Amendment Text: H.Amdt.454 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (06/15/2011)

This Amendment appears on page H4246 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H4239-H4274]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND 
               RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 300 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. 2112.

                              {time}  2006


                     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. 2112) making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural 
Development, Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies 
programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other 
purposes, with Mr. Reed (Acting Chair) in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The Acting CHAIR. When the Committee of the Whole rose earlier today, 
the bill had been read through page 80, line 2.

[[Page H4240]]

                   Amendment Offered by Mr. Kingston

  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  Each amount made available by titles I through VI 
     (other than an amount required to be made available by a 
     provision of law) is hereby reduced by 0.78 percent.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, this amendment reduces certain accounts 
in the bill specified in the amendment by 0.78 percent, and it fulfills 
a commitment which the minority and the majority had discussed earlier 
regarding WIC funding.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARR. We accept the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Kingston).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment Offered by Mr. Young of Alaska

  Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act to 
     the Food and Drug Administration may be used to approve any 
     application submitted under section 512 of the Federal Food, 
     Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360b) for approval of 
     genetically engineered salmon.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. Mr. Chairman, my interest in here is because I 
am from Alaska, and we have the finest wild salmon in the world. And we 
have people that are trying to--and especially under NOAA and FDA--
trying to approve the fact that they have genetically engineered a 
salmon. That's not natural.

                              {time}  2010

  And our goal is, we have a supply of natural wild salmon for the 
State of Alaska and for this Nation, because I think that's crucially 
important, especially in this day when we have all those that accuse us 
of having artificial things, you know, pesticides, et cetera.
  This is a good amendment. It's an amendment supported by both sides 
of the aisle. It's not just Alaska. This is also for California, 
Oregon, and the rest of it. But mostly, I am the Congressman from 
Alaska. I think it's crucially important we understand that this should 
not be allowed, for the FDA to say, okay, a genetically raised salmon--
I call it a Frankenstein fish--should never be allowed in our markets.
  I have a group of individual Alaskans who not only make their living, 
but they are proud of their product. To have this occur and be promoted 
by the Federal Government is wrong.
  So I'm trying to save money. But I'm also saying genetically we 
should never allow it to happen in the fishing industry.
  I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. Farr).
  Mr. FARR. It's my pleasure to join you in this amendment. I actually 
have the best salmon caught in the lower 48 in Monterey Bay. A history 
of fishing in Monterey, used to be the sardine capital of the world. 
We're very sensitive to the fact that people are trying to mess around 
with the natural process and the Food and Drug Administration is set to 
approve genetically engineered salmon through a process the FDA uses to 
approve new drugs for animals. There's something wrong with the fact 
that in the approval process our food is now treated the same as animal 
drugs.
  If approved, genetically engineered salmon would be the first 
genetically modified animal allowed onto the American dinner plate. 
Approval of genetically engineered salmon poses serious threats to 
human health, our fishing communities, and our wildlife stock fish.
  They have no long-term studies on the safety of genetically 
engineered fish. There could be grave, unintended consequences on human 
health. Preliminary studies show that the compounds in genetically 
engineered salmon may be linked to cancer and severe drug allergies.
  We've seen that the dominant method of raising salmon in other parts 
of the world is an open net, these pens in the ocean, and farmed fish 
escape these facilities every year. The impact of genetically 
engineered salmon escaping could be detrimental to wild stocks. The 
list goes on and on and on.
  Our fishing communities are already facing challenges, and 
genetically engineered salmon would have an additional effect of 
lowering wild salmon prices, as already seen with normal farmed salmon. 
Lower prices, combined with declines in wild salmon stocks, would be 
economically detrimental to our fishermen, our fishing culture, and our 
coastal communities. It is unnecessary to genetically engineer salmon.
  For these reasons, I support Mr. Young's amendment that prohibits 
funds to the FDA to approve genetically engineered salmon.
  Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I do not have the expertise that my friend from Alaska 
has on it, but I wanted to say this. Earlier, or actually during the 
markup, Mr. Rehberg offered an amendment about the FDA using sound 
science. And I do believe, in this case, the FDA is using sound science 
in a process that was approved in January 2009, and they are going 
through a process right now to make sure that this product does not 
have a problem as respects human consumption. I think that, of course, 
should be the number one issue.
  There are also some other considerations in terms of food supply, 
feeding more people, which is something that we all have debated on 
this bill. And also there is an issue with me about some jobs. So I'm 
concerned on this because it does seem like a pretty major change in my 
philosophy of sound science.
  I yield to my friend from Alaska, who I think is out of time.
  Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I thank the chairman.
  I believe whoever has given him that information is wrong. We have a 
product made in the United States naturally. Why would we want someone 
to create a Frankenstein fish to compete against a naturally created 
God-given gift, and have it promoted by supposedly science?
  There's no science in this. In fact, they were trying to do and say 
we have to feed the world with artificial means. And I'm saying, okay. 
Do it someplace. But don't you do it with my and our salmon.
  Mr. Farr, listen to me very carefully. This is a very, very important 
thing because this is the greatest thing we have going, Alaskan natural 
wild salmon being sold in the market and the benefit, what they can do 
to have it replaced by a genetic Frankenstein fish. I'm saying this is 
wrong. All due respect to the chairman.
  What science are they talking about? They have a bunch of people 
created by the government that's going to take and put in, I call it 
traps or nets, and create a fish that's fed quickly. They say it can 
grow quicker, we're home.
  Well, what people are you talking about? Mr. Dicks, you better be 
listening because you catch most of my salmon. Don't you forget it. You 
had better stand on the floor and defend this because you're in deep 
trouble if you don't. I'll tell you that right now.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman will please direct his comments to 
the Chair.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Reclaiming my time, I don't know all the ins and outs 
of this, but I do know that we're constantly getting on the FDA to use 
more sound science, less politics, and to have more transparency, and 
it appears that that's what they're doing here. And they may come out 
against genetically modified salmon, but they are just looking at it 
right now to determine.
  And with respect to the food supply, if you could safely produce 
genetically modified fish, you could feed a great portion of the world 
with it. So I have some concerns on it, but I did want to oppose the 
amendment.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong support of my colleague from 
Alaska, Mr. Young's amendment to prohibit funding for the

[[Page H4241]]

Food and Drug Administration to approve genetically engineered salmon.
  The FDA is considering an application to sell patented genetically 
engineered salmon for human consumption. This fish would be given a 
gene from an eel-like Pout fish and a growth hormone from the Pacific 
Chinook salmon, which would allow it to grow twice as fast as 
traditional Atlantic salmon.
  If the FDA approves the request, it would be the first genetically 
engineered animal approved for human consumption, and it would open the 
door for many more.
  Unfortunately, the FDA evaluation process has lacked transparency, 
failing to provide the public adequate information or sufficient time 
to provide comment or express concern. And a recent poll found that 91 
percent of Americans oppose FDA approval of genetically engineered 
animals for human consumption.
  Mr. Chair, I'm also concerned about the potential commercial impact 
of G.E. salmon. Salmon fishermen in my district and many others along 
the Pacific coast have been devastated in recent years by fishery 
closures. Last year's salmon season was limited to just 8 days because 
of the continued steep decline in the salmon population.
  Because G.E. salmon are more sexually aggressive and resistant to 
environmental toxins, their escape would pose a catastrophic threat to 
wild salmon populations.
  If just 60 of these G.E. fish find their way into a population of 
sixty thousand wild salmon, the wild species would fade into extinction 
in a matter of decades.
  While its producer claims that genetically engineered salmon would be 
sterile, FDA's own documents show that five percent of this G.E. salmon 
would, in fact, be able to reproduce.
  Each year, millions of farmed salmon escape from open-water nets, 
threatening wild fish populations. Even if a small number of fertile 
G.E. salmon spilled into nature, our wild salmon and fisherman would be 
suffering the consequences for years to come--possibly for evermore.
  I want to thank my good friend Don Young for his hard work on this 
important issue and his leadership as co-chair of the Congressional 
Caucus on Wild Salmon . . . even though he considers my salmon ``bait'' 
for his fishers.
  I look forward to continuing to work with him and other concerned 
colleagues to protect our natural fisheries and stop this 
``frankenfish.''
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment. For consumer safety, 
for the purity of our waters, and for the continued viability of our 
fishing industry . . . we must block funding for the FDA to approve 
genetically engineered salmon.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Alaska (Mr. Young).
  The amendment was agreed to.


               Amendment Offered by Ms. Pingree of Maine

  Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following new section:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used (1) to provide electronic notifications to the 
     Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives on 
     travel relating to any ``know your farmer, know your food'' 
     initiatives or (2) in contravention of the Agriculture and 
     Food Research Initiative priority research area specified in 
     subsection (b)(2)(F) of the Competitive, Special, and 
     Facilities Research Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 450i).

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Chair, this amendment would combat the 
misguided report language written to attack local and regional food 
systems. By passing this amendment, we will send an important message 
to farmers, consumers, and community leaders around the country: Local 
and regional food systems are critically important. They provide 
economic opportunities for rural communities and healthy food for 
consumers.
  Local food systems are the backbone of economies across the country. 
In order to ensure local food systems work to their maximum potential, 
Congress must support research, thriving programs, and devote more, not 
less, funding to enhance this work.
  You know, no matter what group I'm talking to, whether it's members 
of the credit unions or realtors or teachers, when I start talking 
about improving the quality of food we serve our kids, improving local 
food systems, and knowing where your food comes from, I look around the 
room and everybody is nodding. Across the board, these issues are 
important to people, and this is where there is real energy for growth 
in the economy.
  The language included in the report was designed to criticize and 
hamstring efforts that are underway at the USDA to create jobs, to 
increase farm income, and to bolster the economy through the 
development of local and regional food systems. The language targets 
local and regional food system development in two ways:
  First, it demands overly burdensome reporting requirements of the 
USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative. USDA developed this 
initiative to streamline the implementation of existing programs 
authorized by Congress in the last farm bill.

                              {time}  2020

  ``Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food'' is not a standalone program and 
does not have its own budget. Creating additional burdensome reporting 
requirements would delay program implementation and distract the USDA 
from addressing the economic challenges of rural communities.
  Second, the report language expresses concern with USDA research, 
education, and extension activities associated with local and regional 
food systems through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, 
AFRI.
  While Congress sets broad research policies for USDA, Congress does 
not usually dictate what research USDA cannot do; nor does Congress 
usually substitute its opinion of what's good science for the 
professional judgments of competitive grant peer review panels. By 
singling out a small piece of the agricultural research agenda and by 
substituting the committee's judgment for that of researchers and 
educators, the Agriculture appropriations bill report sets up a 
roadblock to innovation and diversity in American agriculture and 
growth in the rural economy.
  In response to this misguided report language, this amendment will 
prohibit the USDA from using funds to fulfill the additional and 
burdensome reporting requirements proposed for Know Your Farmer--Know 
Your Food. The amendment would also prohibit USDA from using funds to 
carry out activities contrary to the current research priorities that 
Congress established in the last farm bill.
  I know my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are going to say 
it's time to cut budgets and reduce deficits. I also believe in fiscal 
responsibility. This is not about fiscal discipline; this is about 
priorities.
  Last year, we spent a staggering $548 billion to fund the Department 
of Defense and an equally unbelievable $158 billion on continued 
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. By comparison, the entire 
Agriculture Department is funded with 20 percent of what we spend on 
defense, and the research priorities we are talking about in this 
amendment are funded with one-half of 1 percent of the total 
agriculture budget.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting farmers, in supporting 
local food production, and consumers who want to know where their food 
comes from. It's good for our local communities, our local economies, 
and it's good for our country.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I oppose this amendment, and I don't 
quite understand what the problem is with the bill language at all.
  Here's what it does: the report language, which this amendment tries 
to strike, it simply tells the Secretary of USDA to notify the 
committee of any trips related to the Know Your Farmer initiative and 
include the agenda and the cost to the American taxpayers. It doesn't 
prevent them from doing this. It simply says let us know. It also says 
put this information on the Web page. So if Know Your Farmer is that 
important, why would USDA have any opposition to this at all? In fact, 
I don't know that USDA does.
  I also want to say that, as somebody who represents rural southeast 
Georgia, there is this nostalgic idea that somehow the further food 
travels the more evil it becomes. But if you look at a plate of fresh 
vegetables that you

[[Page H4242]]

may have eaten sometime today, that food traveled a long way. In fact, 
asparagus travels a long way. Lettuce--my friend, Mr. Farr, gave me an 
article earlier today. I think 59 percent of the lettuce in America 
comes from his one district.
  Now, if we start confining that to Monterey County, it might be great 
for the folks in Monterey County, but I don't mind eating California 
lettuce because if the California farmers can do it for less money and 
I can get lettuce year round for less money, that's not a bad thing. So 
I think some of the assumption that food traveling is a bad idea, I 
think it's flawed in itself.
  But I want to get back to this bill report language. It simply says 
to the USDA, let us know how much you're going to spend. And why is 
that so important? I want my friend from California to know that if you 
look through the USDA budget request for FY12, there's not one mention 
of Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food. It's an initiative. There has not 
been a budget request for it. If there was a budget request for it for 
$3 million or $30 million, then we could have something we could be 
debating about.
  But what it is, is an initiative; and all we're asking is, if you go 
forward with this--and we don't stop them from going forward with it--
we're just saying we want to know how much it's going to cost. So I do 
not believe that it's bad report language at all, and I strongly oppose 
the amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FARR. I strongly support this amendment because the language in 
the bill--I'm going to read it to you. It's one paragraph, but it's the 
most draconian language because we've never done this before ever in an 
ag bill. It says: ``The committee directs the Department to provide an 
electronic notification to the committee at least 72 hours prior to any 
travel in support of the Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food initiative, 
and such notification shall include the agenda of the entire trip along 
with the cost to U.S. taxpayers. Additionally, the committee directs 
the Department to post media advisories for all such trips on its Web 
site, and that such advisories include the same information.''
  My God, we don't do this to know your soldier, to know your veteran, 
to know your school teacher, to know anybody else that's in the public 
service, to know your law enforcement officer; and yet they're doing 
this for Know Your Farmer?
  This program, as Mr. Kingston pointed out, we just had the ag report 
come out and I'm very proud that one county in my district does $4 
billion worth of agriculture, as pointed out in that report, that grows 
59 percent of all the lettuce consumed in the United States in one 
county in California that I represent. Part of that is this program now 
that they're doing, which is Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food.
  Consumers can go with their cell phones into a grocery store; and 
because of the barcode there, they can ZIP it and it immediately comes 
up the farmer who grew that food saying this is who I am and this is 
where I grew it and this is how many days it takes to get to you, and 
all the things you might want to--if we're going to educate people 
about nutrition, I can't think of a more exciting way to do it.
  And to require that the Department has to essentially do this 
gestapo, looking at every time you move you have to report to a higher 
authority on your initiative and on your entire trip and the agenda and 
cost, we don't do that for anybody else in the Federal Government, and 
I don't think we should do it for our farmers or for our members of the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture who are supporting our farmers.
  So I support this amendment very strongly.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Maine (Ms. Pingree).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Maine will 
be postponed.


                  Amendment No. 1 Offered by Ms. Foxx

  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __. None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to support any Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food 
     initiative of the Department of Agriculture.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from North Carolina is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Chairman, it's very interesting that I came into the 
Chamber at this time because my amendment also has to do with Know Your 
Farmer--Know Your Food.
  I am very concerned about this program because it is not an 
authorized program by the Congress. I am very concerned that we have 
our executive branch off doing all kinds of things that it has no 
business doing, from fighting wars to running programs that they 
weren't authorized to run.
  This program, in my opinion, conducts duplicative marketing methods 
by taking funds from programs that already exist within USDA through 
grants and program management activities.

