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Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FARR. I thank the gentleman from Washington for yielding me this time.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in appreciation for the hard work that has gone on in our Appropriations Committee. When you think about it, this Saturday will mark 2 months from the day this House passed H.R. 1, which was a really draconian bill that put all kinds of riders and eliminated all kinds of family planning money for things like Planned Parenthood. It sort of knew the price of everything and the value of nothing.

I would like to compliment the Republican leadership for coming around on this agricultural bill. It certainly is an improvement over what it was in H.R. 1. It also shows that they are not wedded to H.R. 1. The message goes out that they make adjustments. They restored nearly all of the $1.9 billion, 9 percent higher than H.R. 1, in overall spending.

The WIC program, the program that feeds low-income women expecting children or who have children, is funded at a level sufficient to support what we think will be the participation levels this year when a lot of people are unemployed and in poverty.

The food safety activities at the USDA are increased by more than 8 percent over H.R. 1. They broke the H.R. 1 hold and have come up, and I compliment them for that.

The Food and Drug Administration was increased by nearly 17 percent; 17 percent in an era when we are really worried about food safety and the issues of food safety.

The McGovern-Dole program, which is food aid to foreign countries, provides our American food to needy countries. It is nearly twice what it was in H.R. 1.

The rural water and waste programs are 30 percent higher than they were in H.R. 1.

But the agriculture title really falls short from the President's request of 2011, particularly for emergency food for people around the world who are in desperate need. We take surplus American food and give it to countries that are really starving. When we are trying to win the hearts and minds of people and fight the war on poverty, we need to have this program not decreased but increased when the world is in a lot of hurt.

Lastly, I would just like to point out that what really bothers me is we are putting $5 billion more in the Defense Department, at the same time cutting $25 million from the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is only $400 million. It is a small weapons system for the military, the entire thing. We have 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers in 77 countries. Ten more countries want us; 14,000 Americans want to be in the Peace Corps, and we're cutting it? You can't win the war without winning the hearts and minds. The war corps with $5 billion isn't going to do as much as the Peace Corps with another $25 million.


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