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Public Statements

Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Chairman, I rise today to oppose the Royce-Engel amendment.

For nearly six decades, the Food for Peace program has used U.S. taxpayer funding to benefit those in need around the world, as well as U.S. agriculture and the United States Merchant Marines.

This amendment would gut the program by allowing 45 percent of its funding to be sent as cash payments to foreign nations. As a former chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard, I can assure you this would be devastating to the U.S. Merchant Marine and to the domestic sealift capacity that moves 90 percent of the cargo supporting our military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let me paint a picture. In 2012, just over 9,000 ships visited U.S. ports. Approximately only 100 of those vessels sailed under the United States flag. I emphasize that these 100 vessels include militarily useful vessels that carry food aid. Policies such as the one embodied in this amendment would drive more vessels from the U.S. flag fleet, which exceeded 850 ships as recently as 1975.

I urge a ``no'' vote.

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