                              {time}  2030

  All of these entities within the USDA already have marketing tools to 
reach out to applicants in the local community and work with them. 
Programs that issue grants from USDA would not be affected or lose a 
single cent of funding from my amendment. Let me repeat: Grants and 
program management activities from USDA do not lose a cent of funding 
under my amendment. Rather, it would strike the redundant Know Your 
Farmer--Know Your Food effort by the USDA to advertise their programs 
and ensure that the money in the grants and in the program management 
activities would be spent on the activities that are authorized. My 
staff has been told by people at the USDA that grant issuing and farmer 
and consumer programs will continue to operate as normal without this 
duplicative effort.
  Mr. Chairman, there has been a lot of erroneous information put out 
there in relation to my amendment, and I would like to take some time 
to clear it up.
  It doesn't affect any USDA grant or program management funds already 
existing because Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food does not issue 
grants. Nor does it manage any programs. But it is a circumvention of 
the authority and defeats the intent of Congress when we are the ones 
who should be authorizing programs and budgets. So I think that this is 
a program that we do not need, and I believe that it should be 
abolished, because when the USDA wants a program, it should be coming 
to the Congress to get authorization for that program.
  There is a specific violation against establishing a program in the 
authorization that would have set up slush funds in the Secretary's 
office, and I think this is similar to that. It allows the department 
to take money from existing programs, put it into this program, and 
spend them the way that they wish to, and I don't think that is an 
appropriate expenditure of funding that we have authorized.
  Therefore, I urge passage of my amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition because I cannot, for 
the life of me, understand why you are so afraid of Know Your Farmer--
Know Your Food. They say, well, we need to have this program 
authorized. My God, we went to war without authorizing it. We spent all 
that money, and half the people don't even question it. And you want to 
question Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food?
  I think this is a direct attack on the White House initiative, which 
is about

[[Page H4243]]

nutrition, which is about trying to get people--I mean, we talked about 
this yesterday, about how you have places in this country that are food 
deserts. You have places where there are no grocery stores. There are 
7-Elevens. They don't have fresh fruits and vegetables. People can't go 
down to a local store and find fresh fruits and vegetables.
  So what do we do? This committee puts money into the USDA to help 
farmers markets get established in these tough areas, to encourage 
farmers to come in, and at the same time teach people who have never 
shopped for fresh fruits and vegetables, never been to a farmers 
market.
  We have actually tied in, in my district, the issuing of food stamps 
and WIC vouchers so that they will spend them right there, and 65 
percent of the income that comes to the farmers at the farmers markets 
comes from them.
  So this is all part of the initiatives to get people to know about 
agriculture. Milk doesn't come from a carton. Food doesn't come from a 
grocery store. It gets grown somewhere by a farmer, he and his wife. 
And we are trying to get kids to know something about agriculture. We 
are putting in school gardens. All of this is part of Know Your 
Farmer--Know Your Food, and you want to strike it.
  What is this? Is this some kind of conspiracy that you are afraid of? 
People might learn a little bit about where food comes from in America, 
and there is organic food and that you have choices and you just don't 
have to eat everything that is packaged and processed and full of salts 
and sugars and additives and preservatives?
  What are we afraid of? What are we afraid of? My God, to strike it, 
or tell the department that they can't do this, I think it is not in 
our best intentions, and it is not smart nutrition.
  We are trying to get people, I know, because I am trying to lose 
weight and it is a very hard thing to change your character, to change 
your eating habits. Unless we do that, we are going to grow a lot of 
Americans who aren't going to be very healthy because they don't know 
their farmer and they don't know their food. And if you strike this 
ability for the department to go out and do that kind of outreach, we 
are going to have a less healthy America.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. You know, we in this Congress or Congresses of the 
past have ceded a lot of our authority to executive agencies. We have 
given them lots of power to regulate. They are taking over and doing an 
awful lot. Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food is another example of an 
agency going beyond what needs to be done and is something I feel they 
should come back to Congress for.
  With that, I would like to yield to the gentlewoman from North 
Carolina (Ms. Foxx).
  Ms. FOXX. I want to thank my colleague from Texas for yielding to me, 
and I want to respond to our colleague from California.
  I am not afraid of a program. I am afraid, as my colleague from Texas 
has indicated, of the executive branch continuing to overstep its 
bounds and develop programs that have no authorization and do the 
things that it has no business doing without authorization from 
Congress.
  I find it interesting that my colleague would bring up the fact that 
we went to war without authorization. I believe that was his President 
who did that, and I voted resoundingly not to do that.
  I also want to sympathize with my colleague from California. I am 
certainly doing my best to lose weight, too. I think it is a struggle 
that most of us, particularly in this body, have. But I can tell you 
that I am not looking to the Department of Agriculture to give me my 
nutrition information. I know how to find that nutrition information, 
and I think most Americans know how to do that, and we don't need a 
special program in the Department of Agriculture to do that.
  We have got to commit to bringing government spending under control, 
and we are going to do everything that we can. While no money will be 
cut from the appropriations by this amendment, it removes a program 
that is not authorized that gives part of the Department of Agriculture 
an argument for why they need money.
  I think that in many cases what happens in these executive branch 
departments is that when their own entity begins to lose its need for 
being, they begin to look out there for, What is the latest trend? What 
can we do in this Department to justify our existence? I think that 
that is what happens in many, many cases, and you get the continuation. 
As Ronald Reagan said, the nearest thing to immortality is a Federal 
Government program, and I think that is what happens in many 
departments, not just the Department of Agriculture.
  I have great respect for much of what the Department of Agriculture 
does, and I think it is providing vital services in many areas. But, 
again, this is not an area that we need the Federal Government to be 
involved in. We don't need this program.
  Frankly, my colleague asked me what I am afraid of the program for. 
What I don't understand is why our colleague from Maine doesn't want 
reporting from this program. He didn't ask her that question. Why is 
she concerned that we ask for reporting mechanisms? Because we have 
asked the Department, How much money are you spending on this program? 
They cannot answer. What effect are you having? They cannot answer. 
There are no results. There is no cost-benefit analysis.
  It is time that any program that says, We can't tell you how much we 
are spending; we can't tell you what we are doing; we can't tell you if 
we are having any effect, to be done away with. And any program that 
answers a Member of Congress that way should be immediately eliminated.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. Reclaiming my time for just a second, I too am trying 
to lose weight and would much prefer to work with my doctor and trainer 
than the USDA.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Chair, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Mr. Chairman, I just wanted to engage a little 
bit more in this conversation that we had, both about the previous 
amendment and about my good friend from North Carolina's concern about 
this particular program called Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food.

                              {time}  2040

  I have the great privilege of serving on the Agriculture Committee. 
I've heard the Secretary speak to us about his interest in increasing 
the number of farms in our country, in getting to know our farmers 
better, and in making sure people have more knowledge about where their 
food comes from.
  I have to just stand back and say for a minute that it's after 8:30 
on a busy night. We're still in the middle of debating this bill at a 
time when our economy is in peril, when we have huge challenges before 
us, when we are at war in two countries. I just personally have to say 
I am baffled about why we are even having this debate. I was baffled 
about why this report language would be there that slows down research 
on local farming, that tries to stop a program that's not even funded, 
and that coordinates a lot of good efforts going on in the Department 
of Agriculture.
  I will say, I kind of think back to the way I look at our country. We 
were based on agriculture and farming. I had the good fortune to be 
born in Minnesota even though I represent Maine. Both sets of my 
grandparents were Scandinavian immigrants. They came because there was 
rich farmland, beautiful opportunities. My grandfather was a dairy 
farmer. My uncle was a dairy farmer. My cousin still runs a farm and 
works with livestock. I went to college to study agriculture, and I own 
my own farm today.
  So I think about, isn't this what America is all about--knowing your 
farmer? knowing where your food came from? understanding what the basic 
principles are of growing and of using our land? What in the world are 
we talking about? It's as if black is white and white is black and as 
if everything is turned upside down.
  I grew up in Minnesota and Maine. Both States have a rich farming 
heritage. We couldn't be more proud of the families and of the people 
who work hard on the land. We couldn't be more proud of having vigorous 
farmers' markets, of having people who are able to

[[Page H4244]]

go to a farm stand and say to the farmer, ``How did you grow this? 
What's behind this? Tell me about what's growing in your field.'' I 
mean, this is America. This is how our country was built.
  If there is one tragedy that's going on today, it's the reduction in 
the number of farms and in the families who can no longer hold onto 
their farms, whose mortgages are being foreclosed on, who don't have 
enough markets. If there is anything the Secretary is telling us it is 
that we want more people to know about their farms, that we want to 
have local access to farming, that we want to have people come to 
farmers' markets.
  I spend a lot of time visiting school cafeterias, and many of the 
schools in my district are very engaged with buying food locally. They 
realize that, if they're going to deal with childhood obesity, one of 
the things they have to do is get kids to eat more vegetables. One 
thing that really works is to have those young people know the farmers, 
and many schools have little gardens out back.
  I visited Longfellow Elementary School in Portland, Maine, just 
recently. Those kids have a little plot of carrots. It's not that every 
lunch has one of those carrots on the menu, but it's for those kids to 
say, ``I grew a carrot, and now I want to eat more of them.'' I was at 
the Bonny Eagle Middle School. They have a little greenhouse. I sat 
down to eat with those kids, and they were eating kale, kale and 
garlic; and they were proudly showing it off to me about how they grow 
kale, about how they know where it comes from. Many of them have 
visited with farmers. They've seen the farmers come down the road.
  I can't possibly imagine why anyone would want to put language in 
that says you have to strike a program like this that's not even 
funded, that's just a way of the Secretary saying this is a good 
American tradition. It's a tradition in North Carolina, I am sure, 
where people are proud of their farmers and, in Maine, where we are 
exceptionally proud of the fact that the average age of our farmer is 
going down. We have more young people who want to go into farming. We 
have more and more acreage going into farming, which is a reversal of 
the trend that has been going on in our country for a long time. This 
is good for our health, and it's good for our environment. 
Fundamentally, this is a jobs bill, and that's what we're supposed to 
be here talking about. Every young person who has an opportunity to go 
into farming today and every family that gets to hang onto a family 
farm increases the number of jobs that are going on in our country.
  What do we want this to turn into, big corporate agriculture where 
everything has to be trucked around the world?--where our carrots come 
from Brazil and our strawberries come from somewhere else in South 
America and where we buy our food from China? I mean this is America. 
This is a tradition of our country. How could we possibly think that 
anything is wrong with promoting or researching local foods and having 
a program that just coordinates it all?
  Ms. FOXX. Will the gentlewoman yield?
  Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Absolutely not. As much as I appreciate my 
colleague from North Carolina, I'm not giving up one second to talk 
about the fact that in my State, we are proud of our farmers. We are 
proud of our big farms that grow potatoes and blueberries and that grow 
apples. We are proud of our fishermen, and we are proud of the fact 
that more young people want to get into farming.
  There are more markets for farming than there ever were before today. 
Part of it is because people like to buy their food locally because 
they are so excited about the opportunity of going to a farm stand 
where you actually see the farmer, where you see how it's grown, where 
you feel comfortable about what goes into your food, where you know how 
it was slaughtered, where you know so much more about it, where we're 
raising our kids to say, ``You know what? Vegetables are good for 
you,'' and here they are right in front of you.
  I can't possibly imagine why this report language was there in the 
first place, why my colleague would want to strike everything about 
Know Your Farmer--Know Your Food.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I want to make sure I answer this 
question, because I'm hearing from our colleague that she can't 
possibly imagine why we are against the program. We are against it 
because it's not authorized.
  The President of the United States is now bombing in Libya. By the 
way, I voted with the Kucinich amendment because I feel very 
uncomfortable with an unauthorized bombing as the use of force in 
Libya. The Federal Government frequently obligates the taxpayers to new 
programs. Yet the United States Congress hasn't had an opportunity to 
vet these programs or to vote on them, so I, myself, don't understand 
why that is a problem that we can have this transparency.
  Now, as I've listened to this, I've kind of felt, well, Know Your 
Farmer--Know Your Food is one of these harmless little Washington sort 
of ``feel good about things'' initiatives, but I'm beginning to think 
it's just one big databank. I don't know why the USDA needs to know all 
of this information about the farmers. I'm wondering about that. If we 
want to help farmers--and I've had the opportunity of representing lots 
of farmers for a long time--I'm going to give you seven things that I 
thought about in just sitting here during the course of the last 
speech.
  Number one: This administration has declared war on the community 
banks, which are the fiber and the heart of small communities. That's 
where farmers get their loans. Farmers need credit. We need stability 
and banking laws to help farmers.
  Number two: We need consistent regulations and regulations that don't 
send the EPA out on the farm to play ``I gotcha.'' You may know right 
now, Mr. Chairman, that for organic chickens--and I know my friend from 
California probably knows this--you have the FDA requiring that they be 
raised on a slab of concrete and the USDA saying, no, they can't be. So 
we have two Federal agencies with two different regulations for one 
product. Farmers need regulatory consistency.
  Number three: We need an H-2A program. Absolutely, we've got to get 
labor out there and a good guest worker program that works.
  Number four: We need free trade agreements. We have had sitting on 
the desk of the White House free trade agreements with South Korea, 
Colombia and Panama, and this administration won't move them. That will 
create lots of markets for farmers.
  Number five: We need estate tax relief. If you want to keep the 
family farm in the family, then get rid of the death tax so that it can 
be passed on to the next generation.
  Number six: You need to have a good crop insurance program. More than 
any other farm program, farmers want a good crop insurance program.
  Number seven: We need to cut the red tape out so that you can get to 
your local market. If you're a local farmer, it is impossible to sell 
right now to your local high school because of many Federal 
regulations. The small farmers can't compete with the big folks on 
this.
  I want to say this about apples because the gentlewoman had mentioned 
apples. The average apples travel right now 2,500 miles to get to the 
consumer. Now, I don't find that horrible. We are a country of origin 
labeling laws, which our committee has debated for over a decade, and I 
don't know that it has made the world a better place. I think that 
consumers are actually driven by food safety, food taste and food 
price, and whether it comes from New York or whether it comes from the 
farmer down the street, those still are going to be the driving factors 
in making the decision. Carrots come 2,000 miles.
  I would challenge my friends to look at Google food mileage and look 
at how much common, everyday food travels to get to your plate. What 
has it done? It has made America healthier. It has given us an abundant 
food supply, and it has given us a less expensive food supply.
  But if we are serious about growing mom and pop farms--and I want to 
say

[[Page H4245]]

this to my friend from Maine--I am very interested in working with her 
on that. The seven things that I have listed, I can promise you, in any 
poll, farmers will choose before they choose to say what we really need 
to get farmers going in America is this program that is not authorized 
by the Congress, called Know Your Farmer.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARR. I move to strike the last word.
  I just want to point out that this amendment doesn't save one penny.

                              {time}  2050

  The Acting CHAIR. Does the gentleman ask unanimous consent to strike 
the last word?
  Mr. KINGSTON. Reserving my right to object, I just want to remind my 
friend about taking two bites of the 2,500-mile apple. I certainly do 
not object but----
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Washington is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. DICKS. I yield to the ranking member, the gentleman from 
California.
  Mr. FARR. This amendment doesn't save one penny. Ironically, we just 
returned from the White House summer congressional picnic, and people 
ate food there. At every table, it listed where the food came from. 
Indeed, I remember because I went to the ice cream place and there was 
a stack of honey that came from the White House, that has a White House 
label on it, and it's a gift that the First Lady gives to visiting 
dignitaries from around the world as a sample of American honey grown 
at the White House. We just experienced Know Your Farmer--Know Your 
Food not more than an hour ago.
  This amendment does nothing but be mean.
  Mr. DICKS. Reclaiming my time, I just want to point out, also at the 
White House picnic, if you walked far enough down, you could see the 
garden with fresh vegetables and everything that was being grown. It 
had a label about what was what.
  Again, I just don't see what the harm is here if they're taking it 
out of existing funds. I always thought that the farmers of America 
were supported on a bipartisan basis in this Congress and that we like 
to know who our farmers are. So I agree with the gentleman, and I hope 
we can defeat this ill-considered amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. DICKS. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from North 
Carolina will be postponed.


                Amendment No. 20 Offered by Ms. Woolsey

  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following new section:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to carry out the directive in the committee report 
     instructing the Food and Nutrition Service to issue a new 
     proposed rule on implementing new national nutrition 
     standards for the school breakfast and school lunch programs 
     in the report of the Committee on Appropriations of the House 
     of Representatives to accompany H.R. 2112 of the 112th 
     Congress (House Report 112-101).

  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentlewoman's amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  The gentlewoman from California is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Chairman, for some families--too many, as a matter 
of fact--the meals served at school may be the only decent meal that 
their children get that day. Especially during this current economic 
downturn, with many Americans barely getting by, more people are 
relying on school meals to keep their children fed and ready to learn.
  Why, then, is the Republican majority trying to turn back the clock 
on school nutrition? Why are they trying to undermine the quality of 
school meals by gumming up a regulatory process that is designed to 
ensure that our kids are eating healthy?
  Mr. Chairman, I'm offering this amendment because it will stop the 
majority's attempt to block the implementation of scientific standards 
for school meals.
  Here's the backstory. Since the Truman administration, Congress and 
the United States Department of Agriculture have set standards for 
school lunches and breakfasts. But for most of that history, those 
standards have not reflected the expertise of nutritionists and other 
health professionals.
  Then, last year, Congress passed and the President signed a bill 
directing the USDA to make school meal requirements, for the first 
time, consistent with sound science and dietary guidelines issued by 
the Institute of Medicine. The bottom line: That would mean healthier 
food for our kids. It would mean the cafeteria line would have more 
fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and low-fat milk, and less 
sodium and saturated fat. As instructed by the law that we passed, USDA 
wrote a regulation and received over 130,000 comments.
  Now, just when the process is wrapping up, my colleagues on the other 
side of the aisle want to use report language in this appropriations 
bill to scrap the rule and compel USDA to write a completely new one. 
This is a stall tactic, plain and simple. Better school meals must not, 
can't be, from this act, a priority for the other side of the aisle. 
They apparently don't believe we need to do anything about the epidemic 
of childhood obesity that is rapidly becoming a major public health 
crisis, so they're looking for any way to put on the breaks.
  The process has worked. We've had congressional direction and we've 
had mandates. We've had open comment period and rulemaking based on 
sound science. But the end result is not to the majority's liking, so 
they want a do-over. This is not only unnecessary, Mr. Chairman, but 
expensive, as there would be costs associated with starting the 
rulemaking over--going back to square one. In one fell swoop, the 
Republicans are showing themselves to be anti-science, anti-child, 
anti-public health, and anti-fiscal responsibility.
  My amendment would stop their shortsighted and irresponsible scheme. 
It would prevent funds made available by this appropriations act from 
being used to require USDA to reissue a new rule.
  Important advocates agree with me. My amendment has been endorsed by 
the National Education Association, the American Dietetic Association, 
Bread for the World, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and 
many other groups, which I will include in the Record.
  Mr. Chairman, our children need balanced, healthy, nutritious meals, 
not costly bureaucratic delays. They need this to help them succeed in 
school and in life.

