers.

Last month, with bipartisan support, the House Agriculture Committee, under Chairman Lucas's leadership, approved such a bill. The House should act on it before the current farm bill expires this September.

While the 5-year proposal is not perfect, it provides adequate protections for farmers and ranchers. It supports young and beginning farmers and embraces new market opportunities domestically and internationally while also reducing spending. The proposal charts a new way forward for America's farmers and ranchers while respecting the Federal Government's severe budgetary constraints.

Mr. Speaker, agricultural policy is essential to America's food security. But agriculture is also critical to our energy policy, environmental policy, even our national security policy. A new farm bill is imperative for the future of the agriculture sector, but also for the well-being of our country.

While I'm disappointed that we are not acting on a long-term bill, it is important that we consider this legislation, and I support its passage. Drought conditions are affecting many parts of the Nation. This bill reinstates past legislative provisions--there's nothing new here--and it gives relief to livestock producers. The measure is paid for and actually reduces spending, while attempting to remain appropriately sensitive to important conservation programs. I urge its passage.

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