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Hearing of the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry - Cochran Opening Statement for Mark Up of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013

Location: Washington, DC

Madam Chairwoman, thank you very much for your leadership in the drafting of this Farm Bill. It's going to save off the baseline $24 billion over the life of the bill. The bill reflects fiscal responsibility but provides a workable and strong safety net for families and producers of food and fiber that we hope they never need.

We've made some reductions. We've streamlined and consolidated programs. There is also significantly less mandatory money authorized for energy programs than in the 2008 Farm Bill.

I think it is important that we move the bill through the Congress and to the President for his signature. Farmers and ranchers need the certainty that comes from a five-year Farm Bill. We have tried to be fair to those affected by this bill, as well as to those who pay the bill.

We hope this is a workable bill that encourages conservation of land and water resources at the same time it rewards production of reasonably-priced commodities.

We need to move the process forward, get to the Senate floor and negotiate ultimately with the House of Representatives in conference and resolve our differences. We hope the President will sign our bill. I think it deserves his support.

Thank you.

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