            H.R. 2112, Amendment No. 20, List of Supporters

       The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic 
     Association, American Public Health Association, Association 
     of State & Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors, 
     Bread for the World, California Association of Nutrition & 
     Activity Programs, California Food Policy Advocates, Campaign 
     to End Obesity Action Fund, Center for Science in the Public 
     Interest, Community Food Security Coalition, Food Research & 
     Action Center (FRAC), Jewish Council for Public Affairs, 
     National Education Association, National Farm to School 
     Network, The National WIC Association, Public Health 
     Institute, Trust for America's Health, The United Fresh 
     Produce Association.

  Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from California?
  There was no objection.


                 Amendment No. 24 Offered by Mr. Royce

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. 7xx.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to provide assistance under title II of the Food for 
     Peace Act

[[Page H4246]]

     (7 U.S.C. 1721 et seq.) to the Democratic People's Republic 
     of Korea (North Korea).

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, very much.
  A couple of quick points here. One, the administration is actively 
considering resuming food aid to North Korea. And I understand the 
humanitarian impulse here, but the unusual circumstances of North Korea 
make this a mistake--and make it a very bad mistake, frankly--which 
this amendment would correct.
  I remember the words of one North Korean defector, Kim Duk-hong. I 
had a chance to talk with him. He said actually in testimony here 
before the committee, we must not give food aid to North Korea because 
it is, in his words, the same as providing funding for North Korea's 
nuclear program. Why is that so? Because what invariably happens is 
they redirect these resources into support for the regime.
  This week we had reports that North Korea is making miniaturized 
versions of its nuclear weapons--ones that could fit atop ICBMs. That 
makes his statement all that more dire about the redirection of these 
resources into the regime's hands.
  The situation in North Korea is heartbreaking. I've been up there. 
I've seen the depravation. But this is a disaster made by the 
dictatorship itself. And let me say unequivocally, the food we send 
does not reach the hungry.
  So, who benefits from our good will? Well, the inner circle does and 
their military industrial complex does. We've had hearings in which the 
French NGO Doctors Without Borders--we're all aware of their good work 
around the world. They testified before the International Relations 
Committee that the vast majority of refugees they interview say they 
had never received any food aid. None of the children they had ever met 
had ever seen food aid during the years they worked up on the border.
  And this testimony is backed up by a survey of 500 North Korean 
defectors in which 78.2 percent of them never saw foreign food aid. And 
the reason for this is because it goes, again, into the black market. 
It is sold for the hard currency that the regime needs for its nuclear 
program and other programs.

                              {time}  2100

  Some could argue that what we need is more oversight and maybe better 
monitoring on this food.
  Let me tell you about the testimony we've heard on that, because the 
North Koreans, I don't think they've got a word for ``transparency.'' 
No matter how airtight any monitoring protocol may be, they cheat. We 
had a Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing where a North Korean 
dissident told us how the regime would mark all the houses that had 
received bags of food and would return to collect them after the 
monitors had left. So North Korea is always going to cheat.
  Some assert that the North is holding food, holding food for the 
future, hoarding a million tons of rice. That's the charge we hear from 
South Korea, from members of their Parliament. But the fact is that 
it's an asset that is converted by the North.
  So I urge my colleagues to support my amendment for the sake of the 
North Korean people. Providing this aid not only allows Kim Jong-Il's 
oppressive regime to divert scarce resources towards its military 
program, one that has grown increasingly threatening, but it also 
delays the day when real structural reform will come to North Korea.
  There is a Korean saying that ``pouring water into a cracked pot is 
worthless.'' Sending resources to Kim Jong-Il is even worse. It's 
enabling a regime with one of the world's worst human rights records 
but also with an atomic bomb.
  North Korea has played us like a fiddle for years. Conditions for 
North Koreans have only worsened. It's time for a new North Korea 
policy. Let's start now.
  I ask my colleagues to support the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. We have had a very difficult time with the Food for 
Peace program already, and if this helps secure another supporter of 
the bill, we certainly would work with you on this amendment and 
support it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Royce).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                  Amendment No. 25 Offered by Mr. Kind

  Mr. KIND. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before any short title), insert the 
     following new section:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to provide payments (or to pay the salaries and 
     expenses of personnel to provide payments) to the Brazil 
     Cotton Institute.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Wisconsin is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KIND. Mr. Chairman, my amendment is very straightforward, and in 
a second I'm going to explain it in more detail.
  For many, many years now, I and a group of bipartisan Members of this 
Congress have formed a coalition in an attempt to move farm bill reform 
forward, to try to end these large taxpayer subsidies that are going to 
a few, but very large, agribusinesses, subsidies that are not in fact 
helping family farmers, leading to greater consolidation in production 
of agriculture, driving up land values, making it more difficult for 
new beginning farmers to enter agriculture, and subsidies that are not 
fiscally responsible.
  In light of the budget deficits that we're wrestling with, what 
better time to continue to move in the area of reform under the farm 
bill with this Agriculture appropriation bill, rather than waiting for 
the promise or hope that in a year or two in the reauthorization of 
another farm bill that this institution might finally come around and 
start making the long overdue changes.
  Just to show you how perverted these farm programs have gotten, 
recently Brazil challenged our own domestic cotton subsidy program and 
prevailed in the WTO court. Now you would expect our rational response 
would be to reform our cotton subsidy program, to come into compliance 
with that WTO decision, to end these subsidies that you really can't 
justify here to our cotton producers, and we would solve this problem.
  But that's not the approach that was taken. In fact, the 
administration recently set up a new subsidy program that is now going 
to subsidize Brazil cotton producers.
  Let me repeat that. We are spending $147 million a year in order to 
bribe the Brazilian Government so that they don't enforce the sanctions 
that they're entitled to now because of our unwillingness to reform our 
own cotton subsidy program. That is wrong, and that is what my 
amendment would address. It would prohibit the use of funds through 
this Agriculture appropriation bill going to this new subsidy program 
to subsidize the Brazil cotton industry.
  It just shows you what a pretzel our farm programs have turned this 
Congress into because of yet again the unwillingness for us to reform 
our own domestic title I subsidy programs. The answer to this is not to 
funnel out another $147 million a year until maybe we address this in 
the next farm bill, which could end up costing the American taxpayer 
over a half a billion dollars, when we can make that correction now, 
reform the domestic program, get out from under the WTO decision, start 
saving money by not sending $147 million a year to Brazil, and also 
start saving some money by reforming our own cotton domestic subsidy 
program.
  That's the solution to this. That's something that we can fix 
tonight, rather than continuing this facade of maintaining these 
programs that many of us warned in the last farm bill would be 
challenged, and sure enough they did, and they're prevailing, and now 
they can apply economic sanctions against us.
  So the time to act is now, not waiting for a year or two or whenever 
we're going to get around to reauthorizing

[[Page H4247]]

another farm bill; and the time to start saving some real money is this 
night, by passing the amendment that we're offering. We can save $147 
million, we can reform the cotton subsidy program and save more 
taxpayer dollars, and we have that ability to be fiscally responsible 
and start making changes tonight.
  I know what the argument on the other side will be: wait for the next 
farm bill; we'll take care of it then. Well, there is a lot that we are 
moving forward on this year on deficit reduction, and I for one think 
that the farm bill should also be open for scrutiny for potential 
savings to reduce our deficit.
  But that's not what's being offered tonight in reforming the title I 
subsidy programs. Instead, most of the deep cuts are coming under the 
conservation title, the nutrition programs, certain key investments 
that we have to make to empower our farmers to be good stewards of the 
land, to reduce sediment and nutrient flows and the impact it has on 
the quality water supply that we need in this country, the protection 
of wildlife habitat. In fact, three out of every four farmers applying 
for conservation funding assistance today are turned away because of 
inadequacy of funds. That number will only explode because of the deep 
cuts coming in these other titles of the farm bill.
  We have an opportunity to start making some changes under title I, 
the subsidy program, first by stopping the additional layer of subsidy 
that's been created where we're starting to subsidize other countries' 
farmers. Let's start making that change tonight.
  I would encourage my colleagues to look closely at this amendment. 
This is the reasonable response that we should be taking. Let's not 
defer this decision any further. We can do that. And instead of 
encouraging any type of trade war or sanctions with Brazil, we should 
move forward in reforming the cotton subsidy program starting tonight.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time and ask my colleagues 
to support this amendment.
  Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CONAWAY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  My colleague is very passionate, but he is also very wrong. This 
money does not go to Brazilian farmers. That's illegal for us to do 
that. What it does do, it does go to an institute that promotes 
Brazilian agricultural production. It may be a fine line to distinguish 
there, but it's inflammatory to say it's going to Brazilian farmers, 
that we're doing that, and he knows it and it is wrong, but it is a 
payment. It's a payment negotiated by the Obama administration in 
reaction to a loss at the WTO in order to buy time so that a trade war 
with our 10th largest trading partner in the world doesn't erupt that 
has actually nothing to do with ag protection.
  The trade war that is being prevented, over $800 million worth of 
exports to Brazil, protects a broad variety of nonagricultural 
industries in this agreement. This buys us time until the 2012 farm 
bill could get done. We cannot tonight nor should we tonight delve into 
a very complicated farm safety net program that has worked well for the 
American people.
  It is unquestioned that the American people enjoy the safest, most 
abundant and cheapest food and fiber source in the world, in the 
developed countries; and we do that because of the hard work, sweat 
equity, and risk-taking of the American ag producer. They rely in turn 
on a safety net that is relatively complicated and interwoven across a 
bunch of things that make it help.
  The budget that we did pass says that the farm bill will be written 
in 2012. I understand my colleague's disdain for the process of the 
Agriculture Committee. He doesn't like the Agriculture Committee, he 
doesn't like the work product that we come out with, but that's the 
group that knows the most about the process of the safety net.

                              {time}  2110

  Doing this, what the gentleman would like to do tonight, would 
disrupt that trade agreement and undercut the U.S. Trade Representative 
and his ability to negotiate around the world because he's negotiated 
with a group who won't stick by their word.
  The 2008 farm bill put in place a 5-year contract, 5-year agreement 
with the American ag producers, it goes to the 2012 farm bill--2012 
crop year, and we ought to stand behind it and defeat this amendment.
  So the money does not go to farmers. It does protect $800 million a 
year in exports of nonagricultural exports that are imported to this 
country, including intellectual property rights that would be abrogated 
if we back out of this deal that we've made with Brazil. So with that I 
respectfully request my colleagues to oppose the Kind amendment as 
being wrong-headed tonight.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. I listened to my good friend from Texas talk about 
deferring yet again to the Ag Committee, that somehow this payment goes 
to the Brazilian cotton industry and not to the cotton farmers, a 
distinction without a difference I would suggest.
  I rise in support of my colleague from Wisconsin in this proposal. 
I've been in this Congress having watched three farm bill 
reauthorizations, and each time we find that there is expression on the 
floor of this Chamber for actual reform. We've asked for limitations. 
We are told well we just don't--the floor doesn't understand; it's too 
complicated. Well, it is complicated and twisted because this is an 
effort to try, through the complexity, to layer efforts here that cheat 
the American consumer, that hurt the environment, and pose serious 
problems for international trade.
  And my friend from Wisconsin is correct. We were talking about this 
in the last farm bill, and we got our comeuppance, but instead of 
responding responsibly in reducing or eliminating the illegal cotton 
subsidies, we're shoving upwards of a half-billion dollars to the 
Brazilian cotton industry, and I'll be prepared to argue, it benefits 
cotton farmers. So we're subsidizing two countries because we fail to 
reach our responsibilities now.
  I sincerely think this is wrong. I think $147 million could go a long 
way towards helping the part of American agriculture that grows food 
that we categorize as specialty crops who are dramatically 
shortchanged.
  I would like to yield the remainder of my time, if I could, to my 
good friend from Wisconsin, the sponsor of this amendment.
  Mr. KIND. Well, I thank my good friend from Oregon for his support of 
the amendment and for his support throughout the years in trying to 
lead the effort for meaningful farm bill reform.
  Mr. Chairman, there is another solution to this that's going to be 
offered by our good friend and colleague from Arizona in just a little 
bit, Mr. Flake. He goes to the heart of the WTO decision to find out 
what changes we should be making in the cotton subsidy program to get 
out from under the thumb of Brazil, and I would support that amendment, 
and I hope my colleagues support his amendment as well because that is 
the ultimate solution to this: Instead of just cutting off the funding 
to Brazil right now, coming up with the cotton subsidy reform.
  Now, let's remember the context in which we find ourselves this 
evening. Cotton payments are almost at a world record high price right 
now, yet these subsidies are still going out. There's just very little 
relationship right now with the subsidies under title I to the grain 
producers and cotton producers of our country and the price they 
receive in the marketplace. And in a time of tough budgets, when 
everyone else is being asked to take a haircut, whether you're a 
supporter of conservation programs or vital nutrition programs for our 
children and seniors, for us to not even look and consider the title I 
programs in the context of this agriculture appropriation, it's beyond 
the pale. There's just no justification to it.
  These programs are outdated. They are impossible to justify with the 
American taxpayer, especially with the deficit reduction that all of us 
are interested in participating in this year. This is a small, but I 
think significant, step down the road of reform with the farm bill 
finding savings that can be applied to either other programs or for 
deficit reduction.

[[Page H4248]]

  That's why I commend my colleague from Arizona for the amendment he's 
about to offer, but my friend from Oregon, too, will have some 
important amendments for us to consider, a payment limitation limiting 
the overall amount of subsidies that go to our producers. And folks, 
this is going to agribusiness, many of whom have mailing addresses in 
Manhattan, in Chicago, in San Francisco. These aren't even family 
farmers working the land, and they're some of the primary recipients of 
these agriculture subsidies.
  Mr. Blumenauer's amendments address that, along with Mr. Flake's AGI 
cutoff at $250,000 a year. That's 250 thousand dollars of profit, and 
if you're an entity making a profit of over a quarter-million dollars a 
year, should you really still be receiving taxpayer subsidies for the 
business that you're running? I think not, and we'll have another 
opportunity to consider that later tonight.
  So I appreciate the gentleman yielding me this time and further 
explaining what this amendment is all about. And if we are serious 
about deficit reduction, if we are serious about reining in some of 
these programs that are tough to justify, then we should be serious 
about supporting this amendment tonight.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. And Mr. Chair, on that note I, too, commend what my 
friend from Wisconsin is doing. I look forward to the comments from my 
friend from Arizona. If we're serious about reform and saving money, 
it's time to move in this area.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Arizona is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Kind amendment. I 
commend the gentleman from Wisconsin for offering this.
  You know, we've heard here that we need this program to make us trade 
compliant. Many of us warned when we did the last farm bill that if we 
did this level of subsidies that it would run afoul of our trade 
agreements. Yet we plowed ahead and did it anyway. And then April of 
last year is when our farm programs, which on their best day are out of 
step with reality, moved into the realm of the absurd when we hatched a 
program to actually fund an institute in Brazil to fund the cotton 
industry there to start subsidizing the Brazilians so that we could 
continue to subsidize our own farmers. Is that not absurd? Why are we 
continuing to do this?
  It was raised before that we've got to do this to make us trade 
compliant now where tariffs might be imposed. That is true, but I 
offered an amendment in the committee earlier on that would have taken 
money from the direct payments that we currently pay to cotton farmers 
and paid off the Brazilians with that money rather than raid the 
Treasury and raid the taxpayers once again. And guess what? That passed 
in committee but was stricken when it came to the floor.
  So when you hear all this rhetoric about, hey, we want to be trade 
compliant, we could have done that. We could have simply allowed that 
amendment to stick in the bill, and then this would have been trade 
compliant. But the Brazilians would have been paid off not with new 
taxpayer money but with the money that is making us non-trade compliant 
in the first place.
  So don't believe what you're hearing about, we just want to be trade 
compliant; that's what this is about. We offered an alternative to 
that, and it was rejected. And so here we are asking the taxpayers to 
once again this year, $147 million to the Brazilians to make us trade 
compliant. We've got to stop this.
  Nobody really believes that we're going to do a farm bill this year. 
Nobody really believes we're going to do one next year. And so we're 
going to be doing this year after year after year, so that means that 
we're going to continue to do this unless we stop it. I can tell you if 
we pass the Kind amendment tonight, we will be back and we'll reform 
our cotton subsidies in a way that will make us trade compliant. We'll 
go back and accept the Flake amendment that passed in the 
Appropriations Committee that perhaps took the money from the cotton 
program.
  We don't need to continue to ask the taxpayers to pay off the 
Brazilians so that we can continue out-of-step subsidies to our own 
farmers. That's what this amendment is about. I commend the gentleman 
for offering it.
  And I would yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin.
  Mr. KIND. I appreciate the gentleman yielding, and I appreciate his 
support of this amendment and the leadership that he's shown not only 
in committee but throughout the years when it comes to sensible farm 
bill reform.
  The easiest way for us to come into trade compliance isn't by bribing 
the Brazilian government to get them to not enforce the sanctions that 
it can under WTO; it's fixing this domestic program, and doing it now 
rather than waiting years from now, as my colleague just pointed out, 
for the next farm bill. I know this isn't easy, and I know the 
committees wrestles with a lot of different constituent problems. I 
used to serve on the committee.
  I'm not asking anyone here tonight to do anything differently than 
what I'm asking my producers to do in my district of Wisconsin and in 
my State, and that's taking a haircut. The reforms that I've been 
proposing through the years would require my district to take a haircut 
on these agriculture subsidies. It's not always easy standing up to 
groups that are getting something from the government and saying we 
can't afford it, nor can we justify it, with the market and with the 
deficit. But that is what it's going to take for this body to come 
together if we are going to be serious about deficit reduction and 
getting the spending under control.

