Amendment Text: H.Amdt.713 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (07/27/2007)

This Amendment appears on page H8761 in the following article from the Congressional Record.


[Pages H8757-H8768]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




               FARM, NUTRITION, AND BIOENERGY ACT OF 2007

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 574 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, 
H.R. 2419.

                              {time}  1009


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the further consideration of 
the bill (H.R. 2419) to provide for the continuation of agricultural 
programs through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes, with Mr. 
Schiff (Acting Chairman) in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. When the Committee of the Whole rose earlier 
today, a request for a recorded vote on amendment No. 13 printed in 
part B of House Report 110-261 by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner) 
had been postponed.


                Amendment No. 15 Offered by Mr. Manzullo

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 15 
printed in part B of House Report 110-261.
  Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 15 offered by Mr. Manzullo:
       Strike subsection (a) of section 1246 of the Food Security 
     Act of 1985, as added by section 2409(a) of the bill, and 
     insert the following:
       ``(a) Payments for Conservation Practices.--The total 
     amount of payments that a person or a legal entity (except a 
     joint venture or a general partnership) may receive, directly 
     or indirectly, in any fiscal year shall not exceed--
       ``(1) $60,000 from any single program under this title 
     (other than the environmental quality incentives program) or 
     as agricultural management assistance under section 524(b) of 
     the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 524(b));
       ``(2) $125,000 from more than one program under this title 
     (other than the environmental quality incentives program) or 
     as agricultural management assistance under section 524(b) of 
     the Federal Crop Insurance Act; or
       ``(3) $450,000 from the environmental quality incentives 
     program.


        Modification to Amendment No. 15 Offered by Mr. Manzullo

  Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to modify the 
amendment with the modification placed at the desk in order to make a 
technical correction.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the modification.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Modification to amendment No. 15 offered by Mr. Manzullo:
       Strike subsection (a) of section 1246 of the Food Security 
     Act of 1985, as added by section 2409(a) of the bill, and 
     insert the following:
       ``(a) Payments for Conservation Practices.--The total 
     amount of payments that a person or a legal entity (except a 
     joint venture or a general partnership) may receive, directly 
     or indirectly--
       ``(1) in any fiscal year shall not exceed--
       ``(A) $60,000 from any single program under this title 
     (other than the environmental quality incentives program) or 
     as agricultural management assistance under section 524(b) of 
     the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 524(b)); or
       ``(B) $125,000 from more than one program under this title 
     (other thanthe environmental quality incentives program) or 
     as agricultural management assistance under section 524(b) of 
     the Federal Crop Insurance Act; and
       ``(2) for the period of fiscal years 2008 through 2012, 
     shall not exceed $450,000 from the environmental quality 
     incentives program.

  Mr. MANZULLO (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the 
Record.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Illinois?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the modification is accepted.
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 574, the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Manzullo) and the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Peterson) each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of my amendment that 
will exempt the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, EQIP, from a 
$60,000 payment limitation that this bill proposes for conservation 
purposes.
  This program provides farmers with financial and technical assistance 
to plan and implement soil and water conservation practices and has the 
full support of the environmental and farming community.
  This amendment is more of a technical correction, as all it does is 
return the EQIP payment limitation to its current level of $450,000 
over the life of the farm bill. The amendment does not

[[Page H8758]]

impact the increased payment limitation for direct payments. The 
amendment is narrowly tailored to only impact payments for EQIP-
specific projects.
  Currently, 60 percent of EQIP payments go to livestock producers, who 
use those cost-share payments to establish environmentally sound 
structures and practices on their farms. Without these payments, these 
structures and practices in many cases will not meet EPA standards for 
environmental care.
  The problem with the proposed $60,000 limitation is that these EQIP 
programs are so expensive that the farmers, in many cases, probably in 
most cases in my district, won't choose to take it because of the cost.
  To give you an example, we have two methane digesters in my 
congressional district. Each of them cost over a half a million 
dollars. The farmer could get up to 50 percent and sometimes even more 
of the costs of that from the present EQIP program, but under the 
proposed law, he could only get $60,000.
  When I was in private practice, I practiced agricultural law and had 
to work with farmers to come into compliance with the EPA; and even 
though EQIP was not around at that time, the remedial measures that we 
took for runoff, et cetera, to be in compliance with EPA in many cases 
ran into the several hundred thousand dollars.
  This is what I'm hearing from the constituents that I represent, that 
they respect the fact that EQIP is there, but $60,000 simply would not 
go long enough or far enough.
  So our proposal is to return it to its present standard. It spends no 
more money. It makes money available to build these expensive 
facilities.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Manzullo and I are good 
friends, and I allowed him to modify his amendment, but I have to very 
strongly oppose this amendment.
  We've added several billion dollars to the conservation baseline in 
this bill, and even with that, we still have big backlogs in these 
programs. It's going to go a long ways to correcting that, but one of 
the ways that we're going to make this money go further is by applying 
the same payment limitations to these conservation programs that we're 
applying to title I.
  And the question to me is the same. If the argument is that we have 
large farms that shouldn't be entitled to title I payments, then why is 
it all right for large folks to be entitled to title II payments?
  What this will do, the changes that we've made are going to make this 
go further. It's going, I would say, to allow smaller producers a 
better opportunity to have access to these limited programs.
  And so I guess I would just say what is good for the goose is good 
for the gander, that we're applying these same limitations all across 
the programs. I understand that some of the larger folks aren't going 
to like this; but, you know, this is what we need.
  So I hear arguments against this because somehow or another 
conservation is different, but with the payment limitations, the effect 
of that is to actually weaken the title I safety net for producers.

                              {time}  1015

  So, it is just not right to have a different standard for these 
conservation programs. I ask my colleagues to stick with the 
committee's position. I strongly oppose this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, we reserve the balance of our time.
  Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Chairman, in answer to the question of the 
gentleman from Minnesota, conservation is different from trying to meet 
an EPA mandate. You can do a tremendous amount of conservation programs 
for $60,000, but EQIP programs, by their very nature, cost in the 
hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's the problem.
  The problem that we have here is that the $60,000 limitation goes 
into effect. Money may not be available for farmers to be able to meet 
environmental standards. So this really is a pro-environmental vote. I 
don't really want to talk about geese. I am talking about cattle. But 
this all applies to chicken farms and the tremendous runoff that we 
have.
  By allowing this amendment and removing the $60,000 cap, this will 
increase the number of environmentally protected areas in farming 
across the country. That's the reason for it. It costs no more money, 
and you might want to spread these programs across the board. I can 
understand that on conservation, but not on these mandated programs 
that are title II.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to my good 
friend, the ranking member from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte).
  Mr. GOODLATTE. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I join him in 
opposition to this amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I understand the gentleman from Illinois' concerns, but 
with regard to the conservation programs, we have a finite amount of 
money. The commodity programs work under a baseline that assumes market 
conditions.
  The money rises and falls, and every farmer who meets those 
conditions can qualify for them. But with the conservation programs, 
there is a finite amount of money. Without the payment limitations, 
many farmers will not receive any help whatsoever in complying with 
different environmental regulations unless we have these payment 
limitations, which allows the payment to be spread across a wider area. 
This is a new reform-minded payment limitation. While some may think 
it's too stringent, payment limitations need to be applied uniformly 
across both title I and title II.
  Easement programs such as the wetlands reserve are exempted from this 
so we can protect some of the most environmentally sensitive land 
through easements. But the committee must be consistent in our views of 
all payments to producers, not just commodity payments.
  I join the gentleman in reluctantly opposing the gentleman from 
Illinois' amendment.
  Mr. MANZULLO. The problem is that the EQIP program is already being 
doubled in the amount from $1 to $2 billion, where the caps are being 
lowered to $60,000. This is not a conservation.
  The purpose of this is so that cow manure and pig manure and chicken 
manure don't flow into the rivers and the streams. That's the problem 
with the Chesapeake. It's the chicken manure that's destroying the 
Chesapeake.
  When you have the EQIP cap, that means less chicken producers will be 
able to afford retention systems in order to comply with EPA. So this 
is a pro-environmental vote, and there is plenty of money because the 
chairman recognizes the fact that the total amount has been doubled.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have 
left?
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Minnesota has 2 minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. I understand what you are saying, but the 
reality is, if the argument is that wealthy farmers should somehow be 
limited to title I payments, then from my perspective, if you got 
enough money to build a great big huge factory farm or if you got 
enough money to go out and buy 5 million acres, I don't know why the 
government needs to help if you've got that much money to do that.
  What we're doing here is we're seeing that this is spread across 
everybody. What it will do is it will make this available to a lot more 
people. It will make it available to smaller farmers. Frankly, if you 
have big operations, I think you can pick up this cost and make it part 
of the cost of doing business.
  I understand what you are saying, but I just disagree, given the 
amount of money we have.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield to my good friend, Mr. Blumenauer from Oregon, 
for the balance of the time.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy.
  Mr. Chairman, I appreciate where my friend from Illinois is coming 
from, but the chairman said it right. This would be an indirect subsidy 
for some of the largest operations who need it the least, and it would 
penalize people who need this assistance. Even though there is a plus-
up under the bill, it

