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Providing for Further Consideration of H.R. 1947, Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding me time this morning, and I thank everyone who has been on the floor to talk about the unconscionable and unthinkable cuts to SNAP benefits. This will have a devastating effect on my home State as it will across the country.

I want to mention one other thing. Just over a week ago, Speaker Boehner promised a fair and open debate on the FARRM Bill and said:

If you have ideas on how to make the bill better, bring them forward. Let's have the debate and vote on them.

Lots of people brought ideas forward, ideas that would help farmers in States like mine, but we aren't getting a chance to debate those ideas here today.

The biggest programs in this bill, the revenue loss program and the price loss program that benefit big farmers, they won't do anything for the farmers in my State or many others. They won't make them more vital, as the Chair on the floor has said today. That's not going to happen.

A bipartisan amendment that I submitted--and this is just one of the 117 denied consideration--would benefit diversified farmers in every State. This is an amendment that has zero cost and is supported by over 400 organizations from 46 States. It's an amendment that would help the tens of thousands of small businesses that did $5 billion in local food sales last year.

I'm glad we will get to vote on the amendment to roll back the outrageous SNAP cuts in this bill, but I am very disappointed that local food and sustainable agriculture has been left out of the farm bill debate.

This is not an open process, and I urge my colleagues to join me in voting against the rule.


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