                              {time}  2120

  I know that the Agriculture Committee has their hands full, and I 
know they would rather just defer this next decision until the next 
farm bill and put it off. But we don't know when that's going to be. 
But the thing we do know for certain is there is $147 million going out 
the door every year right now that we can stop doing tonight with the 
passage of this amendment.
  Mr. FLAKE. I just want to make a point that everybody needs to take a 
haircut here if we are going to get this debt and deficit under 
control. We shouldn't ask the taxpayers once again to pay off the 
Brazilians so we can continue out-of-step subsidies to our own farmers.
  We have a cotton industry in Arizona. They may take a hit because of 
this, but everybody has to take a haircut. Everybody has to contribute 
here to getting this deficit and this debt under control. And if we 
can't start with a program like this, I don't know where we'll start.
  After this amendment, I plan to offer an amendment that will go after 
the programs that actually make us nontrade compliant. I will be glad 
to give up on that amendment, not offer it at all, if this amendment is 
allowed to pass. But if it is called for the ``noes,'' then I plan to 
offer the amendment after this.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, you know, this is kind of a surreal 
debate because I don't think we're talking about the real issue here. 
You know, the cotton program isn't perfect. A lot of the programs that 
we have in the Agriculture Committee aren't perfect. Freedom to Farm, 
it was passed in '96. It got us into some of these problems. I opposed. 
It saved a little bit of money, and then we ended up spending 10 times 
as much money bailing people out when it collapsed. So you have got to 
be careful what you are doing.
  But the problem here is, we're arguing about something that no longer 
exists. This program that they sued us under no longer exists. We have 
fixed it two or three times. We tried to address this. It was never 
good enough for the Brazilians. But we made some changes, and we made 
some more changes, and then we made some more changes in the 2008 farm 
bill. It's still not good enough for them.
  Cotton went through some very difficult times. I don't have any 
cotton in my district. This is not a parochial

[[Page H4249]]

issue for me. But if they wouldn't have had that safety net, we would 
have been out of the cotton business. But what was going on at the same 
time? We had Brazil using government money to increase cotton 
production in Brazil. And this is something that isn't considered in 
the WTO because we are such geniuses that we agreed to this agreement 
that tied our hands and gave our competitors the ability to eat our 
lunch. And that's what's going on.
  You know, JBS, which just took over a big part of the livestock 
industry in this country, is financed by the Brazilian Government. They 
own 30 percent of JBS. Nobody complains about that. The Brazilian 
Government created most of this competition that collapsed the cotton 
prices worldwide.
  And then we agreed to let China into the WTO, and they promised that 
they weren't going to go into cotton production. We shipped our textile 
market to China and collapsed all of our textile industry. And what 
happened? They increased production like crazy. India increased 
production like crazy. Our cotton prices went down below the cost of 
production because of these trade agreements that we got involved in. 
But the way they're structured, there's nothing we can do about it. But 
they're going to sue us over a little step two program that we now got 
rid of, trying to keep our people in business.
  Now, if you want to ship the whole cotton industry to Brazil and 
China and India, you are on a good start to doing that. And if you keep 
on this road, you're going to ship the rest of agriculture to these so-
called developing nations that are not developing nations. If you've 
been to Brazil, in agriculture, they are anything but a developing 
nation; but they're protected under the rules that we agreed to in this 
WTO deal.
  So is this a perfect solution? No. But we couldn't get the Brazilians 
to honestly sit down and work this out because they don't want to. 
They're trying to use this for other reasons, for other advantages in 
these trade negotiations and so forth. And I don't think we can ever do 
anything to satisfy them.
  So there's more to this than people are talking about here. This is 
not about saving money. This is about making sure that we can have a 
safety net in this country so we can maintain production of agriculture 
in the United States and not ship it all to other countries and not get 
dependent on foreign countries for our food, like we've become 
dependent on foreign countries for our energy. That would be the worst 
thing that could happen to us.
  So I just hope people understand all of the different ramifications. 
This isn't a perfect deal; but for the time being, it's probably the 
best solution that we can come up with.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oklahoma is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment.
  I want to return for a moment, I think, to the focus of the 
discussion. I want to be absolutely clear. If this amendment passes, it 
will--it could incite a trade war. Brazil could immediately impose $800 
million in retaliatory tariffs on a variety of U.S. goods.
  I promise you, they won't retaliate against U.S. agricultural 
products. They'll go after ag chemicals and biotechnology products. And 
they'll go after veterinarian medicines and software and books and 
music and films. They'll go at everybody outside of production 
agriculture with their $800 billion in retaliatory tariffs.
  Now, we can debate how we got here; and my colleague, the ranking 
member, gave a very good history of what led us to this point. But this 
amendment right here, right now would expose the U.S. to job-killing 
sanctions on goods valued at $800 million.
  In 2010, the Obama administration finalized a framework agreement 
with Brazil that was a critical step in resolving this dispute about 
the U.S. Upland Cotton Program and export credits. And, yes, under the 
agreement, Brazil agreed to delay trade sanctions, trade retaliation 
until the 2012 farm bill was developed and put together. This amendment 
would circumvent the legislative process in what could only be 
described as a haphazard way that should be a relic of the past.
  This amendment is an attempt to circumvent regular order, the 
democratic policy process, by changing policy on an appropriation bill. 
Now, I can assure you, I plan and we will have a full and open process 
when we start the farm bill debate. We'll debate the relevant issues 
dealt with in this amendment.
  And on that note, I would serve a notice for record that next week, 
we plan to start the process of conducting an audit of all farm 
programs. This audit is just the beginning of the comprehensive and 
transparent process we'll use to draft the 2012 farm bill. Policy 
changes will be considered carefully with the input from industry 
stakeholders and constituents and within the larger context of 
improving the competitiveness and long productivity of American 
agriculture.
  Let's not incite a trade war. Let's return to regular order. And if 
nothing else, my friends, remember, this bill is 13 percent lower than 
the previous spending bill. This Ag approps bill takes us almost back 
to 2006. We are giving our share in this appropriations process. And 
everyone in this room knows that whether it's the regular farm bill 
next summer or if we have some grandiose understanding on the national 
debt ceiling and spending, the deficit, we could well have a farm bill 
dramatically quicker than next summer, and we'll have a farm bill that 
reflects a dramatic reduction in resources compared to past farm bills.
  Let the Ag Committee in regular order craft the policy, and then when 
we bring it to the floor--all of our friends, expert ag economists, we 
all may be together--you will have your shot, as you've had before. But 
please don't incite a trade war. Please don't ignore the regular order 
of appropriation authorization. Please be rational in what you do. 
We've got tough decisions ahead of us. Collin and I and the rest of the 
committee, we know that. We're going to do what we have to do. But let 
us do it in regular order, not in this fashion.
  With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Let me just say this: Georgia is the second-
largest cotton-producing State. It accounts for approximately 10 
percent of the U.S. cotton production. In 2011, Georgia farmers intend 
to plant almost 1.5 million acres of cotton.

                              {time}  2130

  The average farm-gate value is more than $600 million. There are 
approximately 2,800 businesses directly involved in the production, 
processing, and distribution of cotton. Accounting for the broader 
economic effects, the Georgia cotton industry supports more than 46,000 
jobs, and it generates economic activity of approximately $11 billion.
  Now, the proponents of these amendments target provisions in the 
cotton programs that are at the center of a WTO trade case which Brazil 
has against the United States. The U.S. and the Brazilian Governments 
have scheduled a series of consultations designed to identify the 
modifications in policy that will resolve the case. The intention is to 
reach agreement on carefully thought-out provisions that can be 
included in the 2012 farm bill.
  These hastily drafted amendments are not guaranteed to resolve the 
dispute, 1, since the U.S.-Brazil consultations have not resulted in 
any specific agreement and, 2, since these approaches will certainly 
undermine the future discussions as the two countries attempt to reach 
a final resolution that's fair and that is reasonable.
  The amendments target cotton farmers in an effort to reduce 
government spending. The 2008 farm bill, including the cotton 
provisions, was fully paid for, offset, and did not add one single dime 
to the deficit. They cite the years in which the government's support 
for cotton was historically high, but they ignore the years when the 
support actually is at historic lows. We need to maintain the safety 
net so that it's there when it's needed but not utilized, as it hasn't 
been recently, when it's not needed.
  Farmers understand the current budget pressures. They understand that 
very well. But they expect to be a part

[[Page H4250]]

of a debate involving all of the agricultural stakeholders, and not be 
singled out for ad hoc budget reductions with hasty policy decisions.
  These proposed amendments would nullify the basic component of cotton 
policy. If these amendments are enacted, they would take effect October 
1, and, as a result, USDA would have to change the cotton program rules 
in the middle of the marketing year and change them back effective 
October 1, 2012. This would undermine the confidence in commodity 
programs, especially among agricultural lenders.
  This would compromise our agriculture policy, a policy that has been 
vetted very carefully by our authorizing committees and relied upon by 
our growers and our lenders in making their business decisions going 
into 2012. The reauthorization of the farm bill in 2012 is the proper 
forum to debate the cotton agriculture policy, not here on this 
appropriations bill.
  We have got to do what is right in regular order. This is not the 
time. It's not the place. And what we're doing tonight, if they go 
forward with this, is pulling the rug out from under our cotton farmers 
and our agriculture when they have made financial plans through 2012. 
It is unfair; it's not right, and we should not do it.
  I urge my colleagues to reject these amendments. They are ill-
advised.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FARENTHOLD. I would like to speak in opposition to this.
  The ranking member gives a great history lesson on how this comes 
out. The previous farm bill--passed by primarily Congress controlled by 
your side of the aisle--created a situation with our cotton subsidies 
that has caused a problem with Brazil, and we are trying to work it 
out.
  My colleagues on this side of the aisle and many of the colleagues on 
the other side of the aisle are also concerned that this government as 
a whole, through the regulatory process, picked the regulatory 
agencies, making it very difficult and unpredictable for businesses by 
changing the regulatory environment.
  Our businesses are holding back, not investing, not creating jobs. 
But we're about to do the same thing ourselves right here with this 
amendment by yanking the rug out from under our cotton farmers, who 
have built their businesses, made their plans based on the promise of 
the last farm bill.
  You know, I love to save money for this government. I'm none too 
happy to see this money going to Brazil. But we basically lost a 
lawsuit and we're having to pay the damages. And we're going to fix it 
in the regular order without yanking the rug out from under the 
farmers, who are the backbone of this country, by changing the rules in 
the middle of the game. Give us until next year to get that farm bill 
out, and we will address it.
  Even though it didn't rise to the point of order, this really does 
rise, in my opinion, to the level of legislating within an 
appropriations bill.
  I don't like spending the money. I don't like sending it offshore. 
But we cannot change the rules in the middle of the game. We cannot 
move the goalposts for our farmers, many of whom are small, private 
farmers who have built their future, taken out loans, decided to buy 
more land, decided to buy more equipment, based all their business 
decisions on the promise that this government made to them in the last 
farm bill. And changing the rules at this point is absolutely wrong, 
and I encourage my friends and my colleagues to vote against this 
amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. The gentleman that preceded me said we lost a lawsuit. 
We didn't lose a lawsuit. If he knows anything about the WTO dispute 
resolution process, no conflict of interest, no open litigation, no 
legal proceeding as we in the United States of America understand it. A 
closed group with no conflict-of-interest rules that makes rulings. And 
they have decided that we, under this failed trade policy, should pay 
tribute, tribute, more than we paid to the Barbary pirates--
$147,300,000 a year to the Government of Brazil so we can subsidize our 
cotton farmers.
  Now, you go home and explain that to your constituents. We'll borrow 
$147,300,000 from China and we'll send it to Brazil so we can subsidize 
our cotton farmers.
  What is this all about? It is about a totally failed trade policy. 
And at some point, this Congress has to take a stand.
  Ron Paul and I, a number of years ago, 3 years ago--we get to do it 
once every 5 years--offered an amendment to withdraw the United States 
of America from the WTO. That will come up soon. I hope you'll all 
support it. It is something that binds us and is destroying our 
industries, our farmers, and everything else that's great about this 
country. I voted against the WTO.
  This isn't about so much as a failed farm policy or farm bill, as the 
gentleman outlaid. It's about totally failed trade policies.
  Other countries want to protect their agricultural interests. They 
want to feed their own people. They don't want to import polluted food 
from China.
  We've opened up our country to polluted foods and goods from China 
and Brazil and everyplace else in the world with the WTO and these 
trade agreements. They don't observe them. We go and we lose this 
dispute and say, oh, we've got no choice but to pay. We have a choice. 
Let's not pay. We're not going to pay the tribute. We're not going to 
borrow the money from China. We're not going to send it to Brazil. 
Let's see what they do next. And maybe we can blow up this thing called 
the WTO and get back to something that protects our national interests.
  I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin.
  Mr. KIND. I thank the gentleman for his comments in support of this 
amendment. And just one final point to my colleagues who have been 
supportive of trade agreements in the past.
  Let's be honest with ourselves. If we're going to be a part of this 
WTO organization to establish rules of trade across borders, then let's 
not turn our back on an adverse decision that affects us. Let's, 
instead, comply and bring the cotton subsidy program into compliance. 
That is the answer to this. And let's end this nonsense of stacking 
subsidy program on top of subsidy program to just buy off and blackmail 
other governments who have a WTO decision in their hands.
  And I cannot believe that this evening, when we're asking for huge, 
unprecedented cuts in conservation programs that will affect thousands 
of farmers throughout the country and unprecedented cuts with nutrition 
programs that will affect thousands of low-income families with their 
children, and seniors, saying, ``Tough luck. We're operating under 
tough budget times. You're just going to have to do without,'' when it 
comes to a simple amendment like this to save $147 million a year to 
bribe Brazil cotton producers and an unwillingness to go into the title 
I subsidy programs for cost savings, then what the heck are we doing 
around here?

