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Public Statements

Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I bring amendment No. 7 to the consideration of the House here as we debate this very important issue.

When I think about the issue that's before us--I know there are a lot of good Members on both sides of it, for and against, and there's going to be a lot great debate about whether or not this bill should move forward in any fashion or another.

There's one particular portion that I really wanted to discuss today, and it deals with the incentives and the benefits that go to corn producers for the production of corn that goes to ethanol. To me, I don't believe that is something that should be provided to these producers whatsoever, these incentives or benefits.

In fact, when the bill was originally crafted many years ago back in 1933, I have to ask: Did the original architects of the farm bill ever imagine that what they were creating at that time would go to benefit the producers of corn that would go to fuel and not food?

So my amendment is rather simple. It just eliminates the opportunity for any producer to benefit from producing corn that would go to fuel. Instead, it focuses back on what the original intent of the legislation was, and that was to exclusively be for food production or feed production.

So as we debate this bill, folks are going to be on all different sides of all these amendments. I think it's really important to get back to the original intent. If you're going to support the bill, get back to the original intent of what was intended back in 1933 and the years since then.

But let me just remind the House of why this is so important. Estimates tell us that more than one-third of all our corn in the United States is used for feed livestock; another 13 percent is exported, mostly for feed livestock; but another 40 percent of all corn produced in this Nation is for ethanol. And of all of that, nearly half of all corn in our Nation that is produced, those producers receive those same benefits that those that were intending to create corn for food and feed would benefit from, as well.

Mr. Chairman, my amendment is rather simple. I would urge the House's consideration of this amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. Will the gentleman yield?

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. I thank the chairman. I thank you for your good work on this. I know we've all had a lot of discussions, and I'll take you for your word that we can continue this conversation, because I think it's a very important topic.

With your intent that I know to be true, that we can continue this, I would be willing to withdraw the amendment and continue the debate at a further time.

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Mr. GRAVES of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, my intention would be to withdraw the amendment. But let me just close with this and say that, as we debate the various policies within this bill, it is very important to note that there are areas such as this in which I hear the other side talk about the importance of food being provided for our citizens all across the country. I don't disagree with them at all. I think that's very important.

So, therefore, why would we, as a House, stand to incentivize those who are producing nearly half of the corn that could be going to the food supply of our great Nation, but incentivize half the corn, almost, in our Nation rather for fuel instead of food?

I look forward to continuing this debate, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time and withdraw my amendment.

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