Temporary Extension of Agricultural Programsby Representative Jim Costa
Posted on 2013-12-12
COSTA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume,
and I rise in opposition to this bill.
First of all, I want to thank Chairman Lucas, the gentleman from Oklahoma, for all the work that he has done over the years, and my appreciation for his efforts in the past few years. It has taken a long time to get here, and certainly he has worked very hard to produce a 5- year farm bill.
That said, the bill is not needed, and let me tell you why. Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson have been working diligently, as I said, with their Senate counterparts, and the conference committee has reached an agreement on many of the issues, leaving a few remaining issues to be worked out, and we are doing that right now.
Secretary Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, has also indicated that should we complete the farm bill in January, as we are talking about, that there should not be any problems regarding the potential impacts of the dairy title being implemented and, therefore, those impacts of the cost of milk being felt by our consumers.
Extending the current programs through the end of January, which is what this bill does, when it looks like we will be able to vote on a 5- year farm bill early next year, therefore, is not necessary.
Farmers, ranchers, dairy producers need the certainty of a 5-year farm bill. I think we all agree on that. Families, those in need, who depend upon the nutrition programs as part of our Nation's safety net, need a 5-year farm bill.
American consumers, those who we produce the food for, and those around the world, know that they can depend upon our farmers, our ranchers, and our dairy producers to continue providing the safest and most affordable food in the world.
Mr. Speaker, therefore, this measure is not needed. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on H.R. 3695 and support a 5-year farm bill which we will vote on early in January when we work out the remaining differences in the conference committee.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.