                              {time}  2140

  It is just beyond the pale that we're willing to take the deep cuts--
and the chairman of the Agriculture Committee claimed a 12 percent cut 
in the farm bill, but he didn't say where those cuts were coming from. 
I'll tell you where it's not coming from. It's not coming from these 
subsidy programs. It's not coming from the cotton subsidy program that 
has gotten us into this problem. A handful of powerful cotton families 
are holding this institution hostage in order to maintain these subsidy 
programs that have benefited them for too long. Talk about benefiting 
the few at the expense of the many; this is the classic example of this 
Agriculture appropriation bill before us this evening. We can do a heck 
of a lot better.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. I will reclaim my time to say we may have some 
differences over the underlying trade agreement and the mandates and 
the process which got us to this point, but I agree, subsidies--or 
bribes--on top of subsidies is insane in these tough budget times.
  And I would just note that we're going to be confronted very soon 
with another limitation amendment on another bill where we're going to 
have a

[[Page H4251]]

choice: We're going to abandon the American trucking industry to 
Mexico--which is, again, exacting tribute from the U.S., $4 billion a 
year worth of tariffs, to try and drive our companies south of the 
border to use Mexican drivers.
  So time and time again these trade agreements are failing us. I think 
it's bigger than the problem of the subsidies in the farm bill, and 
this Congress needs to pay attention. One way or another, we're either 
going to get real about our deficits and what's really essential to the 
American people--feeding our people, clothing our people, and putting 
American people to work--or we're going to abandon ourselves to this 
failed notion of the WTO and other trade agreements.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Chairman, the world has changed. It's not 
enough to simply buy American anymore, we have to sell American. We 
have to sell our American agriculture products, our technology products 
and services all throughout the world. But oftentimes, when we compete, 
we find much of the world is tilted against us. Other countries cut 
agreements to make it tough for us to sell. That's why we are involved 
in the World Trade Organization, to insist that other countries play by 
the rules, but that means America has to play by the rules as well.
  We lost this case in the WTO. So the question today isn't about 
cotton subsidies or even saving money; it's about the smart way to 
address this issue that protects American jobs.
  Now I am very sympathetic to this amendment. Paying Brazil nearly $12 
million a month is not the right way to resolve this issue, and I agree 
with that. In fact, America should simply live up to its WTO obligation 
and insist that others do the same as well.
  The settlement that's in place today is necessary to prevent Brazil 
from imposing almost $1 billion of new tariffs, new taxes on American 
products when we try to sell them into Brazil. And it's not just 
agriculture products. As you heard Chairman Frank Lucas talk, he made 
the point that not only can Brazil penalize our ag products, they can 
tax and tariff a broad range of products, especially America's 
innovation economy. So in your State, if you have companies that 
produce pharmaceuticals, medical devices, business software, 
technology, anything in the innovation sector of America, your 
companies and your workers face the loss of jobs and the loss of 
product sales because of this issue.
  So the smart way to handle this is to deal with this not only in the 
farm bill, but at the WTO today, insisting that as we end these cotton 
subsidies, other countries end their agricultural subsidies as well. 
That is the smart way to resolve this issue that doesn't hurt America 
and jobs, in fact protects our American intellectual property rights in 
Brazil and other countries.
  This is an issue of doing it the smart way. I oppose this amendment. 
I urge our colleagues to continue to work together to resolve this 
issue in a smart way for our economy and a smart way for our jobs.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Kind).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. KIND. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Wisconsin 
will be postponed.
  Mrs. SCHMIDT. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Ohio is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mrs. SCHMIDT. Mr. Chairman, a few moments ago my friend from 
California had an amendment that she did withdraw that really wanted to 
codify into law the USDA's rules regarding the school lunch program. 
And while I won't go into the lengthy reasons why it's the wrong way to 
go for nutrition--not just the cost that it bears to the schools, but 
also the fact that USDA was recommending reducing the consumption of 
potatoes, corn, peas and lima beans to just one serving a week--which 
believe me I was shocked. But it wasn't just myself that had this 
reaction; it was also the California Fruit Growers Association, it was 
the National School Boards Association, it was the Council of the Great 
City Schools that wrote a letter. And that's why I and 40 other 
colleagues wrote to Mr. Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
in reaction to the promulgation of these rules.
  I will enter into the Record the testimony I was going to give until 
she withdrew the amendment, as well as these four letters.
  Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to this amendment. Breakfasts and 
lunches served in schools are important components of the diets of 
school age children. Improving the nutritional profile of meals served 
to school children is very important.
  When the USDA proposed a rule that eliminated potatoes from the 
School Breakfast program and limited the School Lunch program to one 
cup a week of potatoes, I was very concerned.
  On the Agriculture Committee, I have made it frequently known how 
important healthy living and nutritious eating habits are to me as a 
person, a mother, a grandmother and as a legislator. It is especially 
near and dear to my heart when we discuss policies that affect 
children's nutritional needs.
  When I heard that the USDA recommended reducing the consumption of 
potatoes, corn, peas, and lima beans--I was shocked.
  When my daughter was growing up, I took great care to ensure that she 
ate healthy, balanced meals. Of course, potatoes were a part of that 
equation. You all know that they are full of potassium, vitamins C and 
B6, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. I cannot understand why the 
USDA would want to reduce school children's consumption of potatoes.
  I think that it is short sighted for the USDA to ignore the health 
benefits that the potato provides. When looking at how to incentivize 
healthier eating habits, we in Congress need to find a way to encourage 
and educate program recipients to eat balanced meals.
  I think it is very important to make sure that children receive 
balanced meals, and that certainly includes potatoes.
  I, along with forty-one of my colleagues sent a letter to the USDA 
asking a number of questions about this proposed rule. Mr. Speaker, 
without objections, I would like to submit a copy of this letter to the 
Record.
  Mr. Chair, potatoes, lima beans, peas, and corn are all healthy 
vegetables that should certainly be in the School Breakfast and Lunch 
Programs.
  Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium and good source of 
fiber. According to the USDA's own magazine, Amber Waves, potatoes 
deliver these nutrients at a very low cost.
  FNS has estimated that the proposed rule would increase the cost of 
school meals by $6.8 billion over the next five years. Per meal, the 
cost will increase by 14 cents per lunch and fifty cents per breakfast.
  Mr. Chair, school districts and states across the country are already 
cash-strapped and cannot afford this increased cost.
  This additional burden will be passed onto students paying full price 
for their meals.
  While I agree with the intent of the USDA to encourage the 
consumption of more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean 
proteins--restricting the consumption of nutritious vegetables like 
potatoes, lima beans, peas, and corn is short-sighted and not the most 
effective approach to achieve that goal.
  I encourage my colleagues to vote no on this amendment and instruct 
the USDA to issue a new proposed rule on implementing the new national 
nutrition standards for the School Breakfast and School Lunch Programs.

                                              California League of


                                              Food Processors,

                                    Sacramento, CA, June 15, 2011.
     Hon. Lynn Woolsey,
     Rayburn House Office Building, House of Representatives, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Woolsey: The California League of Food 
     Processors (CLFP) respectfully opposes your amendment to the 
     FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill, H.R. 2112, prevent 
     the Agriculture Department from reissuing more reasonable and 
     cost effective proposed regulations on the school breakfast 
     and lunch program.
       CLFP has concerns about USDA recommending school breakfast 
     programs eliminate ``starchy vegetables'' and proposing 
     restrictions on the use of tomato paste and cheese. As I'm 
     sure you remember CLFP members account for 95% of the fruits 
     and vegetables canned, frozen and dehydrated/dried in 
     California and this repersents more than 35% of U.S. 
     production. For a number of preserved food products, 
     California produces 100% of U.S. output, for example tomato 
     paste. These new USDA restrictions could potentially mean the 
     loss of millions of dollars in sales of vegetables, fruit and 
     cheese to the national school program. Its negative effects 
     would ripple throughout the industry,

[[Page H4252]]

     from farmers, dairymen, package manufacturers, etc. The cost 
     impact of this rule on our schools and food producers should 
     be considered by USDA. Affirmative changes to the meal plan 
     relative to starchy vegetables limits and tomato serving 
     calculations would go a long way to fixing the cost issues 
     that are concerning to schools.
       CLFP supports your efforts to help ensure school kids have 
     access to healthy and nutritious meals. However, we urge you 
     to allow USDA to ensure the new rule on school meals is cost 
     neutral and resist efforts by USDA to proclaim vegetables and 
     other healthy foods ``good'' or ``bad''.
           Very Truly Yours,
                                                         Ed Yates,
     President and CEO,
                                  ____

                                                   National School


                                           Boards Association,

                                    Alexandria, VA, June 14, 2011.
     Re: H.R. 2112--FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

     Member,
     House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: The National School Boards Association 
     (NSBA), representing over 90,000 local school board members 
     across the Nation, is deeply committed to fostering a healthy 
     and positive learning environment for children to achieve 
     their full potential. However, NSBA is gravely concerned 
     about the financial impact of the recent child nutrition 
     reauthorization (P.L. 111-296) on school districts at a time 
     when many are in dire economic straits. Therefore, NSBA 
     supports report language accompanying the FY 2012 Agriculture 
     Appropriations bill that directs the U.S. Department of 
     Agriculture (USDA) to propose new rules that do not create 
     unfunded mandates for school districts.
       For example, the USDA estimates a cost increase of 14 cents 
     per school lunch under new proposed standards for school meal 
     programs, even though the available reimbursement increase is 
     just 6 cents. A district serving free and reduced price 
     lunches to 5,000 students faces a potential shortfall of 
     $72,000 annually under this scenario. The Department 
     recommends a number of cost-shifting measures to address the 
     shortfall (such as increased student payments, increased 
     state and local funding, and operational changes), that are 
     unrealistic and unconscionable given the current economic 
     realities for many states and communities.
       School districts have already closed buildings, terminated 
     programs and laid off teachers due to eroding local, state, 
     and federal resources. Every dollar in unfunded mandates in 
     the child nutrition reauthorization must come from somewhere 
     else in the educational system and result in more layoffs, 
     larger class sizes, narrowing of the curriculum, elimination 
     of after-school programs, and cuts to other program areas, 
     including school food services.
       The new meal standards are just one of many provisions of 
     P.L. 111-296 being implemented over the next two-to-three 
     years and will impose additional costs on school districts. 
     The reauthorization is a hollow promise to our children when 
     it comes at the expense of the education that will help them 
     to succeed.
       Therefore, NSBA supports report language accompanying the 
     FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill that directs USDA to 
     propose new rules that do not create unfunded mandates for 
     school districts. Questions regarding our concerns may be 
     directed to Lucy Gettman, director of federal programs at 
     703-838-6763; or by e-mail at lgettman@nsba.org.
           Sincerely,
                                               Michael A. Resnick,
     Associate Director.
                                  ____

                                                    Council of the


                                           Great City Schools,

                                    Washington, DC, June 14, 2011.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: The Council of the Great City Schools, 
     the coalition of the nation's largest central city school 
     districts, writes to call your attention to the proposed 
     federal School Meals regulations that will cost an additional 
     $6.8 billion, and the possible amendment to the FY 2012 
     Agriculture Appropriations bill, H.R. 2112, by Representative 
     Woolsey that would prevent the Agriculture Department from 
     reissuing more reasonable and cost effective proposed 
     regulations pursuant to the Committee report. The Great City 
     Schools strongly opposes the Woolsey amendment.
       Many of the nation's largest urban school districts have 
     been among the leaders in improving the nutritional content 
     of school meals and snacks provided to our students. Yet, our 
     school districts are extremely concerned that USDA is 
     proposing new federal school meals requirements costing an 
     additional $6.8 billion, with over $5 billion in unreimbursed 
     costs shifting on to school district budgets. The newly 
     proposed school breakfast program requirements alone would 
     cost $4 billion, with the federal government providing not 
     one-cent of additional federal reimbursement for these 
     additional meal costs. The Council is skeptical that our 
     formal regulatory comments recommending over $4.5 billion in 
     cost-saving changes to the rule will be accepted by USDA.
       Before the Education and Workforce Committee, the San Diego 
     Unified School District explained that they were already 
     meeting all of the proposed new school meal nutritional 
     standards, with the exception of the future sodium 
     requirement, but that the school district would have to scrap 
     its Nutrient-based School Meals program (as would 30% of the 
     nation's school districts) and institute the new meal system 
     required under the proposed USDA regulations, at the 
     additional cost of over $4 million annually to the district. 
     School nutritionists and food service directors point out in 
     regulatory comments that many of the newly proposed school 
     meals requirements are unnecessary, excessive, costly, or 
     counterproductive in the case of the regulatory prohibition 
     on well-tested nutrient-based school meal systems.
       Congress unfortunately shortcut the legislative process in 
     passing the Senate's version of the Child Nutrition 
     reauthorization bill in the lame duck session of the 111th 
     Congress. The House child nutrition bill was not considered 
     by the full House, and in fact there was no floor debate on 
     the Senate child nutrition bill, which was adopted by 
     unanimous consent prior to the August 2010 congressional 
     recess. Without a full legislative process, the extent of the 
     unreimbursed costs reflected in the USDA regulations, already 
     under development for multiple years, was not fully examined. 
     The drumbeat of celebrities and food advocacy groups 
     promoting healthier lifestyles, and anti-obesity programs 
     drowned out the practical considerations of cost-
     effectiveness and local budgetary realities faced by each of 
     your school districts in this economic downturn.
       A NO vote on the Woolsey amendment provides an opportunity 
     to underscore the Appropriations Committee report that the 
     Agriculture Department should withdraw its overreaching new 
     federal school meals rules, and reissue a more realistic and 
     workable proposed regulation.
           Sincerely,
                                                 Michael Casserly,
     Executive Director.
                                  ____



                                Congress of the United States,

                                      Washington, DC, May 5, 2011.
     Hon. Tom Vilsack,
     Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Whitten Building, 
         Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC.
       Dear Secretary Vilsack: Breakfasts and lunches served in 
     the school setting are important components of the diets of 
     school age children. Improving the nutritional profile of 
     meals served in schools and maintaining participation rates 
     are important priorities. We share your commitment to 
     continually improving the contribution of the school meal to 
     the nutritional needs of school children and to encourage 
     healthy lifestyles for children that are built on a 
     foundation of sound nutrition and physical activity.
       USDA recently published a proposed rule on school meal 
     plans to reflect the Dietary Guidelines. That proposal was 
     based in great part on a study by the Institute of Medicine 
     (IOM) commissioned by USDA. The recently released 2010 
     Dietary Guidelines identified potassium, fiber, vitamin D and 
     calcium as nutrients of concern for all Americans, including 
     school age children. Changes to the school meal plans should 
     take steps toward increasing the consumption of these key 
     nutrients by increasing student access to fruits and 
     vegetables that are either ``excellent'' or ``good'' sources.
       Changes to the school meal plans must consider the 
     constraints faced by school lunch providers. School lunch 
     providers need to offer nutritious affordable options that 
     children will eat and that will encourage continued high 
     rates of participation in both breakfast and lunch programs. 
     For many children, the school meals are their prime source of 
     nutrition for the day. Changes that discourage participation 
     will reduce the overall health and wellness of American 
     children.
       As we continue to follow the development of the next 
     generation of school meal plans, we would appreciate your 
     thoughts on the following questions:
       In the proposed rule, USDA indicates that implementation of 
     the proposal will result in $6.8 billion in increased costs 
     over five years and that small entities will incur 80 per 
     cent of that increase. Do you have estimates on the impact of 
     these cost increases on participation among reimbursed, 
     partially reimbursed and paying participants?
       Potatoes are rates as an ``excellent'' source of potassium 
     and a ``good'' source of fiber. According to a recent article 
     in the March 2011, USDA magazine, Amber Waves, potatoes 
     deliver these nutrients at a very low cost. What is the 
     rationale for eliminating potatoes from the breakfast meal 
     and limiting them to one cup a week when they provide cost 
     effective access to two key nutrients of concern identified 
     by the IOM?
       By limiting access to potatoes and other starchy 
     vegetables, the proposed meal plans seem to advance the 
     notion that this will increase the consumption of the orange, 
     green and other types of vegetables otherwise offered. Is 
     there science to support the theory that consumption of 
     orange, green and other types of vegetables will increase is 
     offered more often? What science exists that measures this 
     type of vegetable menu change on nutrient delivery?
       The starchy vegetable category includes vegetables with a 
     variety of nutritional characteristics. What are the key 
     characteristics that USDA identified which link the 
     vegetables placed in this category, and how are they distinct 
     from other vegetables excluded from the starchy vegetable 
     category?
       According the nutrition experts, bananas and potatoes are 
     very similar in their nutritional makeup. This goes beyond 
     both being

[[Page H4253]]

     rich in potassium. It includes similarities in carbohydrates, 
     dietary fiber and other nutrients. Should both bananas and 
     potatoes have serving limits in the proposed meal plans?
       The meal plan acknowledges a preference for orange and dark 
     green vegetables? Is there sufficient science to support such 
     a preference for orange and dark green vegetables? Would 
     Irish potatoes with yellow, purple or other flesh color be 
     considered starchy vegetables?
       According to the proposed rule, lima beans in the fresh, 
     canned or frozen form are considered starchy vegetables. In 
     dried form they are legumes. Are there nutritional changes 
     between the forms that support such a distinction?
       The proposed meal plans are based on consumption data 
     available from 2002 that was reviewed by the IOM for their 
     report. Did USDA evaluate the applicability of that 
     consumption data on potatoes and other starchy vegetables, 
     given changes in preparation methods for products currently 
     offered in school?
       Are the serving limits on starchy vegetables, and potatoes 
     in particular, based primarily on the nutritional profile of 
     the product or on the preparation methods for the product?
       Thank you in advance for your feedback to our questions. We 
     look forward to working with you toward our common goal of 
     improving the well-being of our nation's school children.
           Sincerely,
         Jean Schmidt, Joe Baca, Rick Berg, Ken Calvert, K. 
           Michael Conaway, Eric A. ``Rick'' Crawford, Renee L. 
           Ellmers, Wally Herger, Bill Huizenga, Raul R. Labrador, 
           Dan Burton, Dennis A. Cardoza, Jim Costa, Sean P. 
           Duffy, Stephen Lee Fincher, Jaime Herrera Beutler, 
           Steve King, Doug Lamborn, Tom Latham, Tom McClintock, 
           Michael H. Michaud.
         Devin Nunes, Collin C. Peterson, Chellie Pingree, 
           Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, Michael K. Simpson, 
           Robert E. Latta, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Candice S. 
           Miller, William L. Owens, Thomas E. Petri, Reid J. 
           Ribble, Kurt Schrader, Adrian Smith, Marlin A. 
           Stutzman, Scott R. Tipton, Greg Walden, Steve Womack, 
           Lee Terry, Fred Upton, Timothy J. Walz, Todd C. Young.

