MOTION TO GO TO CONFERENCE ON H.R. 2419, FOOD AND ENERGY SECURITY ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - April 09, 2008)
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Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I offer this motion to instruct conferees to make clear that tax increases do not belong in a farm bill. While there are still some funding issues that need to be worked out and many policy decisions to be negotiated, these instructions are very clear in stating that tax increases cannot be used to fund the remaining elements of the farm bill.
Again I will read the actual language of the motion, which is that the managers on the part of the House at the conference on the disagreeing votes on the two Houses on the Senate amendment to the bill H.R. 2419 be instructed within the scope of the conference to disagree to any provision which will result in an increase in taxes.
These instructions are very clear in stating that tax increases cannot be used to fund the remaining elements of the farm bill. Farm bills have long enjoyed bipartisan support in this body, and it would be devastating to American agriculture to add a divisive element such as tax increases to this bill.
This conference has been a long time coming, and we are ready to put together a reform-minded farm bill that addresses a variety of issues, including conservation, nutrition, energy, rural development, fruits and vegetables, and forestry, while maintaining a strong safety net for America's farmers and ranchers so that they can continue to meet the growing demand for their products in the global market.
This motion is very important. I expect that there will be strong bipartisan support for this motion, and it's important because we have been down this road of attempting to pass a farm bill for quite some time.
When the bill came out of the House Agriculture Committee last summer, many of the Members on this side of the aisle expected that the amount of money that was added outside of the committee's jurisdiction would not constitute tax increases. We are very disappointed to find that it did include tax increases, and that has definitely bogged down this process for the many, many, many months since.
We have now had some very good discussions with members of other committees that are involved in making sure that we have the ability to move forward and to pay for measures that exceed the amount of money within the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Committee, and those do not include tax increases.
This is, I think, an important statement to be made here and in the other body that we can complete this work without tax increases. We do not need to repeat the mistakes that were made earlier in that regard.
I also think it's very clear that the President of the United States has been very strong in his statement that this bill would be vetoed if it included tax increases. While we continue to work with the administration on a number of other issues, we are making progress there as well.
Again, this would reaffirm, I think, the kind of bipartisan support that it takes to pass a farm bill and get it signed into law.
I urge my colleagues to support this motion to instruct.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
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