The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 1947) to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018, and for other purposes:
Mr. ROSS. Mr. Chair, farmers work hard to produce the abundant food supply that our nation, and much of the world, needs. However, they could not make it on their own.
They owe much of their productivity to the equipment, practices, and inputs, including nutrients and crop protection products, which we have in the U.S.
Sadly, terrorists who will stop at nothing to undermine our way of life have illegally manipulated certain agricultural nutrients and chemicals.
In response, the Department of Homeland Security has been developing, and implementing a set of security regulations to secure and limit access to these products, such as ammonium nitrate.
The agricultural community understands this and understands the need to be vigilant to ensure that we not only have the most productive agriculture industry in the world--but also the safest.
Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer on crops and pastures, especially in warm, moist climates like Florida. It is incredibly important to the many citrus growers in my district.
I think all of us want to see effective and prudent regulations implemented; however, we also do not want to interfere with legitimate access to the nutrients needed by the farmer during the growing season.
The amendment I am offering with my good friend from Florida, Mr. ROONEY, would simply ask that the U.S. Department of Agriculture participate fully and at senior levels in the development of any security regulations regarding a variety of agricultural chemicals developed by DHS, or any other agency.
Once again, I want to thank the Chair and Ranking Member for their work on this legislation, and encourage my colleagues to join me in passing this important amendment.