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Public Statements

Do-Nothing Congress

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WELCH. I thank the gentleman.

You know, on the farm bill, we've got the worst drought we've had in 50 years. We've got people who need nutrition programs. We've got farmers who need certainty about what the price support programs are going to be, what their future is going to be. We've got livestock farmers that are in desperate straits because of the drought.

And we've got a Senate that's passed a farm bill. We've got a House Agriculture Committee that's passed a farm bill, on a bipartisan basis, Democrats and Republicans working together to pass that bill. And the House leadership, who has the authority to bring this bill to the floor, won't do it. That's the first time in the history of the House of Representatives where a farm bill passed by the Agriculture Committee has not been brought to the floor for a vote.

Mr. Speaker, we could defend, each and every one of us on both sides of the aisle, a vote of conscience, whether it was ``yes'' or ``no,'' on the farm bill. None of us can defend not even taking a vote on the farm bill.

That decision is not within the authority of any individual Member of Congress. That is the decision that the majority leader and the Speaker of the House have the authority to make, and their refusal to bring this bill to the floor will be absolutely an indictment of Congress' inability to do its job.

America needs a farm bill. This Congress needs to do its job. We've got the time to do it. We should act. That bill should be brought to us for a vote.


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