[[Page H8759]]

doesn't go far enough to meet the need for conservation. We will find 
that out.
  I strongly support what we have heard from the chair and the ranking 
member. I do think this is the environmental position, and I urge 
rejection of this amendment.
  Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Chairman, the payment limitations of the farm bill 
go from $2 million to $1 million. Under the EQIP programs it goes from 
$450,000 down to $60,000. This is not for wealthy farmers. This is not 
for factory farms. These are for the little guys that I represented 
when I practiced law in Ogle County, Illinois, for 22 years.
  If we had a program like this, the money would have gone a long way. 
But even with a modest herd of 300 head, it costs several hundred 
thousand to build a retention system or a methane digest, if you want 
to go into doing that. Our methane digesters in our district, the one 
that has 500 dairy cattle, they are able to run a city of 500 people, 
of 500 homes; thus, it conserves electricity from the nuclear plant and 
also from coal-burning facilities. The problem is getting onto the grid 
and getting a reasonable price.
  I was a chairman of the Small Business Committee. When I practiced 
law, the guys that use this, these are all little guys around me. We 
don't have people with thousands and thousands of cattle in northern 
Illinois. So I would suggest that for the small business farmer, to 
make this program go even further, that we should allow this amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  The gentleman from Minnesota has 30 seconds remaining.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate what the 
gentleman is saying, but there are a lot of folks that disagree with 
these payment limits on title I. I, myself, have some concerns about 
them.
  It just has got to be this way. We are putting a hard cap of $100 
million of all payments. We are doing that to conservation, title I. 
This is the way it ought to be. This is the way it needs to be. We are 
not treating conservation any different. We are treating him as exactly 
the same. I am not one that gets into an argument about big or small, 
rich and poor. This is just justice for all.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Manzullo), as modified.
  The amendment, as modified, was rejected.


            Amendment No. 11 Offered by Mr. Welch of Vermont

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 11 
printed in part B of House Report 110-261.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 11 offered by Mr. Welch of Vermont:
       In section 1409(b), insert after paragraph (6) the 
     following new paragraph (and redesignate subsequent 
     paragraphs):
       (7) evaluating cost of production variables, including cost 
     of feed and cost of fuel;
       In section 1409(c)(3)(D), insert before the period at the 
     end the following: ``, including the Northeast, Southeast, 
     Midwest, and Western regions of the country''.
       In section 1409(d), strike ``Not later than two years after 
     the date of the first meeting of the commission,'' and insert 
     ``Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act,''.


                             point of order

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, a point of order. Isn't the gentleman 
out of order in offering this amendment?
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to the previous order of the House of 
earlier today, the gentleman is permitted to offer the amendment at any 
time.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 574, the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. 
Welch) and a Member opposed each will control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Vermont.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Chairman Peterson 
and Ranking Member Goodlatte for establishing in the bill the Federal 
Milk Marketing Order Commission. It's my hope that the commission will 
go a long way in fixing many of the problems inherent in the current 
system, and it will lead, hopefully, to a more stable price for milk.
  The milk marketing orders, like many of the agricultural pricing 
programs, almost dates back to the New Deal. The intent is to provide a 
lifeline, not a lifestyle, and a safety net, not really a subsidy.
  But one of the problems with the system is it does not take 
adequately into account the cost of production. In Vermont, in the last 
year, in the world of dairy, we had the perfect storm: high grain 
prices, high fuel costs, terribly bad weather, and very low milk 
prices.
  The purpose of this commission is to allow it, this amendment, to 
allow the commission to take into account the cost of production.
  We must be sure that if dairy farmers, like other members of the 
agriculture community, are going to be able to pay their bills, the 
cost of production must be reflected in the pricing program.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, if the gentleman would 
yield?
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. I yield, yes.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. I want to thank the gentleman from Vermont 
for bringing up this very important issue. As you know, that version of 
the farm bill that the House Agriculture Committee reported contains a 
request for the study of Federal Milk Marketing Orders.
  As we began the farm bill process last year, we traveled around the 
country listening to producers, processors and other members of the 
dairy industry. What we heard was that the Federal Milk Marketing Order 
system was in need of reform, and we have taken steps to address that.
  The committee bill establishes a system to review this system and 
report its findings to Congress and the Secretary of Agriculture. The 
committee hopes and expects that this study will provide information 
necessary to develop the changes that modernize and rationalize milk 
marketing regulations in this country.
  The committee recognizes the concern that this commission could lead 
to delay within the Department regarding ongoing efforts to reform the 
improvement of the Federal Milk Marketing Order system. We do not wish 
this to be the case and have directed the Secretary to address that 
concern in the committee substitute.
  So, if the gentleman is willing to withdraw his amendment, I would 
extend an offer to work with him in conference to make sure that his 
concerns on energy and feed costs are incorporated into the commission 
study.
  Mr. WELCH of Vermont. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of myself and my 
cosponsor, my friend, Mr. Arcuri from New York, we accept the gracious 
offer of the chairman.
  Mr. Chairman, at this time we would move to withdraw our amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
  There was no objection.


               Amendment No. 16 Offered by Mr. Blumenauer

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 16 
printed in part B of House Report 110-261.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 16 offered by Mr. Blumenauer:
       In section 1238I of the Food Security Act of 1985, as 
     amended by section 2110, insert at the end of subsection (b) 
     the following new sentence: ``Grants may also be made for 
     purchase of conservation easements or other interests in land 
     pursuant to a transferable development rights program in 
     which the entity acquiring the interests sells them for 
     development in an urban area consistent with local land use 
     plans, but grant funds may not be used to reduce the cost of 
     development rights.''.

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 574, the gentleman 
from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oregon.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer an amendment in order 
to highlight an important but unfortunately not well understood 
farmland preservation tool used by communities across the country.
  The United States loses more than 4,000 acres of farmland and open 
space to development every day. Since 1945,

[[Page H8760]]

America has lost nearly 20 percent of its farmland. Some of the best 
farmland, which is close to our growing cities, is being lost to 
development on an ongoing basis.
  Sadly, local governments have few tools to protect this farmland. 
They can issue regulations, which some feel is burdensome; they can 
purchase land; or they can purchase development rights from landowners 
to prevent development, which can be very expensive.
  Transferrable development rights, called TDRs in the trade, are an 
important market-based tool used by States and cities to protect 
farmland, property rights, and taxpayer dollars.
  Under a TDR program, development rights can be separated from a 
parcel of land and sold to a private party, usually a developer. The 
developer can then use these rights to develop in an urbanizing region 
with a high demand for development that is already served by highways, 
water and sewer systems, not taking out scarce farmland.

                              {time}  1030

  This creates a private market for development rights and gives 
farmers options. Under this system, the private sector rather than tax 
dollars is paying for preservation of the parcel from which rights are 
purchased.
  Successful TDR programs have been in place throughout the country 
since 1980 and have protected tens of thousands of acres of farmland 
and open space. They are currently in use in over 170 communities 
around the country, including Montgomery and Calvert Counties in 
Maryland, Blue Earth County in Minnesota, and Boulder County in 
Colorado. My amendment would simply clarify that funding from the Farm 
and Ranchland Protection program, which has been very successful in 
preserving farmland through the purchase of conservation easements, can 
be used for this type of program.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment and 
for the purpose of engaging in a colloquy with the gentleman from 
Oregon.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. HOLDEN. I appreciate the gentleman for raising this issue. I 
agree that transferrable development programs are an important tool to 
protect farmland; however, I have some concerns about the way this 
amendment is drafted. If the gentleman would withdraw his amendment, I 
would be happy to work with him as this bill moves through the process 
to clarify that Farm and Ranchland Preservation Program funds can be 
used for this purpose in a way that ensures that the underlying program 
is not negatively affected.
  I yield to the gentleman from Oregon.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. I appreciate the gentleman's willingness to work with 
us on this. The beauty of the Transfer of Development Rights programs 
is, when they are working correctly, they don't need government 
funding. However, an initial grant is sometimes extraordinarily useful 
in getting a program started in the first place. It is why I think 
funding from the FRPP is important.
  Upon the gentleman's request, I am happy to withdraw this amendment, 
as long as we can work to make sure that the intent, and I actually 
think this is the intent of the existing legislation, to work with you 
to clarify the language to make sure that this innovative program will 
help stretch the tax dollars for the Farm and Ranchland Protection 
Program even further.
  Our Nation's farmers face development pressures every single day, and 
we need to ensure that communities are able to use all the tools 
available to help the farmers who want to keep farming resist 
development pressures.
  I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy and look forward to working 
with him.
  Mr. HOLDEN. I assure the gentleman he has my commitment as well as 
the commitment of the chairman of the full committee.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
  There was no objection.


                 Amendment No. 9 Offered by Mr. Arcuri

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 9 
printed in part B of House Report 110-261.
  Mr. ARCURI. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 9 offered by Mr. Arcuri:
       At the end of subtitle D of title I, add the following new 
     section:

     SEC. 2410. ADJUSTMENT OF CLASS I MILK PRICE MOVER TO REFLECT 
                   ENERGY AND ANIMAL FEED COST INCREASES.

       It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of 
     Agriculture should use existing authority when determining 
     the Class I milk price mover to take into account the 
     increased cost of production, including energy and feed.

