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Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 2419, Farm, Nutrition, And Bioenergy Act Of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2419, FARM, NUTRITION, AND BIOENERGY ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - July 26, 2007)


Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. I rise in opposition to this rule, Mr. Speaker, for many reasons. Number one, this has become common practice for the new majority. But the farm bill reauthorization calls for massive new entitlement spending, no serious reform, and it makes a complete mockery of the PAYGO process. Number one, this is not a fair rule.

An amendment that I offered on a bipartisan basis with Mr. Blumenauer from Oregon to cap farm payments, which was made an order in 2002, which received 200 votes, was denied.

So based on the lack of fairness on this rule, I urge that it goes down.

But what about the substance of this bill? This bill extends farm commodity programs with no real reforms. At a time of record-high prices and prosperity for many farmers, this extends the commodity programs at 5 years with no reform. The payment limit is a sham. It has thin window-dressing payment limits on commodity programs while actually removing the payment limits on the marketing loan program. It has an anticompetitive tax increase in here which will raise taxes on American businesses that are owned by foreign companies: Nestle, Case New Holland, Chrysler. This will tax jobs out of America, and it increases entitlement spending.

And the only reason this bill ends up adding up on paper is because of a bogus $4.7 billion timing shift. CBO has already told us that this bill will spend $5 billion more than it pretends to spend simply out of the timing window within which it spends. What that means, Mr. Speaker, is on paper they are showing savings. In reality and in real life, they are spending over the limit, and they are breaking the budget by at least $5 billion.

And what is worse, Mr. Speaker, is this engages in the worst form of protectionism. This bill raises taxes on our taxpayers, raises prices on consumers, and it does so at the expense of people in the developing world. It hurts people in the developing world from lifting their own lives up out of poverty and despair.

So while we had a chance to have a good, bipartisan farm bill that had reform, that brought the market reform to bear, that could have helped the family farmer, we are saying no.

The farm bill ought to be about helping the family farmer in tough times, not giving million-dollar checks to big farmers, not giving checks out at good times. Unfortunately, that is what this bill does in addition to the phony PAYGO and shifting of $4.7 billion around like Enron accounting.

With that I urge a ``no'' vote on this rule.


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