  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.


                    amendment offered by mr. dingell

  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following new section:
       Sec. __.  The amounts otherwise provided by this Act for 
     ``Departmental Administration'', ``Agriculture Buildings and 
     Facilities and Rental Payments'', administrative expenses 
     under the third paragraph under ``Agricultural Credit 
     Insurance Fund Program Account'', administrative expenses 
     under the fourth paragraph under ``Rural Housing Insurance 
     Fund Program Account'', and ``Foreign Agricultural Service--
     salaries and expenses'' are hereby reduced by, and the amount 
     otherwise provided by this Act for ``Food and Drug 
     Administration--salaries and expenses'' is hereby increased 
     by, $5,000,000, $20,000,000, $10,000,000, $4,000,000, 
     $10,000,000, and $49,000,000, respectively.

  Mr. DINGELL (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Michigan is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  (Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, this is a good amendment.
  At a time when 30 people have been grossly sickened and died in 
Germany and 3,000 have been sickened, we are cutting Food and Drug's 
enforcement budget. The legislation would cut the food safety budget of 
FDA by $87 million below fiscal year 11, and $205 million below the 
President's fiscal year 12 request.
  We are witnessing now one of the deadliest E. coli outbreaks ever 
overseas in Europe, and that infection is spreading across the society 
of the world. My amendment has the support of the Consumers Union, Pew 
Charitable Trusts, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, U.S. 
PIRG, and the National Women's Health Network.
  It is time for us to understand that every year in the United States, 
3,000 Americans are killed with bad food, 128,000 are hospitalized, 48 
million are made sick. We have imported food that is causing all manner 
of difficulty: Bad peanuts with salmonella, bad mushrooms, E. coli in 
peppers, melamine in dairy products, salmonella in eggs, bad shellfish 
and fish from China.
  The amendment sees to it that Food and Drug has the resources it 
needs to do the job to protect the American people from bad food being 
imported into the United States. We are able to inspect less than 1 
percent of the food coming into the United States. This is a positive 
risk to the American consuming public.
  The situation here is indefensible. The House last year passed major 
improvements in our food safety laws. And we saw to it--we had a 
funding mechanism which was removed by the Senate. But without the 
adequate funding that this amendment would afford to our people, we 
will find that they are at risk of serious health dangers from bad food 
and from sickness that comes with those things. We are here, by this 
amendment, giving Food and Drug the resources that it needs, some $49 
million, to see to it that these imported foods and other foods are 
safe.

                              {time}  2150

  This is extremely important. And while you might say, well, I don't 
know whether it is going to affect me, somebody in this country is 
going to get sick because bad food came in and because it kills people 
when that happens.
  I urge my colleagues to support the amendment until we can get 
ourselves in a situation where we have proper and adequate funding for 
Food and Drug to see to it that our people are safe from imports which 
are causing sickness, illness and death to the American people.
  The legislation, unfortunately, does cut the food safety budget, and 
it cuts it in ways which are threatening a piece of legislation which 
has strengthened Food and Drug with the support of not just farmers and 
consumers, but also of the food processing industry, which rallied 
around and supported the legislation along with consumer groups and all 
of the other sources in industry, recognizing we desperately need 
something to be done to ensure that our people do not get sick and die 
from bad imported foods.
  I urge my colleagues to support the amendment. I urge them to do so 
with vigor until such time as we can get a fee system in place which 
will adequately support Food and Drug and see to it that our people can 
sleep easily after they have a full meal knowing that the food they 
have consumed is safe.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Chairman, I rise with great temerity in opposition 
to the amendment by the great gentleman from Michigan.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Wyoming is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Chairman, I would note that over the last 2 days we 
have heard how ag credit and rural housing have had deep cuts in this 
bill, and yet now we have an amendment that would cut more from them 
and would impart those funds on a program that between fiscal year 2004 
and the current fiscal year has experienced a net budget authority 
increase of $2 billion, a 121 percent increase, and over the same time 
period, direct appropriations increases of over $1 billion, or 75 
percent. Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 
would require an additional $1.4 billion in new budget authority. If 
the President's budget request were adopted, the result would be a 156 
percent increase for FDA since 2004.
  This level of spending is unsustainable. While the recommended 
funding level for FDA in this bill is an 11.5 percent decrease below 
the amount provided in the fiscal year 2011 continuing resolution, the 
subcommittee's overall allocation was reduced by 13.4 percent. Hence, 
this program suffered a smaller reduction than other programs within 
the budget.
  Once again, with these massive increases in budget authority and in 
actual spending through direct appropriations over the time period 2004 
and the current fiscal year, Mr. Chairman, and given the fact that ag 
credit and rural housing have already taken the types of deep cuts that 
are referenced in the rest of the bill, I urge my colleagues to defeat 
the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 
minutes.

[[Page H4254]]

  Mr. PALLONE. I rise in support of the Dingell amendment to partially 
restore the Food and Drug Administration funding to the fiscal year 
2012 agriculture appropriations bill.
  I listened to what my colleagues said on the other side of the aisle. 
The fact of the matter is that today's bill slashes the FDA by $572 
million, or 21 percent, below the President's request, and by $285 
million, or 12 percent, below this year.
  I beg to differ with the gentlewoman. This is not the time to be 
cutting the FDA's budget. We have had many scares. We have had many 
outbreaks. We have had people die. We have had people become seriously 
ill. That is why in the last Congress we passed the landmark Food 
Safety Act, because we wanted to have increased inspection of food 
manufacturing plants, increased scrutiny of imported foods, and 
development of the capability to more quickly respond to food-borne 
illnesses and minimize their impact.
  I don't know about you, but when I go home, I hear a great deal of 
concern about the quality and the safety of our food supply and our 
groceries. When people buy food in the supermarket, when they go and 
buy it at a roadside stand, they are very concerned about the quality 
of the food and whether they are going to get sick. That is why we 
passed the landmark Food Safety Act. It is clear that we have just 
recently had the E. Coli breakout. The Nation's food supply is so 
extremely vulnerable, and the FDA must be equipped to keep it safe.
  The FDA has important responsibilities to protect and promote the 
health of the American people. To succeed in that mission, FDA must 
ensure the safety of not just food, but drugs and medical devices that 
Americans rely on every day. They don't just need to oversee the safety 
of the products. They also need to be involved in facilitating 
scientific innovation that makes these products safe, effective, and 
more affordable.
  Now, these efforts are especially critical today because I believe 
that American competitiveness depends on our ability to innovate. To do 
that, we must properly fund key agencies like the FDA that are 
essential to assisting in the development of new drugs and devices. FDA 
places a high importance on promoting innovation. In fact, they are 
currently developing a new Innovation Pathway, an initiative to help 
promising technologies get to market. But let me share something with 
my colleagues. One of the FDA's senior leadership staff testified 
before the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee recently and assured 
us that these cuts would prevent such efforts from moving forward.
  What I am trying to emphasize is that whether you look at it from the 
point of view of the food supply, whether you look at it from the point 
of view of innovation, to make cuts in the FDA budget simply makes no 
sense.
  It is crucial to job creation. It is crucial to people feeling safe 
about what they eat, and the government has to be responsible for 
facilitating an environment where Americans can continue to innovate. 
It is a key to creating new thriving industries that will produce 
millions of good jobs here at home and a better future for the next 
generation. If government abandons its role, we run the real risk of 
squandering too many opportunities that lead to innovative discoveries 
and great economic benefits.
  Mr. Chairman, the bottom line is the funding level put forth in 
today's appropriations bill is inadequate. FDA is already an 
underfunded agency. If we don't continue to give the FDA the resources 
it needs to complete its mission, they cannot support initiatives that 
save lives and create jobs; and these are priorities that Congress 
should embrace.
  I listened to what my colleagues say on the other side of the aisle. 
I understand we have to be concerned about funding and budgets and that 
we have a deficit. We also have to figure out what is important as a 
priority. The American people have told us that food safety is a 
priority. That is why we passed this landmark bill last year.
  There has to be a significant increase in funds, even in this 
environment, if we are going to keep the food supply safe. If we don't 
do that, a lot of economic activity is also going to suffer, including 
innovation, including what we can do for the future to keep this 
country competitive. So I understand what she is saying, but I also 
think that it is very important to restore these funds.
  I want to commend my colleague, Mr. Dingell, for putting forth this 
amendment, and I would ask my colleagues to support the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I stand in opposition to the amendment, but with great 
admiration for the author of the amendment--but still disagreement.
  Now, the previous speaker actually said that FDA funding has been 
slashed. FDA is funded both with direct appropriations and with fees. 
Last year, their funding level was $3.6 billion. This year, it is $3.64 
billion. It is a little bit more. I would say it is level funding. But 
FDA funding has not been slashed, and it is very important for us to 
realize that.
  Number two, let me show you something about the FDA funding history, 
Mr. Chairman. If you can see this, this chart actually goes back to 
2000 and goes up to 2011. It has been nothing but a 10-year climb 
uphill for the FDA. And while a lot of people are saying the FDA 
funding is slashed, there is not even a slight dip in any of this 10-
year funding chart. It is very important for us to realize that.

                              {time}  2200

  Now, the second point is, in the FDA hearing, I was concerned about 
FDA's ability to do food safety and to take on this big mission. Here 
is why:
  You hear the figure of about 48 million foodborne illnesses--a very 
high number which we are enormously concerned about--but 20 percent of 
those illnesses are from known, or specified, pathogens. Nearly 60 
percent of the illnesses from known pathogens comes from the Norovirus. 
So how do we address this?
  The CDC tells us on their March 4 memo that appropriate hand hygiene 
is likely the most important method to prevent the Norovirus infection 
and to control transmission. Reducing any Norovirus present on hands is 
best accomplished by thorough handwashing. Now, in the FDA's 630-page 
budget request, there is not one mention of Norovirus. I believe that 
that's relevant.
  The second point: The second highest cause of illness is salmonella; 
but under its authority, the existing authority, before the Food Safety 
Modernization Act was passed by the House, the FDA updated its own food 
safety as respect to salmonella. They are saying--and this was 
according to their own press release in July of last year--that as many 
as 79,000 illnesses and 30 deaths due to the consumption of eggs 
contaminated with salmonella may be avoided. That was last year. That 
was before a new bureaucracy. This bureaucracy, by the way, over a 10-
year period of time, will cost $1.4 billion and will hire 17,000 new 
Federal employees.
  The third highest cause of foodborne illnesses is clostridium. Again, 
in the FDA's 630-page budget request, it was only mentioned once.
  I want to say something else that is very important. Do we believe 
that McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Safeway and Kraft 
Foods--and any brand name that you can think of--aren't concerned about 
food safety? The food supply in America is very safe as the private 
sector self-polices because they have the highest motivation. They 
don't want to be sued. They don't want to go broke. They want their 
customers to be healthy and happy and to come back and give them repeat 
business.
  Now, in response to the 2006 E. coli outbreak that happened in 
California with spinach, where three people died and 200 consumers were 
sickened, the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing 
Agreement was made. This is a private sector agreement which has done 
already 2,000 farm audits on a voluntary basis. Nearly 200 billion 
servings of lettuce and spinach and other leafy greens produced under 
this program have been surveyed. It is a successful private sector 
initiative, and those types of things happen all

[[Page H4255]]

the time in the private sector, but we're blind to it.
  Here are some numbers from the CDC. It's very important because I 
think America loves to beat itself up over things all the time. The CDC 
numbers, Mr. Chairman: There are 48 million foodborne illnesses 
reported a year, 128,000 hospitalizations, 3,000 deaths. Those numbers 
are very high. I'm very concerned about it. That's why we spend a lot 
of money already on food safety.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONAWAY. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Chairman, I yield to my colleague from Georgia (Mr. 
Kingston).
  Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I just want to continue with this, Mr. Chairman.
  You have 311 million Americans eating three meals a day. That's 933 
million meals eaten each day. That's nearly 1 billion food consumption 
events in our country, which is over 360 billion meals consumed. If you 
do the math in going back to the 48 million foodborne illnesses, 
according to the USDA, our food safety rate is 99.99 percent.
  I want to address the 48 million, but what I also suggest to you is 
that we can spend $45 million more for FDA funding; we can spend $100 
million more or we can spend $1 billion more, but I don't think you can 
increase this number of a 99.99 percent food safety rate according to 
the CDC. So, in these times of very tight budgets, it is very important 
to keep these facts in mind.
  I am going to close with this statement by the Democrat Secretary of 
Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and this was as of yesterday. He said he is 
``reasonably confident'' that U.S. consumers won't be faced with the 
same sort of E. coli outbreak now plaguing Germany. He goes on and 
explains why--because of the current food safety laws in place and the 
current food safety funding.
  Mr. CONAWAY. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARR. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Dold). The gentleman from California is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. FARR. I yield to the chairman, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Dingell).
  Mr. DINGELL. I thank my good friend for yielding to me.
  I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the Appropriations 
Committee and their extraordinary staffs for their courtesy to me as we 
have gone on through this legislation and through the discussion of 
this amendment.
  I've listened to my Republican colleagues tell us how great we're 
doing. My good friend, for whom I have enormous fondness, presents us 
with a bunch of pictures of food. It looks great. Maybe it's safe and 
maybe it's not. He has got a bunch of numbers that say that it's 99.99 
percent safe. That sounds wonderful.
  But what are the real facts? All right.
  The real facts are that, at the time that this cut is going into 
place on Food and Drug's budget, 3,300 people have been sickened in 
Germany with a particularly dangerous form of E. coli, and 30 people 
are dead. It is spreading across the German borders into other 
countries.
  Now, how are we doing over here?
  First of all, Food and Drug has been starved of resources for years 
and has not been able to provide the necessary protection to the 
American people from imported food, which is coming in and is, frankly, 
sickening people.
  What is the situation? Salmonella and peanuts, bad mushrooms from 
China, E. coli in peppers coming in from Mexico, melamine in dairy 
products. It kills kids. It kills babies. It causes all manner of 
health risks and dangers.
  There are bad pharmaceuticals coming in. We haven't been able to get 
ahold of that problem yet, but I'm going to try and get a bill that 
will address that; and I'm going to try and see to it that we get a fee 
system that will enable us to not have to quarrel about these moneys on 
the House floor.
  But in this country, let's look. If this is going so well and if the 
Secretary of Agriculture is so right and if my dear friend from Georgia 
is correct, then there is really nothing to worry about; and I would 
like somebody around here to tell me what I'm then going to tell the 
3,000 people who are killed in this country by bad food every single 
year. 128,000 of them are sick enough that they have to go to 
hospitals. On top of that, 48 million people get sick.
  There is no way on God's green Earth, with the budget that Food and 
Drug has, that they can properly and adequately protect American food 
and protect the American people from the dangers of bad imported food. 
China is the Wild West. The stuff that they're exporting to the United 
States, quite frankly, I'm not sure I'd feed my hogs.
  Having said these things, it is time for us to stand up to the 
problem and to say, Okay. We're going to spend the money that's 
necessary to keep people safe. We are talking about $49 million here. A 
lot of money. But how much do you think it takes to bury 3,000 
Americans? How much does it cost to take care of 128,000 people who are 
hospitalized every year because of this? or to take care of the 48 
million people who get sick? and the mothers who lose babies because of 
bad milk and things of that kind that come in from China, where they 
put melamine in them to up the fictitious levels of nitrogen and 
protein?
  So I beg you, let us do what is necessary to see to it that Food and 
Drug has the funds that they need to do the job to protect the American 
people.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk. This 
legislation before us would cut the food safety budget of the U.S. Food 
and Drug Administration (FDA) by $87 million below FY 2011 and $205 
million below the president's FY 2012 budget request. At a time when we 
are witnessing one of the deadliest E. coli outbreaks ever overseas in 
Europe, the House stands ready to cut funding for our food safety 
systems. This is indefensible and why I am offering an amendment that 
will which takes $49 million from several administrative accounts at 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and transfers them to FDA for 
the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), of 
which I am the author. Specifically, this amendment cuts $5 million 
from the Departmental Administration account, $20 million from the 
Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and Rental Payments account, $10 
million from administrative expenses under the Agricultural Credit 
Insurance Fund, $4 million from administrative expenses under the Rural 
Housing Insurance Fund, and $10 million from the Foreign Agricultural 
Service.
  I want to make clear that the offsets I am offering are difficult, 
and not accounts which I would cut in normal circumstances. However, 
these are not normal circumstances, and the draconian cuts already made 
by this legislation to the food safety budget leave me with no other 
choice. The cuts to the USDA General Administration Account and to the 
Buildings and Administration Account are certainly damaging. I believe 
in the good work USDA is doing to promote agriculture in this nation, 
but these specific accounts did not receive as large a cut as others. 
The safety of our nation's food supply must take priority over these 
administrative accounts.
  Furthermore, the cut to the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund, which 
provides loans to farmers when they can not obtain them in the private 
sector, will be taken from an administrative account which will not 
affect the loan levels to farmers in need. The cut to the Rural Housing 
Insurance Fund, which guarantees some rural housing loans, will also be 
taken from an administrative account which will not impact the loan 
level. Finally, while I am supportive of the Foreign Agricultural 
Service and their work to promote agricultural exports overseas and 
their international development efforts, I believe the American people 
would agree that at a time when we recently had a recent scare with 
Salmonella in eggs and authorities have agreed that the E. coli 
outbreak which is impacting Europe could happen here, our priority must 
be on the safety of our own food supply.
  I want to make it very clear that the money given to FDA by my 
amendment is intended for their food safety activities. Last Congress 
when this institution overwhelmingly passed the Food Safety Enhancement 
Act, it had bipartisan support, the support of consumer groups, food 
safety groups and industry, and a guaranteed source of funding for food 
safety activities. The food safety reform law gives FDA the tools it 
needs to prevent and detect food-borne illnesses--like the E. coli 
outbreak in Germany--from occurring.
  Under this new law, the FDA has the authority to recall food 
products, to require food facilities to have safety plans to identify 
and mitigate risks, and to increase the frequency of FDA inspections of 
facilities here and

[[Page H4256]]

abroad. Unfortunately, a dedicated fee to fund the changes to our food 
system was dropped by my friends in the Senate and now we are 
witnessing a perfect storm--because of the political whims of my 
colleagues we are limiting the funding available for food safety 
activities at the same time the FDA has the responsibility to begin 
implementation of the historic food safety law.
  Year after year we witness devastating outbreaks that sicken or kill 
innocent people. We have seen E. coli in peppers, Salmonella in 
peanuts, melamine in milk--the list goes on. A fee system is not a 
radical concept. The drug industry pays a user fee dedicated to 
assisting the FDA with the review of new drug applications and the 
medical device industry pays a user fee dedicated to the review of 
marketing applications. Such a fee guarantees that the FDA has a source 
of funding dedicated to their review process free from political 
posturing.
  We can all agree that we must reduce our budget deficit and that all 
options to cut spending must be on the table. However, at a time when 
we are witnessing the latest E. coli outbreak in Europe sicken nearly 
3,200 people and kill 33, it is unconscionable that we would cut 
funding from the agency whose responsibility it is to prevent such 
food-borne illnesses here in the United States.
  I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of my amendment restoring 
funding to the FDA for their food safety activities.
  Mr. FARR. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Michigan 
will be postponed.