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 574, the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Arcuri) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. ARCURI. Mr. Chairman, I plan to withdraw my amendment, but before 
I do I would like to take a few minutes to highlight a few issues 
facing dairy farmers in our district.
  First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Chairman 
Peterson for achieving what many thought was impossible, and that is a 
sensible, balanced, comprehensive reauthorization of the farm bill. I 
especially appreciate that the chairman included a 5-year extension of 
the MILC program, which is so critical to dairy farmers in my district 
and throughout the Northeast.
  Unfortunately, with skyrocketing costs of energy and feed, it is 
becoming increasingly difficult for dairy farmers to stay in business. 
New York is third in dairy production nationwide and home to 6,200 
dairy farms which produce 12 billion pounds of milk a year and generate 
$2 billion in farm revenue.
  From 2001 to 2006, however, the cost of gasoline and fuel had 
increased over 100 percent. The cost of feed has increased nearly 20 
percent and the cost of fertilizer has increased over 40 percent, to 
list just a few of the dairy farmers' expenses. While all the costs of 
production are based on market prices, the price a dairy farmer can 
charge for a hundred weight of fluid milk is not.
  In response, my amendment simply states the sense of Congress that 
the USDA should use its existing authority when determining the class I 
milk price mover to factor in increased costs of production like energy 
and feed. It is patently unfair that Exxon, Conoco, Mobile, and other 
oil companies can increase the price of their product when costs of 
production like exploration and labor go up; yet dairy farmers are held 
hostage to severe price fluctuations and forced to succumb to a process 
that doesn't always reflect their increased costs in production.
  Mr. Chairman, at this time I would like to yield 1\1/2\ minutes to my 
good friend and colleague from New York (Mrs. Gillibrand), a cosponsor 
of my amendment, and a member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on 
Dairy.
  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of my fellow 
colleague from upstate New York. I want to echo the sentiments of 
Congressman Arcuri.
  Upstate New York dairy farming and small dairy farming across the 
country is in grave need of consideration. I was very, very grateful 
for the leadership of Subcommittee Chairman Boswell, who really 
extended an enormous amount of advocacy on behalf of dairy farmers 
throughout the country.
  I also want to thank Chairman Peterson and the other members of the 
Agriculture Committee who really thought through the needs of dairy, 
and made sure that MILC was preserved in this farm bill.
  But the issues are very serious. Last summer, the price of milk was 
$12 a hundred weight, and the cost of producing that milk was between 
$16 and $18 a hundred weight. The cost of feed, the costs of fuel have 
continued to escalate. This summer, if you go to a gas pump, it is over 
$3.50 a gallon; that is the way it was last summer. Now, we are very 
thankful because we have high milk prices. But this constant 
fluctuation is a problem that we need to address, and I am going to 
work with

[[Page H8761]]

Chairman Boswell and Chairman Peterson over the next several years to 
look at milk policy, how we can improve the market order system and how 
we can improve dairy pricing throughout our country.
  I thank the gentleman for the time.
  Mr. ARCURI. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague from New York for her 
leadership on dairy issues and tireless service on the Agricultural 
Committee on behalf of New York.
  Mr. Chairman, at this time I yield to the distinguished subcommittee 
chairman, Mr. Boswell, subcommittee chairman of the Dairy Subcommittee, 
who has truly done a remarkable job in getting us where we are today, 
for as much time as he may consume.
  Mr. BOSWELL. Mr. Chairman, I must recognize Mr. Arcuri and Mrs. 
Gillibrand for their great work. The farmers of their State ought to be 
very proud that they have spoken out, and we have listened and we want 
to make things better.
  I want to thank them for this amendment that he has agreed to 
withdraw, and to say the following: that the moving renewable industry 
and its impact on feed cost has been something that the House 
Agriculture Committee has monitored closely. The Subcommittee on 
Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry even held a hearing on this issue earlier 
this year.
  As the United States moves toward energy independence and a stronger 
renewable fuel base, the cost of production has increased for our 
producers. This issue affects my district especially, since it is one 
of the largest and a major ethanol producing area.
  We must work together, and we will work together, to find the balance 
between feed and fuel, and ensure that one important industry is not 
hurt by the other. So I encourage my distinguished colleague to 
withdraw his amendment, with the understanding that I will work with 
him in conference or wherever to make sure his concern about the cost 
of feed and fuel is incorporated in the final version of this bill for 
dairy producers.
  Mr. ARCURI. I thank the distinguished subcommittee chairman as well 
as Chairman Peterson for their commitment to address this very critical 
issue for dairy farmers in my district during the conference.
  I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 18 
printed in part B of House Report 110-261.


           Amendment No. 19 Offered by Mr. Davis of Illinois

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 19 
printed in part B of House Report 110-261.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Amendment No. 19 offered by Mr. Davis of Illinois:
       Strike the three sections in subtitle C of title I, and 
     insert the following new sections:

     SEC. 1301. SUGAR PROGRAM.

       (a) Forfeiture Penalty.--Section 156(g) of the Federal 
     Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 
     7272(g)) is amended by adding at the end the following new 
     paragraph:
       ``(3) Forfeiture penalty.--The Secretary shall assess a 
     penalty on the forfeiture of sugar pledged as collateral for 
     a nonrecourse loan under this section. The penalty shall be 1 
     cent per pound for raw cane sugar and an equivalent amount, 
     as determined by the Secretary, for refined beet sugar.''.
       (b) Effective Period.--Section 156(j) of the Federal 
     Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 
     7272(j)) is amended by striking ``2007'' and inserting 
     ``2012''.

     SEC. 1302. FLEXIBLE MARKETING ALLOTMENTS FOR SUGAR.

       Section 359b(a)(1) of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 
     1938 (7 U.S.C. 1359bb(a)(1)) is amended in the matter 
     preceding subparagraph (A) by striking ``2007'' and inserting 
     ``2012''.
       Strike section 9013.

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 574, the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Davis) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 1 minute.
  The Davis-Kirk amendment will strike the new sugar provisions which 
will drive up the price of domestic sugar, therefore making it more 
difficult to candy makers, food processors, and confectionery 
businesses to survive. This new bill raises the sugar price supports, 
restricts sugar imports, and instructs the Secretary to buy surplus 
sugar for use in making ethanol.
  Since 1997, the sugar subsidies have cost the U.S. economy a loss of 
70,000 jobs. The Davis-Kirk amendment will make sure that the sugar 
program does not cost any more jobs than what we have already lost.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. The Davis-Kirk amendment to the 2007 farm 
bill would erase sugar policy measures that are designed to save 
taxpayers funds and prevent the U.S. sugar market from being overrun 
with subsidized foreign sugar. The economic impact in Minnesota alone 
of the U.S. sugar industry amounts to over $1.3 billion per year. 
Nationwide, over $10 billion is generated in economic impact from this 
industry.


 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  
  July 27, 2007 On Page H8761 the following appeared: Mr. 
MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. The 
Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from West Virginia is recognized 
for 5 minutes. Mr. MOLLOHAN. The Davis-Kirk amendment
  
  The online version should be corrected to read: Mr. PETERSON of 
Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. 
The Acting CHAIRMAN. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes. 
Mr. Peterson of Minnesota. The Davis-Kirk amendment


 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  While I sympathize with Members who are experiencing job losses in 
their districts, I would urge them to consider why job loss is 
happening. It is not because of the price of sugar. Food manufacturers 
are paying less for sugar today than they paid when Jimmy Carter was in 
the White House.
  Now, the Davis-Kirk amendment would eliminate the market balancing 
provisions that we put in this bill. And this is really a safety valve 
to deal with the possibility of sugar coming in from Mexico, which I am 
not convinced is going to happen. So instead of dealing with this in a 
forfeiture way, which is the way the current system works, what this 
will do is it would allow us to deal with excess sugar that might come 
in from Mexico, and it would be done only as needed.
  So we are not sure what is going to happen. Right now, the price of 
sugar in Mexico is higher than in the United States, and all the 
reports I am reading, they don't have any extra sugar in Mexico. So we 
are not even sure that this is a problem.
  The Department has put this CBO score in there to try to screw us up 
with this program. They have been doing this for years. They have been 
trying to kill this program off. We have a mechanism here that makes 
sense, because we will put the sugar into ethanol, which speeds up the 
fermentation process and creates more ethanol in the process, this is 
corn ethanol plants, and it just makes sense. It is going to save us 
money, and it will make sure that we can maintain this industry.
  They also in this amendment have a forfeiture penalty that would add 
insult to injury for American sugar farmers, as desperate farmers would 
have to pay back to the government 6 percent of their potential 
proceeds from the loan after the U.S. market prices have collapsed, if 
that ever would happen. So I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I yield 45 seconds to the 
gentlewoman from Illinois, Representative Biggert.

                              {time}  1045

  Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I don't know how it's possible, but this 
bill makes a bad sugar program even worse. Chicago was once referred to 
as the candy capital of the world because of our strong confectionery 
and manufacturing industry, but thanks to the sugar program and sugar 
subsidies, nearly one-third of the jobs in the industry have been lost.
  This farm bill goes backward, not forward. Instead of recognizing the 
reality that the sugar program has cost American manufacturing jobs, 
this bill increases sugar price supports and widens the gap between 
U.S. and world prices.
  I strongly support Mr. Davis and Mr. Kirk's amendment to keep cane 
refinery and food manufacturing jobs in the United States. This is a 
good amendment, and I urge my colleagues to vote for its adoption.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to my good 
friend from Florida (Mr. Hastings).

