BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. McINTYRE. Madam Chairman, for decades, Congress has worked in a bipartisan fashion to craft farm bills that protect and support our farmers, strengthen rural economic development, encourage conservation and provide nutritional support for the most vulnerable in society. These bills have generally received wide bipartisan support.
This year I was pleased to, once again, work with my colleagues on the Agriculture Committee to advance a strong, reform-minded, fiscally responsible and bipartisan farm bill. This bill preserves the farm safety net and provides regional equity while consolidating over 100 programs and making targeted cuts to rein in Federal spending and move toward a balanced budget.
These reforms will save almost $40 billion. In fact, do you realize that less than 1 percent of our entire Federal budget is agriculture? Yet, by God's grace, it feeds us all.
The farm bill is critical not only to our Nation. I know in North Carolina agribusiness and farming are the number one industry. Each year, agribusiness brings millions of dollars in revenue to our State, supporting countless families. When we talk about economic opportunity for families in rural America, we are talking about the farm bill.
Last Congress, we brought a broad, bipartisan bill, but the committee was never able to get a vote on the floor. Now is our chance. Now is the critical time for rural America. People in our rural communities do count, and they ought to have the opportunity to have a farm bill voted upon. Now is the time that our farmers need to be able to plan for the future, and now we must have that opportunity to give them the chance to plan to help feed all of us.
This is the place, now is the time, now we have that opportunity to do something about it. Delay is serious, not only for our farmers, but for all of us. Short-term extensions only provide a band-aid. Uncertainty diminishes agriculture's ability to face the challenges associated with a growing population in our country and indeed a growing world population.
Yes, rural Americans are willing to do their part to cut the deficit and rein in spending, but we should not disproportionately put the burden upon the backs of families who live in small towns and communities across America. We hope that you will stand together and let's get the farm bill done for all Americans.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT