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Ag Committee's Efforts for Production Ag and Rural America Highlighted During Business Meeting


Location: Washington, DC

Today, the House Agriculture Committee approved its activity report for the third quarter of the 112th Congress as required by House Rule XI, clause d(1). During the business meeting, Chairman Frank Lucas highlighted the committee's work over the last six months, which includes holding two sets of hearings in preparation for writing the 2012 Farm Bill and advancing six bills that ensure businesses are not subject to unnecessary regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act.

We're here today to approve our activity report for the third quarter of the 112th Congress.

Given that the Agriculture Committee is slated to mark up a farm bill on July 11, it is easy to recognize a recurring theme regarding this panel's activities over the last six months.

We have wrapped up two sets of farm bill hearings. One set that took us to the countryside to hear directly from producers on the ground and learn how policies are working for them.

We started in New York and ended in Kansas. The takeaway from those hearings was clear: there are challenges that vary by region, and we need to tailor farm policy to fit those requirements. Our producers are counting on a choice of risk management tools and an effective safety net that will be there when bad times hit.

We continued our preparations for writing legislation with a final set of hearings on the subcommittee level in Washington, D.C. During these hearings, we gathered agricultural leaders in Washington to share policy priorities.

In addition to farm bill preparations, we also advanced six bills that amend Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act. The legislation was the culmination of the committee's oversight efforts of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as it writes rules for Dodd-Frank.

Three of them -- H.R. 3336, The Small Business Credit Availability Act, H.R. 2682, The Business Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act, and H.R. 2779 -- were passed with bipartisan support by the House of Representatives. They are common sense bills that ensure the very businesses we're relying on to add jobs to the economy are not needlessly subject to new regulations that harm job-creating efforts.

Further, we continued our oversight responsibilities with a hearing to review the CFTC's agenda in light of the collapse of MF Global.

I'm pleased with what we've accomplished, working together in the spirit of bipartisanship that has historically defined the efforts of this committee. Our work continues in a couple of weeks when we consider our own farm bill on July 11. It will be a balanced proposal that underscores our commitment to production agriculture and rural America.

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