[[Page H8762]]

  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong 
opposition to this amendment.
  Consider, the cost of sugar over the past 27 years has actually 
decreased, and it remains the only commodity in the country that has 
actually contributed toward paying off the national debt.
  But as the cost of sugar has gone down, the price at grocery stores 
for candy manufacturers and bakery manufacturers and other sweets are 
charging more for their products, whose main ingredient is sugar, has 
increased.
  Footnote right there. Why does the confectionery industry get smaller 
and cost more?
  I don't need to sugarcoat the facts, Mr. Chairman. American consumers 
are getting a sweet deal on sugar. It's so cheap in the U.S., they give 
it away in restaurants.
  Unlike other commodities, the U.S. sugar program doesn't cost the 
American taxpayer one dime.
  Do my colleagues realize that if this amendment passes, over 146,000 
jobs, 25,000 of which are in South Florida, will be in jeopardy. 
Congress can't turn its back on these hardworking Americans simply 
because candy companies in the U.S. want to pay their workers pennies 
in South America rather than living wages in South Florida.
  In my district, the cities of Belle Glade, Clewiston, South Bay and 
Pahokee will almost cease to exist if this amendment passes. Talk about 
getting a raw deal. As my distinguished colleague Dale Kildee, who 
himself represents a significant portion of sugar beet country, is fond 
of saying and correctly so, we have the cleanest, greenest, and safest 
sugar supply in the world. I implore my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, it's my pleasure to yield 30 
seconds to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Lipinski).
  Mr. LIPINSKI. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of the Davis-
Kirk amendment.
  The current sugar program has cost American workers tens of thousands 
of jobs, and it's cost American families $1.9 billion per year, 
according to the GAO. It will cost taxpayers $1.3 billion over the next 
10 years, according to CBO. Unfortunately, a provision of this bill 
threatens more harm.
  While I support this bill overall, we need this amendment, which 
prevents an increase in price supports for sugar, if and only if the 
Secretary of Agriculture determines that these changes contribute to a 
loss of jobs in the food and beverage manufacturing. The least we can 
do is ensure that changes in the sugar program do not kill good 
American manufacturing jobs. It's done harm in the Chicago area and 
across the Nation. We do not want to see more harm done.
  I'd like to thank Mr. Davis for his leadership on this issue and 
encourage all my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Melancon).
  Mr. MELANCON. Mr. Chairman, briefly let me just say, this issue of 
the candy manufacturers leaving this country has nothing to do with the 
price of sugar. The price of sugar has been cheap for over 25 years. 
They're leaving because they're getting health benefits for their 
people at a cheaper price in Canada and Mexico. The utilities are 
cheaper, and the packages that are put together for them by the 
international countries across the border to our north and our south 
are taking them away. It has nothing to do with the price of sugar. 
Sugar is healthy. Sugar is better than the chemicals that people put in 
their food that cost a whole lot more. We're worried about energy; 
we're worried about food. Let's keep sugar sound in this country.
  We're not energy independent. For the first time in the history of 
our country, 2 years ago we imported more foodstuff than we exported.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Kirk).
  Mr. KIRK. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment. And when 
we had a neutral party look at this issue and the sugar program, it was 
the Commerce Department, and we asked the simple question, does this 
program cost American jobs? And the Commerce Department said 10,000 
American families have lost their income because of the jobs exported 
overseas because of this program costing taxpayers over $1 billion a 
year and, really, a symbol of 19th and 20th century thinking in a 21st 
century economy. So I rise in strong support of this and would like to 
return those jobs to the United States of America.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to my good friend from 
Michigan (Mr. Kildee).
  Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Chairman, my district has been devastated by trade 
agreements and other policies of past Congresses. The population of my 
largest city has dropped from 180,000 to 118,000. Delphi is going 
through a bankruptcy. My General Motors jobs have dropped from 80,000 
to 18,000.
  The one bright spot in my district is agriculture, led by my sugar 
beet farmers who own the whole process from the fields through the 
refinery. Don't deliver another blow to my district by in effect 
abolishing this no-cost program. Let my sugar farmers help the economy 
of my district. They are our hope. Don't dash that hope. Defeat this 
amendment.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy 
and his leadership.
  Three simple points. First of all, this amendment does not abolish 
the sugar program. It just doesn't make it worse.
  Second, every independent agency, CBO, GAO, Department of Commerce, 
all conclude that this is not a no-cost program to Americans. It costs 
them over $1 billion.
  Third, in terms of the cost per job saved that my friend from Florida 
was concerned about, the Department of Commerce has pegged that at 
$826,000 per job. One job in sugar production for three in sugar 
manufacturing. It's not a good trade-off.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I yield the balance of our 
time to my good friend from North Dakota (Mr. Pomeroy) who does an 
outstanding job representing his farmers and our sugar producers.
  Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, this is a dispute about facts. I flat out 
absolutely reject the fact that this is costing jobs; in fact, American 
sugar producers, 146,000 jobs in 19 States, struggling without an 
increase in their market price for 22 years.
  Now, this amendment would represent a loss in income averaging $294 
per acre. I'm telling you, if you're a farmer trying to make those ends 
meet and you're taking nearly a $300 hit per acre as a result of this 
amendment, you are out of business.
  Don't cost us these jobs. Reject this amendment.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I yield 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Royce).
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Chairman, I support this amendment to keep the 
subsidies for sugar from increasing in this bill.
  The inflation of sugar prices that our misguided sugar policy drives 
costs U.S. families a total of almost $2 billion every year. Every time 
you buy chocolate or breakfast cereal or any product that contains 
sugar, you pay a premium, and these subsidies inflate the price of 
sugar for Americans to twice the world price.
  The subsidies are driving businesses out of the country. A GAO study 
confirms that 42 percent of these subsidies, by the way, go to just 1 
percent. So I urge my colleagues to put an end to these harmful 
handouts.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I yield 20 seconds to the 
gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Wamp).
  Mr. WAMP. I just want to make the quick point that every commodity, 
sugar, corn, soybeans, are reduced on the AGI from $2.5 million down to 
1, except sugar. Why is it not reformed like the other crops in terms 
of how much a person can make to receive these government payments? 
Sugar is not only protected, it's helped through this bill instead of 
reformed like the other commodities.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I'll use the balance of our 
time.
  Mr. Chairman, I have here in my hand a circular from the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture that says this amendment, while not the 
administration's proposal, provides more flexibility to manage the 
program in a way that minimizes costs to the U.S. taxpayer than the 
committee's bill.

[[Page H8763]]

  In addition, the 1 cent penalty on forfeitures will help discourage 
forfeitures of sugar placed under loan. This amendment also eliminates 
the increase in the sugar loan rate, helping to reduce cost for 
taxpayers.
  Let's give our taxpayers a break. Support the Davis-Kirk amendment.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Davis).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chairman announced that the 
noes appeared to have it.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Illinois 
will be postponed.


         En Bloc Amendment offered by Mr. Peterson of Minnesota

  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, pursuant to House Resolution 574, I offer 
amendments en bloc, including germane modifications. The amendments are 
at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN (Mr. Berry). The Clerk will designate the 
amendments en bloc.

       Amendments en bloc offered by Mr. Peterson of Minnesota 
     consisting of part B amendments numbered 20 and 29 printed in 
     House Report 110-261:


                 Amendment No. 20 Offered by Mr. Terry

  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of title IX, add the following new section:

     SEC. __. SUPPLEMENTING CORN AS AN ETHANOL FEEDSTOCK.

       (a) Research and Development Program.--The Secretary of 
     Agriculture shall establish a program to make grants of not 
     to exceed $1,000,000 each to no more than 10 universities for 
     a 3-year program of demonstration of supplementing corn as an 
     ethanol feedstock with sweet sorghum.
       (b) Program Goals.--The goals of the program under this 
     section shall be to--
       (1) enhance agronomic efficiency of the crop on marginal 
     lands by--
       (A) developing best management practices for maintaining 
     high sorghum yields while using less water and nitrogen than 
     corn;
       (B) identifying and selecting plants with a high sugar 
     content; and
       (C) developing cold-tolerant sweet sorghum varieties to 
     enable two crops to be grown per season;
       (2) enhance ethanol processing potential in the crop by--
       (A) developing a robust technology for centralized ethanol 
     production facilities that pair high-performing sweet sorghum 
     lines with different yeasts to produce the best process for 
     converting sweet sorghum juice into ethanol;
       (B) conducting process and chemical analyses of sweet 
     sorghum sap fermentation;
       (C) introducing cellulosic hydrolyzing enzymes into sweet 
     sorghum to promote biomass conversion; and
       (D) performing life-cycle analysis of sweet sorghum 
     ethanol, including analysis of energy yield, efficiency, and 
     greenhouse gas reduction;
       (3) establish a sweet sorghum production system optimized 
     for the region of the university conducting the research;
       (4) improve sweet sorghum lines with higher sugar 
     production and performance with minimal agricultural inputs;
       (5) optimize sugar fermentation using selected yeast 
     strains;
       (6) develop sweet sorghum lines with improved cold 
     tolerance and cellulosic degradation; and
       (7) develop agricultural models for predicting agricultural 
     performance and ethanol yield under various growing 
     conditions.
       (c) Award Criteria.--The Secretary shall award grants under 
     this section only to universities that--
       (1) have access to multiple lines of sweet sorghum for 
     research; and
       (2) are located in a State where sweet sorghum is 
     anticipated to grow well on marginal lands.
       (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated to the Secretary for carrying out this 
     section $10,000,000.


