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Public Statements

Farm, Nutrition, And Bioenergy Act Of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

FARM, NUTRITION, AND BIOENERGY ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - July 26, 2007)


Mr. HOLDEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for yielding the time. And thank you for your leadership on this important piece of legislation that we have worked on in a very bipartisan manner. And thank you for the leeway that you have given the subcommittee chairman in bringing this product to the floor.

And it's not easy. We are a diverse country when it comes to our agriculture interests, and the diversity on the committee reflects that. But we all came together. We all gave up things that we wanted in the bill. The chairman has been talking for 2 years about permanent disaster relief. That's not in the bill because we couldn't afford everything. Everything that I wanted for the northeast is not in the bill. Everything the ranking member wanted for Virginia or my good friend, Mr. Lucas, for Oklahoma is not in the bill. We all had to come together, and we have delivered a product that is fair.

In the subcommittee that I chair, under the conservation title, a $4.3 billion increase in conservation; that's above baseline, 35 percent increase. We went around the country hearing what farmers cared about the most about conservation; it was EQIP. What did we do with EQIP? We put 50 percent additional funding in EQIP.

In my neck of the woods and in the ranking member's neck of the woods in the mid-Atlantic, farmland preservation, by far. When we went to New York to have the hearing, the importance of farmland preservation. In this bill, we have a 100 percent increase in farmland preservation, as well as other water quality improvements. For those who care about the Chesapeake Bay, $150 million for river restoration. So we have a strong conservation title.

Credit. We made improvements for credit that we will be discussing shortly after general debates that will make credit more accessible in rural America.

Energy. Everybody in this Congress, not just committee, but everybody in this Congress has been talking about the need for us to become more energy independent. In this bill, we have $2.4 billion in the energy title; $2 billion in loan guarantees so we can help this infant industry of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel and take advantage of our agricultural natural resources that are so abundant in this country so that we can now take a step towards being no longer dependent upon the smooth, continuous flow of oil from the Persian Gulf.

This is a good bill, and I ask everyone to support it.


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