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Public Statements

Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008

Location: Washington, DC

FOOD, CONSERVATION, AND ENERGY ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - May 22, 2008)


Mr. GOODLATTE. I thank the leader for yielding and for all of the effort that he and virtually every Member of this House put into this legislation now. If some of us are experiencing a sense of deja vu, it is because we are considering the exact same bill that we passed with overwhelming bipartisan support last Wednesday. The Senate also passed the bill by a significant margin.

However, yesterday it was determined that somewhere between the House and Senate passage of the farm bill, while the bill was being enrolled, title III, the trade title, was accidentally omitted from the enrolled bill that was then sent to the President. To avoid future uncertainty or constitutional questions about the bill omitting the trade title, we are presenting the same farm bill that we passed last week to both chambers and running it back through the necessary procedures to ensure the whole bill becomes law.

While the substance and content of the bill is the exact same as we passed last week, three technical items have been added to reflect the technical corrections necessary. The technical changes to correct the clerical error include, one, a slight change to the long title in order to distinguish the bill from H.R. 2419; a provision that deems the conference report on H.R. 2419 to be the legislative history of this new bill; and a provision that prevents duplication of the identical sections on H.R. 2419 upon adoption. This would prevent double spending if the Senate overrides the veto and 14 titles are in law when this new bill is enacted.

Other than those technical corrections, we are simply redoing the farm bill to correct the error.

Let me say that while it was an unfortunate error, it also was an egregious error. This is a very serious problem that has been created, and we are seeing that reflected in the fact that we are taking several different approaches to try to make sure that the farm bill which had that strong bipartisan support is indeed enacted into law. So it is with some disappointment that I see the majority table the privileged resolution offered by the Republican leader and not look into this in greater detail. I think it certainly deserves that attention, and it would be my hope that the majority would reconsider that approach and bring that privileged resolution to a vote so we can get to the bottom of all the considerations that need to be made regarding this and how this can be avoided in the future, but also to find out exactly what indeed did happen in the past few days that led to the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in today of again finding it necessary to pass this legislation, which I urge my colleagues to again adopt, as they already have voted for it once and have subsequently voted to override the President's veto, so we can indeed do what America's farmers and ranchers seek, and that is to have a new farm bill that is forward looking and that does address the concerns that have been brought to the attention of the committees.


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