            Amendment No. 29 Offered by Mr. Hall of New York

  The text of the amendment is as follows:
       At the end of subtitle C of title II, add the following new 
     section:

     SEC. 2303. MUCK SOILS CONSERVATION.

       (a) Establishment of Program.--The Secretary of Agriculture 
     shall carry out a conservation program under which the 
     Secretary makes payments to assist owners and operators of 
     eligible land specified in subsection (b) to conserve and 
     improve the soil, water, and wildlife resources of such land.
       (b) Eligible Land.--To be eligible for inclusion in the 
     program established under this section, the land must--
       (1) be comprised of soil that qualifies as muck, as 
     determined by the Secretary;
       (2) be used for production of an agricultural crop;
       (3) have a spring cover crop planted in conjunction with 
     the primary agricultural crop referred to in paragraph (2);
       (4) have a winter crop planted; and
       (5) have ditch banks seeded with grass that is maintained 
     on a year-round basis.
       (c) Payment Amounts.--The Secretary may provide payments of 
     not less than $300, but not more than $500, per acre per year 
     under the program.
       (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program 
     $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.


         Modification to Amendment No. 20 Offered by Mr. Terry

  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will report the modification.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Modification to amendment No. 20:
       The amendment as modified is as follows:
       Page 572, line 15 strike ``transportation'' and insert 
     ``transportation or heating''.
       At the end of title IX, add the following new section:

     SEC. __. SUPPLEMENTING CORN AS AN ETHANOL FEEDSTOCK.

       (a) Research and Development Program.--The Secretary of 
     Agriculture shall establish a program to make grants of not 
     to exceed $1,000,000 each to no more than 20 universities for 
     a 3-year program of demonstration of supplementing corn as an 
     ethanol feedstock with sweet sorghum and switchgrass.
       (b) Program Goals.--The goals of the program under this 
     section shall be to--
       (1) enhance agronomic efficiency of the crop on marginal 
     lands by--
       (A) developing best management practices for maintaining 
     high yields while using less water and nitrogen than corn;
       (B) identifying and selecting plants with a high sugar 
     content; and
       (C) developing cold-tolerant sweet sorghum varieties to 
     enable two crops to be grown per season;
       (2) enhance ethanol processing potential in the crop by--
       (A) developing a robust technology for centralized ethanol 
     production facilities that pair high-performing sweet sorghum 
     lines with different yeasts to produce the best process for 
     converting sweet sorghum juice into ethanol;
       (B) conducting process and chemical analyses of sweet 
     sorghum sap fermentation;
       (C) introducing cellulosic hydrolyzing enzymes into sweet 
     sorghum to promote biomass conversion; and
       (D) performing life-cycle analysis of sweet sorghum 
     ethanol, including analysis of energy yield, efficiency, and 
     greenhouse gas reduction;
       (3) establish a production system optimized for the region 
     of the university conducting the research;
       (4) improve sweet sorghum lines with higher sugar 
     production and performance with minimal agricultural inputs;
       (5) optimize sugar fermentation using selected yeast 
     strains;
       (6) develop sweet sorghum lines with improved cold 
     tolerance and cellulosic degradation; and
       (7) develop agricultural models for predicting agricultural 
     performance and ethanol yield under various growing 
     conditions.
       (c) Award Criteria.--The Secretary shall award grants under 
     this section only to universities that--
       (1) have access to multiple lines of sweet sorghum for 
     research; and
       (2) are located in a State where sweet sorghum is 
     anticipated to grow well on marginal lands.
       (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
     to be appropriated to the Secretary for carrying out this 
     section $20,000,000.

  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask 
unanimous consent to dispense with the reading of the modifications.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Minnesota?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. Pursuant to House Resolution 574, the gentleman 
from Minnesota (Mr. Peterson) and the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. 
Goodlatte) each will control 10 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Minnesota.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, this amendment includes an 
amendment by Mr. Terry, which has a demonstration project on sweet 
sorghum, which we think has a lot of potential for ethanol feedstock, 
as well as switch grass that was brought to us by Mr. Davis.
  It also encourages environmentally responsible practices for actively 
farmed muck soil land in New York, which is some of our greatest 
farmland.
  So I encourage support of the amendment.
  At this time I'm very much honored to recognize the Speaker of the 
House for 1 minute. And I want to recognize her for her outstanding 
leadership helping this committee get to where it's at with this farm 
bill.

[[Page H8764]]

  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman, the distinguished 
chairman of the Agriculture Committee for yielding, and I want to 
congratulate him for this achievement for bringing this important bill 
to the floor.
  I rise to tell you why I am supporting this legislation. Before I do 
though, I want to commend the exceptional leadership of our colleague, 
Ron Kind, for his work over the years in helping to move us to a place 
where this farm bill, called the Farm, Nutrition and Bioenergy bill, 
looks quite different than the bill would have looked without his 
persistent and brilliant advocacy for conservation issues that are 
included in the bill. I think that he has moved this Congress and this 
legislation to a very important place that signals change and shows a 
new direction in our farm policy.

                              {time}  1100

  I support the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act because it begins to 
reform farm policy while investing in energy independence, supporting 
conservation, strengthening nutrition assistance, and recognizing the 
importance of specialty crops. That means fruits and vegetables. It 
recognizes the vital role of our farmers and ranchers in providing 
food, fiber, and fuel for America and the world.
  It was a big effort to bring this legislation to the floor. I 
acknowledge the achievements and the great work of the distinguished 
chairman. I want to acknowledge Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, the 
Chair of the Rules Committee, who had to be available very late and 
very early in the morning to make this discussion possible. I want to 
commend Chairman Rangel of the Ways and Means Committee and Congressman 
Lloyd Doggett for their leadership in helping to pay for this bill 
because this bill has all along, in all of its formation, been intended 
to be a bipartisan bill, which we had hoped it would be, a bill that 
met the needs of the American people and that is paid for. And paid for 
it is, indeed.
  I strongly support the efforts Chairman Peterson has made in this 
bill to ensure that America's family farmers fuel America's energy 
independence. Because of this legislation we will be sending America's 
energy dollars to the Midwest, not to the Middle East.
  The 2007 Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act makes an historic $2.4 
billion investment in renewable energy, including biofuels and wind 
power. It boosts renewable energy investments by 600 percent and 
provides loan guarantees for the development of refineries that process 
renewable fuels. These efforts will ensure that, again, we send our 
energy dollars to the Midwest and across America, not to the Middle 
East and across the sea.
  Energy independence is a national security issue, it is an 
environmental issue, it is an economic issue for our Nation and 
America's families. Thanks to this bill, it will also be an economic 
opportunity for America's farmers. It will create a rural renaissance 
that will reenergize farm country and create new businesses and good-
paying jobs in rural America.
  I have seen that firsthand. It has already begun. It is an important 
initiative that is supported and endorsed in this legislation.
  So, reason number one, why I am supporting this bill, is energy 
independence. Not in order of priority but in order of mention.
  Next, conservation: the farm bill recognizes that those who work the 
land, America's farmers and ranchers, are also stewards of the land.
  In the area of conservation, the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy bill 
improves access to, and funding for, initiatives to take 
environmentally sensitive land out of production. It encourages 
environmentally friendly practices on working lands. And it will invest 
$4.3 billion in new mandatory spending to preserve farm and ranchland, 
improve water quality, enhance soil conservation, air quality, and 
wildlife habitats on working lands.
  Again I commend Congressman Ron Kind for his exceptional work on the 
conservation issue over time.
  The issue of nutrition, of course, is fundamental to all of the 
people of our country. And as a mother, I take special interest in the 
nutrition aspects of this bill. I want to commend the committee, 
Democrats and Republicans, our chairman; and Congresswoman Rosa 
DeLauro, the chairman of the Ag Subcommittee of Appropriations, who 
worked very hard to get the most money, made mandatory, and paid for in 
this legislation.
  In the effort of feeding the people, and many of them in need, the 
Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy bill invests over $11 billion over 10 
years in nutrition initiatives to help low-income families. For the 
first time in 30 years, thank you, Mr. Peterson, for the first time in 
30 years, the bill increases the minimum food stamp benefit and 
increases and indexes to inflation the standard deduction, ensuring 
that rising food costs do not erode a family's purchasing power. It 
also eliminates the cap on child care costs to help the working poor, 
because in order to get the food stamps, you could only spend so much 
money on child care. What a self-defeating policy. This bill corrects 
that. The food stamp provisions in this bill will prevent benefit cuts 
for more than 13 million working Americans over the next 5 years.
  That is why the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Catholic 
Charities USA, America's Second Harvest, and the Food Research and 
Action Center all support the nutrition funding contained in this bill.
  In addition to recognizing Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro's exceptional work 
in this area, I want to recognize Congressman Jim McGovern for his work 
in ensuring that the McGovern-Dole legislation, no relation, just a 
coincidence, Jim McGovern is not the McGovern in the McGovern-Dole. 
That would be George McGovern and Senator Dole, former Republican 
leader of the Senate Dole. Their initiative for the international food 
programs, which help American farmers and farmers in other parts of the 
world, is a very important way for America to protect our friendship 
and our values to the rest of the world. In this legislation, the 
McGovern-Dole initiative is mandatory, and it is funded to $890 
million, a big increase, and paid for.
  As a Californian, I take special interest also that the bill makes a 
historic investment in specialty crops, providing $1.7 billion in new 
mandatory spending. This investment was made possible by the leadership 
of Congressman Dennis Cardoza. And many provisions in his bill, the EAT 
Healthy America Act, which is a very important bill for us, EAT Healthy 
America Act, were incorporated in this bill that is before us today.
  This legislation supports specialty crops, that is, fruits and 
vegetables, by increasing market access, encouraging and facilitating 
consumption of nutritious agricultural products, funding research 
initiatives and increasing opportunities for family farmers in 
conservation initiatives.
  Specifically, just so you know what falls under this, the bill 
invests $365 million for Specialty Crop Block Grants; $350 million to 
expand the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable School Snack Program to all 50 
States, and I repeat that, $350 million to expand the Fresh Fruit and 
Vegetable School Snack Program to all 50 States; $215 million to create 
a new dedicated research initiative for specialty crops; $200 million 
to create a new initiative for early detection, prevention, and 
eradication of emerging pests and disease; $55 million for organic 
agriculture.
  What is important about all of this is many of these resources will 
be invested in the Northeast, in the Middle Atlantic States, in the 
Northwest and California, where agriculture is a very important part of 
the economy but where not very much attention had been paid in the past 
in the farm bills. This is a big change and signals a new direction in 
this farm bill.
  Specialty crop producers, our fruit and vegetable growers, account 
for nearly half of all cash crop receipts in America and are a part of 
the farm economy in all 50 States, as I mentioned, especially 
important, California, the Northeast, Northwest, and Florida.
  I mentioned that I was a Californian. I was also born in Maryland; so 
I know the importance of the Chesapeake Bay, and I salute the chairman 
for the initiative in here in support of the Chesapeake Bay. I see my 
colleague Majority Leader Hoyer nodding his head in agreement. But I 
want to acknowledge Chairman Chris Van Hollen, for whom this has been a 
priority since he came

