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Public Statements

Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WALZ. Madam Chairman, I, too, want to thank the chairman and the ranking member, who not only have worked unwaveringly to craft a great piece of legislation, but collaborating, shepherding this thing through, saving taxpayer money, supporting jobs, streamlining for efficiency, and eliminating burdensome programs. I'd also especially like to say they've done it with dignity, they've done it with grace, and they've done it with the respect and thoughtfulness for this institution. And I'll tell you, the American people need a lot of that.

Last week, we had a poll that showed us at a 10 percent approval rating. The North Koreans are at 17 percent. That ought to tell you something here. It would be funny if it wasn't so dang disappointing. The sacrifices that went into us doing the basic needs, the American public did not believe we could fulfill the basic needs. Well, you know what, they're wrong on this count because we're going to do it in here with the leadership of these two gentlemen who have spoken before. We need to make sure that this piece of legislation goes through the process, it's amended by the Members of this House in an appropriate manner, and we move it forward.

I can tell you, for those who say we would be better off just doing an extension, that's not what my dairy folks are telling me when they've watched drought, flood, and winter kill. They're struggling day to day to try and feed their herds and facing liquidation. To them, no farm bill means no funding for livestock disaster programs. Tell that to my youth in my district, where the average age of a farmer is 58 years, where we lose all these good programs to put people on the land.

So I urge all my colleagues: take a look at this. Do what you're hearing people say. This is reform. This is savings. This is smart policy. And it also gives the American people food security.

It's a national security issue. We feed 316 million Americans--our farmers do--and billions worldwide. I ask my colleagues, look over our shoulder, in this quote by Daniel Webster. Let us try and develop something worth being remembered for.

I urge passage of this bill.


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