                              {time}  2210


                Amendment No. 13 Offered by Mr. Chaffetz

  Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel who 
     provide nonrecourse marketing assistance loans for mohair 
     under section 1201 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act 
     of 2008. (7 U.S.C. 8731).

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Utah is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Chairman, this is a simple amendment to limit the 
subsidies for mohair.
  Mohair is something that back in World War II we needed for our 
military uniforms. The problem is we haven't used mohair in our 
military uniforms since the Korean war, and yet the subsidies still 
continue. So this is a commonsense amendment to simply limit this. This 
is roughly $1 million a year. This is something that Congresses 
previously had eliminated. It crept back in.
  And this limitation amendment that I would offer, I would urge my 
colleagues to vote for. My understanding is there's no opposition on 
either side of the aisle.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I support the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Utah (Mr. Chaffetz).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 14 Offered by Mr. Chaffetz

  Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to make (or to pay the salaries and expenses of 
     personnel in the Department of Agriculture to make) payments 
     for the storage of cotton under section 1204(g) of the Food, 
     Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 8734(g)) or 
     for the storage of peanuts under section 1307(a) of such Act 
     (7 U.S.C. 8757(a)).

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Utah is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CHAFFETZ. I would hope this body would take this amendment with 
the same pace we did the mohair subsidies, but perhaps not.
  This amendment seeks to eliminate the cotton and peanut storage 
payments that we have been making. I would point out to my colleagues 
that President Obama recommended terminating this program in his fiscal 
2012 budget. No other agriculture commodities receive this type of 
assistance.
  I would like to read a paragraph that's found on the WhiteHouse.gov 
Web site:
  The credits allow producers to store their cotton and peanuts at the 
government's cost until prices rise. Therefore, storage credits have a 
negative impact on the amount of commodities on the market. Because 
storage is covered by the government, producers may store their 
commodities for longer than necessary. There is no reason the 
government should be paying for the storage of cotton or peanuts, 
particularly since it does not provide this assistance for any other 
commodities.
  I happen to concur with the President on this. I hope my colleagues 
would find this to be a commonsense amendment to say we should not be 
specifying winners and losers. In this particular case, we're going to 
offer a storage credit for just cotton and just peanuts. It's something 
that I think should be eliminated. I would hope the body would concur. 
I would hope we would understand we're going to have to make some 
changes in the way we do things. This is one instance where I actually 
agree with the President. I'm proud to stand in support of that and 
would encourage my colleagues to support this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BARROW. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. BARROW. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the gentleman's 
amendment to eliminate storage and handling payments for cotton and 
peanuts.
  I represent a lot of producers of these commodities, and I guess it 
makes me a little bit more sensitive to why storage and handling is an 
important part of our agricultural policy and why this amendment could 
have potentially devastating impacts if allowed to become law.
  I believe it's in the best interest of our country to support 
domestic agriculture. If you think our reliance on foreign oil is a 
nightmare, imagine what it would be like if we had to rely that much on 
foreign sources of food and fiber. For that reason, it has been the 
policy of the Congress for decades to provide a safety net to help 
protect domestic farmers where prices are low and world markets are 
unfavorable.
  If you represent farm country or if you've ever worked on a farm 
bill, you have some idea of what a delicate balance it can be to use 
the different tools at our disposal to craft a law that meets the needs 
of farmers and consumers. Different commodities have different 
economies. Prices sometimes swing wildly. Sometimes, even biological 
differences need to be accounted for.
  For example, if peanuts are not stored correctly, they can develop 
toxicity that renders them not only useless, but dangerous, to the 
consumer. Storage and handling assistance has been developed as an 
efficient policy for peanuts because it not only gives the farmer some 
latitude about how long he can store his crops, but it also improves 
food safety for the public.
  Mr. Chairman, I was on the Ag Committee back in 2008 when we crafted 
the last farm bill. It's been the law of the land since then and will 
continue to be until next year. It's the basis on which every farmer 
has planned during that time. This amendment creates uncertainty for 
those farmers. It threatens their jobs, and it threatens the domestic 
production the rest of us depend on.
  I believe this amendment is bad policy, and I urge my colleagues to 
reject it.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONAWAY. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CONAWAY. I also oppose the amendment.
  This amendment does not save one nickel in fiscal 2012. It's a bit 
theater. And unlike mohair, peanuts and cotton

[[Page H4257]]

have a little different circumstances. The storage that is talked about 
here is only paid if the prices for these two commodities drops below 
their loan rate. CBO does not estimate this to happen for the next 
decade in terms of these prices. The loan rates are substantially below 
where the current prices are. That means the producers pay for these 
storage costs as these products are moved to market.
  So this amendment, while we debate it for some 15 to 20 minutes, will 
cost more to debate than it will save for the taxpayers. It is an 
integral part of the safety net that these producers rely upon.
  You've heard this over and over tonight: The Ag Committee is best 
suited to develop a proper safety net and an ag policy for this 
country. This country has had an ag policy from its inception. We ought 
to stand by that ag policy once it's put in place. We put it in place 
in 2008. Many tradeoffs were made between conservation programs, 
commodity programs. Cotton and peanuts were in the mix.
  We will have those exact same conversations this time next year. The 
farm bill will come to the floor, and those who disagree with the farm 
policy that's developed in the Ag Committee will have ample opportunity 
to come to this floor and make these arguments once again. But to do 
this in an appropriations bill in basically a drive-by shooting manner, 
in my view, is wrongheaded. We ought to trust that the Ag Committee 
will get this work done and get it done properly.
  The 2008 farm bill was put in place. Ag producers across this 
country, bankers across this country, implement dealers across this 
country have looked at that as a deal. Most folks in the business world 
don't back up on a deal when they don't have to. And we don't have to 
in this particular instance because, as I said at the start of this, it 
does not cost the taxpayer any money as long as prices are high. CBO 
and most folks estimate that in the near term the prices will not drop 
below 18 cents a pound for peanuts or 52 cents a pound for cotton.
  So I respectfully disagree with my colleague's attempt to alter the 
farm bill in this way, in an appropriations bill, and I would ask my 
colleagues to oppose the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. I think this amendment is very, very ill 
advised.
  Storage and handling fees are an integral part of the peanut program 
and the cotton program. Removal of these fees will strike against the 
growers, the farmers' bottom line. The current marketing loan rate is 
$355 per ton. There has been no increase in the peanut loan rate, which 
is the safety net, since the 2002 farm bill. With the new farm bill 
expected to take place next year, it's unfair for the program to change 
dramatically in this final year of the 2008 farm bill.
  Peanut growers changed their program from a supply-management 
program, in 2002, to a marketing loan program. We eliminated the old 
quota system. This included a price reduction from $610 per ton to $355 
per ton marketing loan. The growers will lose even more if the program 
suffers another $50 per ton reduction due to the elimination of the 
storage and handling fees.
  Peanuts are a semiperishable commodity. This is different from corn, 
from wheat and other commodities. It is economically unfeasible for 
producers to store their peanuts on the farm like other commodities 
such as corn and wheat. Peanuts need a secure and an atmospheric-
controlled environment. Peanuts require intense and constant management 
in the warehouse storage, which a farmer does not have the skills to 
do.

                              {time}  2220

  Without proper management, a farmer's peanuts could go from what is 
known as a Seg 1 loan price, which is the best, to a Seg 3 loan price, 
which is contamination due to aflatoxin.
  Elimination of the storage and handling program could certainly 
impact food safety, the safety of the product.
  Shellers basically control over 75 percent of the peanuts after the 
peanuts leave the farmer's control. Since peanuts are semi-perishable 
and due to the highly concentrated shelling industry, farmers are at 
the mercy of the shellers in terms of pricing. Shellers could possibly 
force the farmer to accept a lower price that would cover the storage 
and handling cost. Farmers then have no alternative in selling their 
peanuts. That eliminates the competitive edge.
  This could effectively lower the loan rate to producers, as I said, 
by $50 a ton. The storage and handling program has effectively been a 
no-net-cost program to the government. Thus, the elimination of it will 
not help to reduce the Federal deficit.
  Again, we are here about to pull the rug out from under farmers who 
have relied upon what this Congress and what this government has done 
in setting farm policy starting from 2008 to 2012. Why would we come at 
this point and pull the rug out from under them and upset all of their 
plans? Many times they have made loans, they've had to purchase 
equipment, and particularly throughout the Southeast, the equipment 
that is required for southeastern peanut growers and southeastern 
farmers is varied. We've got a broad portfolio, unlike the Midwest. We 
grow multiple crops.
  In the Southeast, from Virginia all the way to Texas, you will find 
that farmers will grow corn; they will grow grain, of course; they'll 
grow peanuts; they'll grow soybeans; and they'll grow cotton. Each of 
those commodities at least will require three different kinds of 
equipment, and the combines and the equipment for cotton costs anywhere 
from $250,000 to $350,000. Other equipment for peanuts, for grain, 
$150,000, $500,000.
  This is going to undermine the bottom line, it's going to remove the 
competitive edge that American peanut growers have, and it's going to 
devastate our ability to maintain the highest quality, the safest, and 
the most economical peanuts anywhere in the world.
  I think this is very, very ill-advised. I think it will undermine 
American agriculture. It will lessen our food security, and certainly 
that is the last thing that we need to do because we are already energy 
insecure.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Utah (Mr. Chaffetz).
  The amendment was rejected.


             Amendment Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas

  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Page 80, after line 2, insert the following:
       Sec. ___. The amounts otherwise provided by this Act are 
     revised by reducing the amount made available for 
     ``Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and Rental Payments'' 
     by $13,000,000, and increasing the amount made available for 
     the ``Office of the Secretary,'' by $5,000,000.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I thank the Chairman, and I thank the 
Agriculture appropriations subcommittee for their kindness and their 
deliberateness in this very long evening and as well the ranking member 
along with the chairman.
  This is a simple amendment about food and about helping more 
Americans get healthy food. There is not one of us that does not 
understand how dry and difficult a desert is. This amendment is simply 
about food deserts in rural and urban areas.
  This amendment provides a $5 million increase to the Office of the 
Secretary to allow assistance to provide relief to those who are 
suffering from the lack of access to food quality.
  This is a healthy child, we would hope. That healthy child needs to 
have good food. These funds will increase the availability of 
affordable healthy food in underserved urban and rural communities, 
particularly through the development or equipping of grocery stores and 
other healthy food retailers.
  Fast-food restaurants and convenience stores line the blocks of low-
income neighborhoods, offering few if any healthy options. In rural 
areas, there may be no access at all. This particularly impacts African 
American and Hispanic communities and, as I indicated, rural 
communities.
  This climate in the difficult times that we have requires us to be 
able to

[[Page H4258]]

allow families to have access to good food. We also have the issues of 
obesity and as well nutrition. Food deserts impact many districts, and 
I will say to you that Texas in particular has fewer grocery stores per 
capita than any other State.
  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 32 percent of all children 
in Texas face a nutrition issue. Targeting assistance to food desert 
areas will provide healthy food to affected areas, open new markets for 
farmers, create jobs, and bolster development in distressed 
communities.
  Farmers markets are a good idea, but farmers markets sometimes are 
difficult to find in our communities. Again, let me emphasize, this is 
about rural and urban areas. This initiative will provide for the 
availability of healthy food alternatives to some 23 million people 
living in food deserts.
  Let me just suggest to you that these families that we care for, 
families, young families of the military, many of you have heard 
stories where the military families are on food stamps. Many of them 
live in areas beyond their bases, and some of their families are back 
home in rural and urban areas. This amendment, which will provide an $8 
million gift back to the government, will give a mere $5 million to 
provide the opportunity for those food desert loopholes, if you will--
rural places in our Nation where there are big gaps with access to 
food, and as well urban areas--to have access to the opportunity for 
good and healthy food.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time and ask my colleagues 
to support the Jackson Lee amendment that addresses the question of 
helping those who need healthy food.
  I thank the Chairman for this opportunity to explain my amendment to 
H.R. 2112, which will reach back into the bill to increase the funding 
for the Office of the Secretary by $5 million dollars. This increase, 
provided for by reducing the funding for operations and maintenance of 
Buildings and Facilities in order to fund President Obama's Healthy 
Food Funding Initiative, HFFI. Supporting this amendment will not only 
fund an important pilot program, but save the government $8 million.
  Funding HFFI will increase the availability of affordable, healthy 
foods in underserved urban and rural communities, particularly through 
the development or equipping of grocery stores and other healthy food 
retailers.
  These ``food deserts'', communities in which residents do not have 
access to affordable and healthy food options, disproportionally affect 
African American and Hispanic communities. Fast food restaurants and 
convenience stores line the blocks of low income neighborhoods, 
offering few, if any healthy options.
  Many of my colleagues across the aisle have made arguments about the 
economic climate, and the need for budgetary cuts, and I agree that we 
must work to reduce the deficit. We cannot, however, continue to make 
irresponsible cuts to programs for the underserved, lower income 
families, and minorities.
  Since the mid-1970s, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has 
increased sharply for both adults and children, and obesity is a grave 
health concern for all Americans. However, food deserts have taken a 
toll on low income and minority communities and exacerbated growing 
obesity rates and health problems.
  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, 80 
percent of black women and 67 percent of black men are overweight or 
obese. African American children from low income families have a much 
higher risk for obesity than those in higher income families.
  The CDC also estimates African American and Mexican American 
adolescents ages 12-19 are more likely to be overweight, at 21 percent 
and 23 percent respectively, than non-Hispanic white adolescents who 
are 14 percent overweight. In children 6-11 years old, 22 percent of 
Mexican American children are overweight, compared to 20 percent of 
African American children and 14 percent of non-Hispanic white 
children.
  Food deserts have greatly impacted my constituents in the 18th 
Congressional District, and citizens throughout the state of Texas. 
Texas has fewer grocery stores per capita than any other state. The 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA, identified 92 food desert census 
tracts in Harris County alone. These areas are subdivisions of the 
county with between 1,000 to 8,000 low income residents, with 33 
percent of people living more than a mile from a grocery store.
  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 32 percent of all children 
in Texas are overweight or obese. These statistics underscore the 
staggering affect food deserts have on the health of low income and 
minority communities. In Houston and other cities across the country, 
local programs have proved that well targeted funding and assistance 
can create viable business outcomes and increase access to healthy 
food.
  Targeting federal financial assistance to food desert areas through 
the Healthy Food Funding Initiative will provide more healthy food to 
affected neighborhoods, open new markets for farmers, create jobs, and 
bolster development in distressed communities.
  The Healthy Food Funding Initiative is not a handout, or a crutch. 
Funding through this program is intended to provide financial and 
technical assistance in support of market planning, promotion efforts, 
infrastructure and operational improvements, and increase availability 
of locally and regionally produced foods.
  This initiative will increase the availability of healthy food 
alternatives to the 23.5 million people living in food deserts 
nationwide. Yes, we must work toward reducing the deficit, but cutting 
programs that provide healthy food to those who simply do not have 
access to nutritional options, is not the way.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. My dear friend from Texas has worked diligently to find 
something to work out with this. As I had indicated to her last night, 
we're trying to work on some alternatives and see if there's a way to 
do it. Just in the last 30 minutes, I've gotten something from GAO that 
says that you could actually cut out $45 million dollars from this 
program and that it would not affect the potential of it.
  Right now what I will do--and I know my friend from California is 
rising. Let me yield to him because I know he probably has a different 
view, but I want to kind of keep the debate going.
  Mr. FARR. Go ahead. I'll just strike the last word.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Well, you've got 4 minutes from me. You could still 
strike the last word. That gives you 9 minutes.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
  I have concerns about where the money comes from as all these bills 
are offsetting, but I think that the purpose here should be funded. We 
have this whole initiative--and some of it has been attacked tonight--
about trying to get healthy foods grown by American farmers to people 
in areas that are called food deserts, as the gentlelady from Texas 
pointed out. There are places that people just can't go. There isn't a 
grocery store. There aren't fresh fruits and vegetables.