[[Page H8765]]

to Congress, and now he has been joined by John Sarbanes in support of 
this. And I know it has bipartisan support because Congressman 
Gilchrest supports these initiatives as well.
  From Monterey Bay across the country to the Chesapeake Bay, this bill 
represents a new direction. Let me just say that is why this bill is 
supported by the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, a national 
coalition of more than 120 specialty crop organizations.
  Before I leave that point, I want to talk about food safety. One of 
the reasons that many of us are in politics, and I know many moms come 
to politics, is for our having a safer, clean environment for our 
children. Clean air, clean water, food safety, these are things we 
can't do for them, but we depend on public policy to do; and the 
initiatives in this legislation for food safety are important. They 
will be greatly enhanced by the legislation put forth next week by the 
Appropriations subcommittee Chair, Congresswoman DeLauro, in her 
appropriations bill. But the bills are very compatible in that respect.
  The farm bill also includes key provisions that invest in rural 
communities, including economic development initiatives and access to 
broadband telecommunications services to bridge the digital divide in 
rural, underserved areas. It also addresses health care, emergency, and 
first responder needs of rural areas, as well as creating new markets 
and rebuilding rural infrastructure.
  And it pays special attention to the area of minority outreach and 
socially disadvantaged farmers by including an additional $150 million, 
all paid for, to provide greater outreach, coordination, and technical 
assistance.
  Finally, this bill takes a critical step toward reform by eliminating 
farm payments to millionaires and closing loopholes that for decades 
have allowed some to evade the payment limits. More needs to be done, 
but we have gone in the right direction for change and for reform.
  As I said before, this legislation is paid for. And that is a very, 
very important part of this. It is part of our PAYGO, no-new-deficit 
spending. It was a challenge. It has been met. And it has been met in a 
way that meets our values.
  The Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act will ensure that future farm 
bills will never look the same as those of the past. I see one of the 
co-Chairs of our Rural Working Group here, very important, who is 
putting forth the initiative on energy independence for rural America, 
Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. I thank you for your 
leadership in that regard. And thanks as well to the efforts of 
Chairman Peterson and many others who have made an historic investment 
in energy independence and nutrition assistance. This bill's effects 
will also be felt far from farm country.
  As George Washington said: ``I know of no pursuit in which more real 
and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving 
its agriculture . . . '' That is as true now and it was then. President 
Washington understood, as this bill's authors understand, that 
encouraging and investing in American agriculture pays dividends to the 
entire Nation. In this legislation we will strengthen America's 
agriculture, but we also will do much more. We will help reignite rural 
America's economic engine and create good-paying jobs and create good 
businesses here at home. We will fuel a Nation's energy needs through 
clean, American-made renewable energy. We will be better stewards of 
the land and protect our environment. And, by the way, we hope to do 
much more in that regard when we go to conference. And we will be a 
more caring Nation by better meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.
  Those great goals can be achieved with the help of this legislation 
and with the strong bipartisan support of the House today.
  I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell you why I am supporting 
the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act. And, once again, I salute the 
distinguished chairman for this achievement.

                              {time}  1115

  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 minutes.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the Speaker for coming down to 
the floor and discussing the bipartisan nature of the farm bill that 
was produced by the House Committee on Agriculture. It was, indeed, a 
bipartisan product. There are things in the bill that I don't like, 
things in the bill that I do like, things in the bill the chairman does 
not like, things in the bill that he does like. But it was a bipartisan 
product. But it was written under very difficult circumstances, which 
we identified at the outset, because of the fact that there is a $60 
billion cut in the baseline for the commodity program, a 58 percent 
cut. That meant we needed to have money to accomplish the goals that 
the Speaker outlined for reform, some of which I share with the Speaker 
for increased payments for conservation, for nutrition, for fruits and 
vegetables, for renewable energy. So we went to the Budget Committee in 
a bipartisan fashion and pointed out that you couldn't have a $60 
billion cut, achieve these new reforms, which all entail new spending, 
without having the ability to also have some additional resources. 
Well, the Budget Committee ignored that request and instead gave us a 
reserved fund. And their budget is papered over with reserve funds; no 
money in them, no way for the Agriculture Committee to find new funds 
without going outside of the committee.
  We were assured inside the committee repeatedly that there would not 
be a tax increase. But nonetheless, in the closing hours of this 
debate, a tax increase, indeed, was what was put forth outside of this 
committee, without hearings in the Ways and Means Committee, without a 
markup in the Ways and Means Committee, without any input from this 
side of the aisle. And that is what caused the loss of the 
bipartisanship coming to the floor, because this is precedent setting. 
This is the first of many of these reserve funds that we're going to 
have to deal with, and it is readily apparent what the purpose is: to 
raise taxes in order to accomplish something that should have been paid 
for in a budget that had funds available, 9 percent increase in 
appropriations. It should have been made available to us so we could 
write a bipartisan farm bill all the way through this House going to 
the floor.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ETHERIDGE. Mr. Chairman, I recognize the gentleman from Maryland 
(Mr. Hoyer) for 1 minute.
  Mr. HOYER. I thank my distinguished friend, Mr. Etheridge, chairman 
of one of our subcommittees on the Ag Committee.
  I rise to congratulate Mr. Peterson; indeed, I rise to congratulate 
Mr. Goodlatte as well, who did work together. In fact, as late as 
Monday, we were together coming back from New York and talked about 
this bill. He indicated he thought it was a good bill. He did express 
then, quite honestly, he wanted to look at the pay-fors. That was 
obviously fair. He has decided that because of them, he cannot support 
the bill. I regret that.
  I want to thank the chairman of the committee, Congressman Peterson 
of Minnesota, for his hard work on this important legislation and his 
efforts in crafting a bipartisan reform bill. I think he has a 
bipartisan reform bill. I understand the pay-fors may preclude some, 
hopefully not all, from voting for this.
  I would say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you were 
very good at spending money and not very good at paying for things. You 
are consistent to that extent today. You went from a $5.6 trillion 
surplus to a $3 trillion deficit because we did not pay for what we 
bought. This bill does that.
  It is a testament to the hard work of Mr. Peterson and others on the 
committee that this farm bill reauthorization passed out of the 
Agriculture Committee on a voice vote, that is, with unanimous 
bipartisan support.
  I also appreciate the work of the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Kind) 
who cares deeply and thoughtfully about agriculture and our rural 
communities. His effort, with respect to this bill, was a very positive 
one. He has made important contributions on this issue, and I 
congratulate Mr. Kind, one of the finest Members of this body.
  I believe that this farm bill deserves to pass today with strong 
bipartisan support. And I note that the ranking member of the 
committee, as I have said, even expressed on the House floor

