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Public Statements

Farm Bill

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BENNET. Madam President, I see we have been joined by the Chair of the Agriculture Committee, Senator Stabenow. She has just arrived, but I wanted to report to her that before she arrived I was talking about the need to pass a farm bill and the fact that, over the break, I had traveled 2,500 miles around the State of Colorado--in rural parts of our State on the west slope and on the eastern plains--and nobody wanted to talk about anything except why we can't get a farm bill passed. It makes no sense to them. They know it was completely bipartisan here in the Senate, and they know it is the only bipartisan piece of legislation with deficit reduction any committee of either Chamber has been able to accomplish.

In the case of Colorado farmers and ranchers, we are going through the worst drought we have had in a generation, and they want to know why Washington, DC, has a completely different set of priorities than they have.

There is still time for the House to pass this bill. This is the first time in modern history a House Ag Committee has passed out a bill--in this case a bipartisan bill, though not as good, I don't think, as ours, but a step forward--that hasn't come to the floor for a vote. They cannot even get a vote.

So while the Senator is here, I wanted to thank her, and I would also say to the ranking member of the committee if he were here, for their extraordinary bipartisan effort over the last 2 years that resulted in a very fine bill. I also think their work sets a model for the way we should be approaching our work in this Chamber.

I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.


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