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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2642, Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. STUTZMAN. Thank you, Chairman Sessions, for yielding, and thank you for all of the hard work that you do in the Rules Committee.

Mr. Speaker, I am a farmer. I love to farm. It's in my blood. I farmed before I came to Congress, and I'll farm when I leave.

So, as a fourth-generation farmer, today I rise to say we have an historic opportunity to legislate responsibly and reform prudently when it comes to farm policy and food stamp policy. We, together, can defeat business as usual in Washington, D.C. For the first time in 40 years of farm policy, the House has an opportunity to enact landmark reform in ag policy and to separate the farm bill. Because of policy dating back to the Carter administration, 80 percent of the last trillion-dollar farm bill went to food stamps. I don't believe that's right, and as a farmer, I can tell you it doesn't serve farmers well. Believe it or not, it doesn't serve the needs of those who need help in this country either.

A year ago, I began to call on Congress to separate the farm bill. Our goal has been to reform ag and food stamp policy so that they can really help the folks they were intended to help. Farm policy and food stamp policy should not be mixed. They should stand on their own merits. As Congress immorally sinks our country into debt by $17 trillion, taxpayers deserve an honest conversation in order to find solutions to help Americans who really need help.

Together, we can get this done and pass the first farm-only farm bill in 40 years. Today, we can pass a bill that sends a clear message that the days of deceptively named budget-busting bills are over. By splitting the bill, we can give taxpayers an honest look at how Washington spends our money. We've made progress by eliminating direct payments, but there is more work ahead, so splitting the farm bill is the next logical step on the path to real reform in farm policy and in helping those who genuinely need help.

I am proud to vote for this legislation, and I thank all of those who put such hard work into it. As a fourth-generation farmer, I am proud to vote for the first farm-only farm bill in 40 years.

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