[[Page H8766]]

yesterday, Mr. Goodlatte said he would support this bill were it not 
for the inclusion of a pay-for.
  About that provision, let us be clear. At literally the 11th hour, as 
this farm bill was about to be considered on this floor, the White 
House issued a veto threat and amazingly complained that we are 
actually trying to pay for this legislation, in part, by closing a 
corporate tax loophole. Now, when you close a loophole, does it mean 
that somebody is paying taxes that they otherwise would not pay? That's 
the definition of a loophole. Not just any corporate tax loophole, mind 
you, but a corporate tax loophole that the Bush administration itself 
recommended closing in 2002 and which Bill Thomas, the Republican 
chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, agreed with.
  Let me quote Ken Dam, then-Deputy Treasury Secretary, and I quote, 
``Opportunities for earning stripping through artificial deductions and 
income shifting may exploit the network of tax treaties the United 
States maintains around the world.'' That's what we're dealing with. 
That's what Assistant Secretary Dam was talking about.
  In 2002, the Treasury Department concluded, 2002, Republican Treasury 
Department concluded, ``The prevalent use of foreign related-party debt 
in inversion transactions is evidence that these rules should be 
revisited.'' That is what we're doing.
  So we're asking those who make good money in America to pay their 
fair share of the taxes in America. I believe the overwhelming majority 
of Americans agree with that proposition. Yes, Democrats would make it 
harder for overseas companies to use tax havens to avoid taxes on U.S. 
profits from hardworking Americans who buy their products and expect 
them to pay a fair share, a position formerly held, as I said, by the 
Bush administration, and even Bill Thomas.
  The provision is not only good tax policy, but also a clear 
manifestation of this new Democratic majority's commitment to abide by 
the new pay-as-you-go budget rules that will help us restore fiscal 
discipline.
  Those rules were adopted in a bipartisan fashion in 1990, reiterated 
in 1997 in an agreement which I voted for, President Clinton supported, 
and it was not until 2002 that those were abandoned by the Republicans 
because you could not pay for your tax cuts. That's why you abandoned 
PAYGO. And that's why the $3 trillion debt occurred from a $5.6 
trillion surplus.
  Now, as to the substance of this farm bill, Chairman Peterson has 
written a bill that focuses on getting vital benefits to family 
farmers, investing in America's producer, stimulating rural economies, 
and securing renewable energy sources.
  I, too, want to join in congratulating Stephanie Herseth Sandlin on 
the role that she has played in terms of the rural focus of this bill.
  This bill imposes real payment limitations that will begin to reduce 
subsidies, moving in a new and right direction. It makes historic 
investments in programs to support food and vegetable producers, an 
important element for not only California and the northeast, the middle 
Atlantic, but other areas as well.
  It improves funding and access to conservation programs. It imposes 
payment limits that prevent millionaires from receiving farm subsidy 
benefits and makes payments transparent. Could we go lower? We could. 
Should we in the future? Yes. But we have made, in my opinion, a very 
significant start.
  It invests in nutrition programs that help families in need. In the 
richest country on the face of the Earth, we ought to make sure that no 
child in America goes to sleep at night or wakes up in the morning 
hungry. We're trying to move towards that. I see the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Baca) who has been very involved in these programs as 
well.
  And it encourages the expansion of renewable fuel production, 
providing loan guarantees for the development of refineries that 
produce renewable fuels. Energy independence is a critical objective, 
and this bill moves us towards that objective.
  Mr. Chairman, I am particularly pleased that this legislation 
includes more than $175 million in direct assistance to help our 
farmers in their ongoing efforts to be good stewards of the Chesapeake 
Bay. We have made some strides to restore this magnificent estuary, but 
much more work needs to be done.
  I want to thank my friend Tim Holden from Pennsylvania and Nona 
Darrell, his chief staffer, who helped work on this effort.
  To move us forward in this regard, the bill will implement an 
innovative strategy targeting individual river watersheds, including 
the Patuxent and the Potomac, to help our producers prevent shoreline 
erosion, control sediments, reduce nitrogen loads, and establish a 
long-term monitoring program.
  Again, my colleagues, I want to congratulate Chairman Peterson on 
this bill. I also want to congratulate Mr. Goodlatte. I wish he was 
supporting this bill at this point in time, but I know that he worked 
to get much of the bill, which but for the pay-fors it's my 
understanding he would support. But the pay-fors are critical if 
America is going to pay its bills and not simply pass them along to 
future generations, whether they be farm children, suburban children, 
or rural children.
  This bill is a responsible, important step forward in farm policy and 
energy policy and nutritional policy and in conservation policy. I 
congratulate the members of the committee on their product, and I urge 
my colleagues to enthusiastically support this product.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 30 seconds to say to the 
distinguished majority leader that I join him in the support of this 
bill for the efforts to help preserve and protect the Chesapeake Bay, 
but also to correct the assertion that I object to the pay-fors. I 
objected all along to a tax increase all through the process. And I 
went with the chairman to the Budget Committee at the outset and asked 
for a fair portion of the current Federal budget for agriculture, and 
that is what we expected to come forward from the budget. We didn't 
receive it. So that's what we expected the leadership to provide later 
on. It was not provided. Instead, we're asked to pay a tax increase on 
American businesses, and that is wrong.
  Mr. Chairman, at this time, it is my pleasure to recognize the 
distinguished Republican whip, the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Blunt) 
for 3 minutes.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for the time this 
morning. I also want to join my good friend, the majority leader, and 
say how much I appreciate the work that's been done by Chairman 
Peterson, by Mr. Goodlatte, by the members on the committee in a bill 
that I had every intention of voting for as it went through the 
committee. I didn't like everything in it, but I did like some things 
in it a lot. There are some problems solved in this bill.
  The big problem is created in the bill in a way that I wouldn't 
suggest intentionally, but certainly has the effect of taking a bill 
that would have had a huge bipartisan vote, giving this bill great 
momentum in the Senate, and I think needlessly minimized the House 
support for this bill.
  Following up on Mr. Goodlatte's comments that he just made, if the 
budget allocation could have been done in a way that the appropriations 
bill we voted on yesterday, it would have had a 5 percent increase 
instead of a 6\1/2\ percent increase, we wouldn't be having this debate 
today. In fact, I would be here today with enthusiasm about the bill, 
though again, I would say that I don't like everything in it, but I 
like some things in it a lot.
  What happened was this bill deserved to have a chance in the 
committees to find the right kind of pay-fors. In the committee hearing 
itself, and I am quoting my friend, Chairman Peterson, exactly when he 
was asked about whether there would be a tax increase, he said, ``We 
think it will be something to do with collection of existing taxes, 
which has nothing to do with tax increases.'' Quoting the chairman 
further, ``So far as I know, there is no effort to use a tax increase 
that I am aware of at this point. But given all of that, we do not have 
jurisdiction. If we had jurisdiction to raise taxes, we wouldn't be 
going through some of these machinations we are going through.'' And 
that ends the Chairman's quote.
  This bill should have been in a committee to look at this pay-for. 
The Ways and Means Committee didn't meet. The Rules Committee didn't

[[Page H8767]]

have the language for the pay-for when they did their markup earlier 
this week, according to Louise Slaughter, the chairman of the Rules 
Committee.
  We've done things here that don't just affect people who are trying 
to avoid taxes. What this pay-for does is abrogates our tax treaties 
with countries where we do business, and people who do business here. 
5.1 million manufacturing jobs and millions of other nonmanufacturing 
jobs affected by this, mistrust in whether you can invest money in this 
country in the future if you're a foreign investor. Some of our Members 
can make a passionate case about many jobs that have been saved in 
their districts because a foreign country, a foreign investor who just 
happened to make particular sense in what they did, came in and saved 
those jobs.
  I think it's a shame that we've had to have this debate. I urge that 
all Members vote against the bill.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I would like to yield myself 
30 seconds.
  The quote that my good friend read is an accurate quote; at the time, 
that's what I thought. But I just want to make clear that in my opinion 
what we're doing here is not a tax increase. And frankly, what we ought 
to be doing is investigating why we have all these people on the 
payroll at the State Department and at the Treasury going out and 
negotiating deals so we can have foreign corporations come to the 
United States and avoid paying taxes. And all we're doing is trying to 
stop that. So I don't see this as a tax increase.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to my friend from Maine (Mr. Allen).

