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Public Statements

Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. NOLAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the bill because it violates a decades-old principle that has brought rural people and urban people together to help protect them from the vagaries of life and weather and circumstances. It brought farm producers together to help meet the food and nutrition needs of hungry people here in this country and all over the world. It is one of the best things we've ever done. And this bill violates that fundamental, noble principle of bringing people together for a noble cause, feeding hungry people and encouraging the production of food and nutrition.

Mr. Speaker and members of the committee, please vote this bill down.


Mr. NOLAN. Mr. Speaker, I stand here today with the Ranking Member in opposition to the split farm bill before us. Setting a closed rule on this midnight-hour, backroom deal is not the way the American people elected us to govern.

I am privileged to sit on the Agriculture Committee. During the markup of the farm bill earlier this year, my colleagues and I discussed and debated and deliberated for ten hours on every provision of this bill.

That bill included critical reform of the dairy program, reauthorization of the Rural Broadband program, as well as important provisions for organic producers, beginning farmers and ranchers, conservationists, and the forestry industry.

We reached a bipartisan consensus and 36 of us--myself included--cast a vote in support of the legislation.

Then, on the floor, the legislation was systematically dismantled, piece by piece, until it was barely recognizable as the same farm bill that came out of committee. It was no surprise that this bill failed.

Rather than going back to committee to work on a better compromise, we are here voting on a more-than-600 page bill that only became available late last night.

This bill is even worse than the one that failed, and now the process itself has been poisoned. The American people did not elect us to conduct their business behind closed doors at midnight.


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