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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. COSTA. Mr. Chairman, the Dairy Security Act in this bill is as a result of 4 years of hard work on a bipartisan basis.

It's intended to provide a strong, market-based safety net that will keep dairy producers afloat while providing stable prices to our consumers.

Simply put, the amendment being offered here, the Goodlatte-Scott amendment, is about American taxpayers fully paying the bill for down prices that occur in down cycles in the dairy industry.

The dairy industry, especially producers, have been victims of these down cycles and the volatility in recent years because the old programs simply don't work and they encourage overproduction.

At the same time, producers have been forced to deal with increased feed costs that have increased from $2 a bushel to $7 a bushel, further impacting their bottom line.

The Goodlatte-Scott amendment will neither provide a safety net for producers, nor prevent the volatility in the market because of unpredictable swings. And, again, it's important to understand reform is in the bill.

This amendment would put the taxpayers footing the bill for the insurance program. This amendment will continue to foster the outdated, tired dairy programs that haven't worked.

In California, my home State, the Nation's leading dairy State in the Nation, we've seen over 100 bankruptcies in the last 18 months. The current program isn't good for the dairymen and -women, nor is it good for American consumers.

The Dairy Security Act not only provides more stability for the producer, but the consumer benefits as well. And you should understand this is voluntary. If you want to grow, you can grow. If you don't want to enter the program, you don't have to enter the program. It is voluntary.

I strongly urge, as a third-generation dairy family in California, my colleagues to oppose this amendment and to bring our Federal dairy policies into the 21st century, so dairymen and -women can compete, and American consumers can have milk prices at reasonable levels.

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