                              {time}  1130

  Mr. ALLEN. I thank Chairman Peterson for yielding for the purpose of 
a colloquy.
  I want to congratulate him in the passage of this farm bill. I want 
to commend him for significant funding increases, in particular for the 
Senior Farmers' Market and Nutrition program, a program that provides 
fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income seniors through farmers 
markets, roadside stands and community-supported agriculture. When it 
is working properly, this program provides health benefits to seniors 
and new business opportunities to farmers.
  I had submitted an amendment that was not made in order. My amendment 
would have made it easier for States to incorporate community-supported 
agricultural distribution programs into their Senior Farmers' Market 
Nutrition programs. In particular, my amendment would have given States 
the flexibility to set the maximum benefit level per senior in a way 
best suited to the needs of farmers and seniors in each State.
  Our experience in Maine has been that community-supported agriculture 
works extremely well for farmers and is an excellent way to reach 
seniors who do not live close enough to a farmers market or who are not 
mobile enough to get up and go shopping. Indeed, Maine's community-
supported agriculture program has drawn national acclaim since it was 
instituted.
  Mr. Chairman, I would simply ask Chairman Peterson if he is willing 
to work with me to incorporate these beneficial reforms into the 2007 
farm bill.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the uniqueness 
of Maine and the gentleman's interest in tailoring this program to the 
needs of his State. I assure him I will work with him to try to find an 
acceptable solution to this problem, and I look forward to that.
  Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Van Hollen), who has worked with us very diligently to 
craft a solution or start a solution for the Chesapeake Bay problem. I 
appreciate his leadership.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Chairman, I want to commend Speaker Pelosi and 
Chairman Peterson and all the members of the Agriculture Committee for 
the work they have done in crafting this very important bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I think we all understand that no bill that comes 
before this House is perfect. But this bill represents a very careful 
balancing of important national priorities: protecting the family 
farmer, strengthening the nutrition program. And I want to thank 
subcommittee chairman Joe Baca for those efforts, land conservation, 
environmental protection and renewable energy sources, and all done in 
a fiscally responsible manner.
  I am especially grateful and thankful for the efforts of Chairman 
Peterson and subcommittee Chairman Holden for their efforts to protect 
the Nation's largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay.
  The Chesapeake Bay comprises six States and the District of Columbia 
as part of its watershed. The scientists have told us that the health 
of the Chesapeake Bay is in grave danger unless we take action now. 
Almost 50 percent of the excessive nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake 
Bay comes from the runoff from farm operations. Our farmers want to be 
part of the solution to this problem.
  This bill provides farmers on the more than 66,000 farms in the 
Chesapeake Bay watershed with the tools they need to help protect the 
Chesapeake Bay. It represents a historic leap in Federal support for 
our efforts to protect this national natural treasure, the Chesapeake 
Bay.
  Mr. Chairman, I want to thank again the members of the committee for 
taking this landmark step with respect to Chesapeake Bay protection. It 
is a national treasure. It is a bay, of course, in the backyard of our 
Nation's Capital. We need to lead by example. I thank the chairman, and 
I thank the committee.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge adoption of this bill.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the House 
Republican Conference chairman, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Putnam).
  Mr. PUTNAM. I thank my ranking member for the time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today to lament a real missed opportunity here. 
I listened carefully to the Speaker's remarks and agreed with almost 
everything she said about this bill. I have enjoyed the leadership of 
our ranking member, Mr. Goodlatte, Mr. Cardoza on the other side of the 
aisle, and others from States that have a high production level of 
fruits and vegetables.
  This bill, on a bipartisan basis, recognizes that need, makes 
investments that are necessary in research, and on a bipartisan, in 
fact, on a unanimous basis came out of committee that way. But a funny 
thing happened on the way to House floor, which was that at the last 
minute, and not from any committee process that has jurisdiction over 
tax law, $10 billion in tax increases were added.
  So we are asked to take a bipartisan product that represents an 
important step forward in many ways for American agriculture and pay 
$10 billion in ransom. The tragedy of that long-term for American 
agriculture is that it is pitting 1.5 percent of the population that 
affords our Nation the safest, cheapest, most abundant food in the 
world, it is pitting those jobs against American manufacturing jobs. 
Long-term, the 1.5 percent of the population that represents farm 
country will lose that arithmetic.
  This is an unprecedented move to use a farm bill as a vehicle to 
increase taxes. The taxes that will be due tomorrow that were not due 
yesterday are coming out of, in many cases, manufacturers who purchase 
the products that American farmers and livestock producers grow. It is 
a tax, in many cases, on the farm equipment manufacturers and the 
agricultural suppliers.
  Are we so lost in the weeds of this that we don't realize that 
American farmers are part of a global economy, that they are part of an 
international, integrated, highly vertical organization that involves 
international companies like Nestle, like Cadbury, like Food Lion that 
buy what it is that we grow? Do we think that we are insulated from the 
impacts of additional taxes on our customers, our suppliers, our 
equipment manufacturers, that we can sustain that blow? That is the 
policy problem with this conundrum that we have been handed.
  But the long-term political problem is the notion of pitting 
manufacturing jobs in America against agricultural jobs in America. 
That is not sustainable for American agriculture. That is not good 
public policy for the American consumer.
  So we have taken a bill that would have sailed out of the House of 
Representatives with an overwhelming bipartisan margin and given great 
momentum to the lethargic Senate that

[[Page H8768]]

has failed to even have a hearing on the farm bill, we could have put 
the House on the farm bill, and now it is veto bait. That is the 
tragedy.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I am now pleased to yield 1 
minute to the gentlewoman from South Dakota (Ms. Herseth Sandlin), 
another one of our outstanding members of the Agriculture Committee.
  Ms. HERSETH SANDLIN. I thank the distinguished chairman for yielding 
for the purpose of a colloquy.
  Chairman Peterson, as you know, I have introduced legislation with 
the support of over 50 colleagues to fund the reduced-price school meal 
pilot, authorized in the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization 
Act through the efforts of the Education and Labor Committee.
  My legislation also enjoys support from a broad range of 
organizations that feel, like I do, that many low-income children 
across the country aren't participating in the school nutrition 
programs because they cannot afford the reduced fee. My legislation 
would provide the resources needed to test the effectiveness of 
harmonizing the WIC income guidelines, which are 185 percent of poverty 
guidelines, with the free school lunch guidelines, thereby eliminating 
the reduced-price meal category and expanding eligibility for free 
school meals.
  While this proposal wasn't included in the committee bill due to its 
cost and committee jurisdictional concerns, I would welcome the 
opportunity to keep working with you and see how we might accomplish 
the objective of the legislation.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. I thank the gentlewoman, and I want to 
commend her for her leadership on this issue. It is something I am 
concerned about. So I agree to work with the gentlewoman to accomplish 
the objectives of this legislation.
  Ms. HERSETH SANDLIN. I thank the gentleman very much for his 
commitment and support for this initiative. It will obviously be very 
helpful going forward.
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Terry).
  Mr. TERRY. I thank the gentleman.
  Mr. Chairman, I am actually going to speak on the amendment that was 
offered almost 10 minutes ago. I just want to express my appreciation 
to you, Chairman Peterson, for agreeing to this and working with us to 
make a good amendment even better by including switch grass and 
expanding it.
  Certainly there is no doubt that ethanol is going to be a key 
ingredient in our recipe for energy independence. We have to do more 
research and development into cellulosic ethanol, of which sweet 
sorghum, which is pictured here in this graph, and switch grass, are 
going to be a key component. We can't do it all with ethanol from corn, 
so we need other products to develop the cellulosic, to add on top of 
that to be able to become less dependent on foreign oil. So we need to 
do the research.
  This offers grants to universities that will compete. They have to 
show that they are competitive in this type of research to earn a $1 
million grant to do this.
  Our energy needs require us to speed up this process. Ethanol made 
from cellulosic materials, like sweet sorghum or switch grass, has nine 
times the amount of energy as regular ethanol. So that is another 
reason why we have to add this.
  I want to compliment the ranking member and the chairman in putting 
together really a pretty good bill. Forty-eight hours ago I was telling 
all of our farm groups that I was very proud to support this type of 
legislation, especially because of the bioenergy issues in here. But, 
unfortunately, those of us that have said we will vote against tax 
increases have been put in a very tough position.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I am now pleased to yield 1 
minute to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez), the esteemed 
Chair of the House Small Business Committee.
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, Chairman Peterson and I agreed that I 
would not offer an amendment based on our mutual support for the 
amendment's purpose. I want to thank Chairman Peterson for his 
leadership on H.R. 2419, and I would like to enter into a short 
colloquy with Chairman Peterson.
  This farm bill is critical for our economy, good nutrition, our small 
businesses, and it does a lot for underserved populations too. Low-
income and minority communities suffer disproportionately from the lack 
of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  In many neighborhoods of New York and across the country where 
farmers markets are scarce, corner stores are the only place residents 
shop for their weekly groceries. Unfortunately, due to the limitation 
of space and many obstacles, many of these stores cannot offer fresh 
produce and other healthy foods.
  Farmers markets and other non-conventional fruit retail sites are 
essential and play a large role in bringing our communities nutritious 
food. But without simple and critical technologies, farmers markets are 
unable to serve low-income consumers. That is why I strongly support 
expanding wireless electronic benefit transfers. These EBT debit 
machines allow food stamp consumers to use their resources for fresher, 
healthier foods. Wireless EBTs are especially crucial for low-income 
consumers to use.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I recognize the 
gentlewoman's leadership. I think we can solve this problem with a 
letter to USDA. So if the gentlewoman will work with me, we will do 
that. I think we can get this resolved. I support you on this.
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman for doing that. 
That is important not only to provide fresh fruit and produce, but also 
to fight obesity and other diseases in our country.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to yield 1 
minute to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Cummings).

                              {time}  1145

  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Chairman I rise to enter into a short colloquy with 
the chairman. First of all, I thank the chairman for producing a 
balanced and outstanding bill.
  I come to raise an issue of concern to me regarding the food stamp 
eligibility for people who seek assistance for drug and alcohol abuse. 
This is why I offered an amendment to H.R. 2419, to ensure equal access 
to this vital benefit program regardless of whether one participates in 
an institutional drug rehabilitation program or supportive housing.
  Mr. Chairman, the Food Stamp Program was designed to allow those who 
participate in private and public drug and alcohol treatment programs 
and individuals who live in supportive housing to receive food stamp 
benefits. However, the current language in the law that provides this 
benefit has been misinterpreted by various State officials. This 
ambiguity has made it difficult for individuals in supportive housing 
and rehabilitation programs to access food stamp benefits for which 
they are eligible.
  I would ask the chairman if you would work with me in conference to 
see if we can address this inequity.
  I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. I appreciate the gentleman's leadership on 
this issue. We will work with you to help clarify the way States 
interpret food stamp eligibility guidelines and hope for a positive 
solution.
  Mr. CUMMINGS. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  The Acting CHAIRMAN. The question is on the en bloc amendment offered 
by the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Peterson).
  The en bloc amendment was agreed to.
  Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do 
now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Serrano) having assumed the chair, Mr. Berry, Acting Chairman of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2419) to 
provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal 
year 2012, and for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.




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