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America Needs a Farm Bill Now

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. WALZ of Minnesota. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a very simple message from rural America: we need a farm bill, and we need it now. With the current farm bill set to expire at the end of September, it is crucial that we continue to provide certainty to one of the few bright spots in our economy over the past decade. It is all the more crucial to our farmers that we do this as they are staring at cracked, dried-out soil resulting from one of the worst droughts in modern history.

The newspaper Politico looked back 50 years--longer than I've been alive--and found that never before has a farm bill been this close to being passed and been blocked by House leadership. This is absolutely unacceptable.

Southern Minnesotans can't afford to deal with the uncertainty that follows out-of-date policy extensions or lame duck sessions. Lame, for sure.

Don't kick the can down the road. The Senate has passed a bill. The 2012 farm bill passed out of committee on July 12 with a bipartisan vote of 35-11, saving $36 billion for the taxpayers.

My farmers in southern Minnesota are up before dawn working until after dark. We are leaving at noon today. We have 17 days between now and November 6 to work here in Washington. That is so unacceptable. No one will agree to that. Pass the farm bill. Pass it now.

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