FarmPolicy

November 21, 2019

Video: Rep. Farr Discusses Farm Bill, Budget on House Floor Friday

Categories: Farm Bill

On Friday, Rep. Sam Farr (D., Calif.) discussed Farm Bill issues and the budget on the floor.

According to the Congressional Record (at page H6263), Rep. Farr stated that: “I rise in opposition to this piecemeal approach of funding our government. I am the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.

“The bill dealing with all of those issues is on the House floor. We did our job, as the chairman so eloquently spoke about. The committee fulfilled its commitment to review the whole budget. We passed H.R. 2410 out of committee and even adopted a rule to bring it to the floor in June, but we didn’t move the bill because the timing with the now-expired farm bill wanted to hold everything off.

I’m just wondering, Madam Speaker, when is the House going to announce its conferees on the farm bill? The Senate has done it not once, but twice. If we had a conference, we could be bringing up the full bill and not just this piecemeal—let’s take a little bit of this that we like and that that we like and do what I call this menu of choice, which, if you’re not on that menu, everything is out.

“Nobody can challenge my support on WIC. I mean, I am a returning Peace Corps volunteer. If there’s anybody that got training on the need for feeding women, infants, and children in this Congress, it’s my experience in living in a poor barrio in South America.

But this does nothing for the 48 million people who currently need food stamps, what we call the SNAP program. This does nothing for the rest of the kids and the family who may be hungry, going to school and can’t get access to school lunch. This does nothing to open the door for Federal workers who help people in rural agriculture to produce the food. This bill does nothing to provide a remedy for rural areas like Colorado and California, who were just ravaged by floods and fires, to do the post-op cleanup and restoration to prevent floods from coming this winter. This does nothing for the farm service agency loan borrowers to help those that are needing loans to put their livestock or their grain or other commodities into the program that is going to be feeding the women, infants, and children. So just one little piece that they carve out and suggest that: Oh, Congress, do this.

“I want you all to listen to this. Since I’ve been here since 1993, we’ve passed 111 CRs. Not one of them had this battle, had this conditionality, had this shutdown of government—none of them. Why now? What’s different? You want to take away the President’s health care bill. That was enacted 3 1⁄2 years ago. You passed a CR the year it was adopted. You passed a CR after it was adopted. You passed a CR after that. What is it? Let’s stop being so mean and so broken about the ability to keep our government open.”

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