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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. PALAZZO. I have an amendment at the desk.

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Mr. PALAZZO. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise today to discuss my amendment, which ensures adequate funding for a valuable program already authorized within this farm bill.

My amendment would simply provide the funding of the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership from the funds already available for that purpose. As a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, we often discuss the significant role technological advancements play in maintaining U.S. competitiveness among global industries and growing our economy. My amendment is simple. It adds absolutely no extra cost to this bill or to the taxpayer. It authorizes existing funds within the agricultural research program budget to support the ATIP program, which has already been established by the USDA.

For those of you unfamiliar with the program, the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership, ATIP, is a partnership set up to harness the research and development capabilities and innovations of USDA's research programs for technology-based economic development.

Adequate funding for the program will enable the integration of research from academic, government and industry institutes, and will help develop relationships with outside businesses and private investors. Establishing these relationships will allow the agriculture industry to assist in guiding USDA to conduct research most beneficial to the industry as well as providing the agriculture industry quick access to new and innovative findings within USDA's research as it becomes available.

The program allows the advancement of transferring groundbreaking ideas and results from research labs into the commercial sector, which will maintain the growth of the industry as well as our economy. It is important for the U.S. to remain competitive in today's global agriculture marketplace, and in order to do this, we must lead the way in research and innovation. I believe this amendment is a step to ensure that this tool is being fully utilized.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. PALAZZO. Mr. Chairman, in drafting this amendment, I saw nowhere where it would actually be considered an earmark. I'm definitely opposed to earmarks in this Congress, and it doesn't specify an entity in a certain State or a certain location.
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If you just want to tag something as an earmark just to kill an amendment, explain why this amendment may be bad, but don't just sit there and say this is an earmark just because everybody is going to run from it. I see no reason why it would be considered such.

But if the gentleman from Arkansas will work with me in addressing this to possibly pursue this in the final legislation, I would definitely consider withdrawing my amendment.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. PALAZZO. I am, Mr. Chairman.

So with that, I withdraw my amendment and yield back the balance of my time.

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