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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MERKLEY. Madam President, I want to be very brief in respect for my colleagues who wish to speak.

This amendment addresses an important disaster that occurred in many places across our country this year; that is, extensive drought and extensive fires.

I have come to this floor a number of times to describe those extensive fires and the damage they did to farmers and ranchers in my home State of Oregon, and I know many others have come to the floor to share their stories.

As we address this extraordinarily important bill to respond to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it is only right and well that we also address the disasters that occurred elsewhere in the country earlier in the year. There are five provisions of this program that I am going to leave in the hands of our distinguished chair of Agriculture to address, but I will come back at a further point and speak to them at greater length.

Just suffice it to say, our farmers and ranchers have waited patiently while we have attempted to complete the farm bill. The Senate did extraordinary bipartisan work on the farm bill, but the House has not taken it up. We have not gotten these emergency provisions reauthorized. Now, in the context of the bill before us, it is appropriate that we take action.

I yield for my colleague from Michigan.


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