                              {time}  2230

  I mean, think of the 7-Eleven. That's the kind of convenience stores 
that are around. Even the one we use up here a couple of blocks away is 
very limited in the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables it has.
  So what this initiative is all about, and it's the President's 
initiative too, is trying to get food--it's an educational process. I 
think the hardest cultural--this is what I learned from living in other 
cultures in the Peace Corps. The hardest thing to do is to get people 
to change their eating habits. We all know that struggle when we go on 
a diet. So it takes a lot of education. It takes a lot of support, but 
it also takes the need to have access to it.
  You need to have access to the fresh fruits and vegetables, and they 
can either come to you in a farmers market or you can go to them. But 
if you have neither a farmers market and there's nothing to go to, you 
have no option. And that's what this amendment is about, getting some 
money into the program that will be able to outreach and getting good, 
nutritious food to families who most need it who, without that, have a 
good chance of not growing up healthy, high incidence of obesity, high 
incidence of diabetes, high-risk issues that cost a lot of money for 
the taxpayers when they have to go on dialysis or have to be under 
treatment.
  So we have spent many years here in the committee--and the chairman 
knows it very well--of looking at how do we prevent this from happening 
when the choices are there. These are preventable diseases and 
preventable ill health situations, but we've got to reach out and do 
it, and that's what this amendment does and I think it deserves 
support.
  Mr. KINGSTON. If I could reclaim my time, I want to read this quote 
from GAO. It says: The committee may wish to consider reducing the 
request for this initiative for FY 12 by $45 million until the 
effectiveness of these

[[Page H4259]]

demonstration projects has been established.
  And I want to say to my friend from Texas, we had some talks around 
this but not directly addressing it, not direct hearing; but I do 
remember and the gentleman from California might and I think Ms. Foley 
might remember that the Safeway in Washington, D.C., I believe has some 
sort of grant I believe to operate in an area that was considered a 
food desert, and I believe that that is one of the most profitable 
Safeways there is. Do either of you have a recollection of that? Thank 
you for pulling the rug out from underneath me this early.
  Mr. FARR. I have a recollection of that.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Do you remember that, Mr. Farr, that discussion?
  Mr. FARR. Yes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Was that not about food deserts?
  Mr. FARR. Yes, it was. But remember Ms. Kaptur's amendment in our 
committee of trying to subsidize farmers markets to go into high-risk 
areas to get it started so that it does develop a market approach and 
can be sustainable, but we reach out and do those kinds of things.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Let me reclaim my time. GAO reported that a variety of 
approaches, including improving access to targeted foods, have the 
potential to increase the consumption of targeted food that could 
contribute to a healthy diet, but little is known about the 
effectiveness of these approaches.
  And so I think what I would like to do, Mr. Chairman, is continue to 
oppose this; but knowing my good friend from Texas and from California 
will keep this as a priority, we'll talk about this. You know, the 
hour's late. The gentlewoman's been working on this for a long time, 
but I need a little more focus on it before I could accept it.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FARR. I yield to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. First of all, let me thank Mr. Farr and Mr. 
Kingston. I had hoped my friend from Georgia could see in his heart 
that this is a very small microcosm for a very large issue, and that is 
that food deserts do exist and the families that are impacted, number 
of families that include those who are members of the United States 
military from the very youngest child.
  I have been fiscally responsible, if that is the case, to narrow this 
very well, and I have no quarrel with individual chains engaging in 
marketing outreach. But I'm talking about hard-to-serve areas that 
include urban and rural areas where there are no food chains to engage 
in any benevolent assistance.
  I'm also suggesting to you that if you look at the landscape of 
districts across the Nation, just take for example my district is 
number 32 in regards to food insecurity, but there are 31 above me. The 
people have limited access to food.
  I enjoy the point that Mr. Farr made about Ms. Kaptur's farmers 
markets. This will infuse energy into the farmers markets. This will 
create jobs for a limited amount of pilot resources. This is the right 
thing to do. This is to take a great land like America and say we want 
everybody to minimally have access to good, healthy, nutritious food.
  So I would ask for the humanitarian consideration of my friends on 
the other side of the aisle. I thank the gentleman from California for 
his instructiveness and the work of the members of this Appropriations 
Committee, and I ask my colleagues to support this amendment, the 
Jackson Lee amendment. It fills the gaping hole of the lack of food by 
providing resources to cure the problem of food deserts.
  Mr. FARR. I yield back the balance of my time, Mr. Chairman.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas will 
be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 23 Offered by Mr. Gibson

  Mr. GIBSON. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 80, after line 2, insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  For the cost of broadband loans, as authorized 
     by section 601 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, to 
     remain available until expended, there is hereby 
     appropriated, and the amount otherwise provided by this Act 
     for payments to the General Services Administration for rent 
     under the heading ``Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and 
     Rental Payments'' is hereby reduced by, $6,000,000.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. GIBSON. Mr. Chairman, over 50 congressional districts across our 
country have at least 10 percent of their population without access to 
high-speed broadband. My district is one of these over-50 districts. 
Now, this is a significant impediment to job creation. We have farmers 
without access to the high-speed broadband. We have many small 
businesses in our districts, including bed and breakfasts which impact 
our tourism without that access. This amendment helps address this 
situation.
  Now, the underlying bill zeroes out the loan program for rural 
broadband. This is down from $22.3 million that we just closed out a 
few months ago for FY 11, and with a healthy respect for the leadership 
of the Agricultural appropriations subcommittee, I think this is a 
mistake.
  I know that there have been issues with this program in the past. I 
have read the IG report. I will also say that my understanding is the 
administration has made progress since the publishing of that report. 
One of the things that has been said about this program is it has not 
been able to address the significant volume of requests, and I think 
it's important to note that in March 2011 they cleared the backlog of 
all the applications for the program; and, in fact, there's now up to 
$100 million in new loan applications, showing the interest in this 
program.
  Another criticism has been that this program is duplicative and that, 
in fact, you can apply under telemedicine for rural areas. And I will 
tell you that we have tried that in our district with no success, and 
this program that I'm offering as an amendment today for $6 million, a 
loan program, fully offset, is the only program exclusively dedicated 
to rural broadband. And this program, this amendment, $6 million can 
give us access to and support over $100 million in loan applications.

                              {time}  2240

  Mr. Chairman, this amendment will help create jobs, and it will help 
our farmers with profitability. Of course, I'm biased. But I believe 
we've got the smartest, the hardest working farmers in the world. Their 
issue is profitability, and this amendment will help.
  The CBO assesses this amendment as neutral, and it says that it will 
reduce outlays by $2 million in 2012. Let me say that again. CBO says 
this amendment will reduce outlays by $2 million in 2012.
  So how do we offset this? How do we provide access for farmers and 
small businesses to loan programs? We cut the Federal bureaucracy--$6 
million in office rental payments.
  Now, the USDA is blessed with some of the most significant office 
space among all the Federal bureaucracy. And in addition to what they 
have here in the District, in Beltsville, Maryland, there is additional 
office space of which they possess. So on top of all of that, there is 
$151 million in this appropriations bill for the rental of office 
space, including right here on M Street in Washington, D.C. This is a 
good pay-for to give access to our farmers so that they can have access 
to rural broadband.
  So to all my colleagues, I say this is a good amendment. The only 
amendment that provides exclusive rural broadband access. It's 
supported by the American Farm Bureau. It's supported by the New York 
State Farm Bureau and numerous chambers of commerce in my district. I 
urge my colleagues to support the amendment.
  I would like to yield to my good friend and colleague from Arizona 
(Mr. Gosar).

[[Page H4260]]

  Mr. GOSAR. I thank the gentleman for yielding.


                    Announcement by the Acting Chair

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman will suspend.
  The gentleman from New York must remain on his feet.
  Mr. GOSAR. I rise in support of the amendment proposed by Mr. Gibson 
and Mr. Owens because I think it is exactly what the American people 
want us to do here in Washington. The people expect us to be 
responsible with their tax money. The people have made it clear, more 
than clear, that the Federal Government is too big. Our job is to look 
for waste, inefficiencies, and bloat. The Gibson-Owens amendment has 
found such bloat and seeks to remedy it.
  There is no doubt that the USDA does good work and that the agency 
should have suitable workspace to conduct its work. Indeed, as Mr. 
Gibson has pointed out, the USDA has 3 million square feet of prime 
office space on The National Mall in a beautiful building that 
contributes to the architectural beauty of the Nation's Capital. To 
learn that the USDA also has a campus in Maryland that occupies 45 
acres of land is, itself, concerning.
  With all that office space currently available to the USDA in the 
Washington area and an additional $151 million to rent office space 
elsewhere, why does the USDA want to rent more office space in D.C.? 
The people of this country will not begrudge an architecturally 
distinguished office for the Nation's Capital, but a luxurious high-
rent office in addition is too much.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Georgia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I want to say to the gentleman from Arizona, if I have 
time left over, I will yield you some. But you can also get your own 5 
minutes if you want.
  Mr. Chairman, I oppose this.
  I want to start out by saying that the committee has taken a really 
close look at this over the years. And I wish you could see, from where 
you are sitting, better the saturation level of broadband access in the 
United States of America. That's in the blue. As you can see, the 
entire country is mostly blue according to this.
  But I would not want your eyes to just strain from there, so I will 
give you some numbers here:
  New Jersey, 100 percent penetration; Florida, 99.9 percent 
penetration; New York, 99.8 percent; Georgia, 99.4 percent; Arizona, 
98.2 percent.
  This program is not necessary. And in a time when we're talking about 
saving money, we do not need to increase this account. The process is 
burdensome. We get lots of complaints from people who have had 
applications pending for a long time and they can't get their questions 
answered, or they get approved but they can't get their money. Their 
eligibility is too broad. And in many areas, it competes with private 
sector broadband service.
  Now, the IG report had a number of things that they found. They found 
that this rural broadband program granted loans of $103 million to 64 
communities near large cities, including $45 million loans to 19 
suburban subdivisions within a few miles of Houston, Texas. That's 
hardly the intent of the program.
  The IG report also found out that they were competing with 
preexisting broadband access in many places and found that 159 of the 
240 communities associated with the loans--that's 66 percent--already 
had service. I will repeat that. Sixty-six percent of the communities 
who got grants already had service.
  Now, there was a little criticism, and the program was supposed to be 
reformed. But the IG took another look at it and found that, in 2009, 
only eight out of the 14 recommendations had had action taken on them. 
Thirty-four of 37 applications for providers were in areas where there 
were already private operators offering service, 34 out of 37.
  So when our committee took a look at this, we felt like the program 
needed changing. It did not need new money. So I must respectfully 
disagree with my good friends who are offering this and stand in 
opposition of the amendment.
  With that, I yield to my friend from Arizona.
  Mr. GOSAR. Well, I would like to disagree. And that is, as I serve a 
vast part of Arizona, 60 percent of Arizona, in which I serve a large 
number of Native American tribes which are fighting to try to get 
economic development and trying to get broadband service, this is 
exactly the kind of funding that we want to direct you to the 
appropriate place.
  The Native Americans are exactly the place that this could go. This 
is the economic development that they need, and they're currently in 
the process of trying to get that. They're trying to build that 
infrastructure, and this is exactly where that fund can be.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I now yield to the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
Gibson).
  Mr. GIBSON. I thank the chairman for yielding.
  I just want to reiterate that there is significant need for expanding 
access to rural broadband in America. We've got over 50 districts that 
have at least 10 percent of their population that are not in the 21st 
century, that don't have access to the high-speed broadband.
  I want to remind my colleagues, this loan program reduces outlays by 
$2 million in 2012, according to the CBO. This program should not be 
zeroed out. It should not go from $22 million to zero. We should accept 
this amendment.
  I urge my colleagues to accept this amendment so that we can continue 
to make progress with rural broadband.
  Mr. KINGSTON. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Wyoming is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. Respectfully, my chairman and I disagree on this issue.
  I raised this in our subcommittee of Appropriations, and his superior 
abilities to convince the subcommittee prevailed. But I weigh in on the 
side of Mr. Gibson and Mr. Gosar, and let me tell you why.
  The information that the committee chairman has is correct insofar as 
it gives you numbers on broadband access that will allow you a speed of 
receiving service that is so slow that it is basically 20th century 
rather than 21st century communications. For example, under the speed 
at which the numbers that the gentleman from Georgia has derived cover, 
this 99, 98 percent coverage, it would take you 9 hours to download a 
movie. Now, who's going to do that?
  But with this digital world we're in, the kinds of data that need to 
be unloaded in order to be a lone eagle, to have a business, to have 
the type of broadband access that my colleague from Arizona would like 
the Native Americans in his State to have, would require a much faster 
broadband service. And when you look at the speed of the broadband 
service that is consistent with having a robust community that has real 
broadband service, my State is at the rock bottom. Less than half of 
the people in my State have the kind of robust service that is typical 
of urban areas or suburban areas.

                              {time}  2250

  The same could be said for my colleague from Arizona and the areas of 
his State where Native Americans so desperately need the opportunity to 
market products over the Internet. So I encourage my colleagues to 
support the position of my colleagues, Mr. Gibson and Mr. Gosar. And I 
rise in support of their amendment.
  I yield to the gentlelady from Ohio.
  Ms. KAPTUR. I just wanted to ask the gentlelady if she would find the 
present time convenient to enter into the discussion regarding GIPSA, 
though we are on this amendment at this point.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. With the Chairman's leave, I would consent.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. Would you consent to a departure as I use the remainder 
of my 5 minutes to discuss the issue of the stockyards and the GIPSA 
rule?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for the remaining 
time.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. I yield to my colleague from Ohio.

[[Page H4261]]

  Ms. KAPTUR. I thank the gentlewoman. And while I will not offer an 
amendment to strip section 721, a legislative provision that prevents 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture from doing its job as instructed in 
the farm bill, relative to fair competition in meat products so 
consumers get fairly priced meats, I otherwise rise in strong 
opposition to the language that's in the bill.
  And when the authorizing committee wrote the farm bill, USDA was 
directed to use the existing packers and stockyards act to restore 
fairness to livestock and poultry contract markets. But instead of 
allowing the agency to do its job, Congress, in an uneven-handed way, 
has allowed itself to become captured by the consolidated meat 
industry.
  And while ranchers, farmers and producers are increasingly being 
squeezed out of the markets, and small, local slaughterhouses continue 
to close, large consolidated players manipulate the rules to favor 
their own business operations, and meat prices rise. Congress simply 
can't stand by silent.
  So on behalf of the millions of farmers, ranchers and producers that 
struggle every day to survive as they face the gargantuan task of 
competing against monopolistic entities, I oppose the base language in 
721.
  And I would like to place two statements in the Record, a letter from 
the American Farm Bureau opposing section 721 and a letter from over 
140 organizations supporting the pro-competition proposals made by the 
Department of Agriculture.

                                                     American Farm


                                            Bureau Federation,

                                     Washington, DC, May 31, 2011.
     Hon. Marcy Kaptur,
     House of Representatives, House Office Building, Washington, 
         DC.
       Dear Congresswoman Kaptur: On behalf of the six million 
     families represented by the American Farm Bureau Federation, 
     we write to support your amendment to allow the Agriculture 
     Department (USDA) the opportunity to complete reviewing the 
     60,000 comments received and the proposed rule entitled 
     ``Implementation of Regulations Required Under Title XI of 
     the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008; Conduct in 
     Violation of the Act.'' It is also imperative that USDA 
     continue its economic analysis of the rule.
       Farm Bureau is in the unique position of representing every 
     species impacted by this rule. We also have no affiliation 
     with major packers, integrators or processors, and therefore 
     our only interest is the impact of this rule on farmers and 
     ranchers. Because of this unique position, there are several 
     provisions in this rule that we strongly support, while 
     others give us pause.
       Generally speaking, Farm Bureau's philosophy supports a 
     market environment where our farmers and ranchers can sell 
     their product in a way that best fits with their individual 
     operation and risk aversion level. Our policy clearly states 
     that ``We support efforts to ensure open markets to all 
     producers.'' Over the years, our farmers and ranchers have 
     recognized the need for a referee in the marketplace, and 
     Farm Bureau policy supports the Grain Inspection, Packers and 
     Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) in that role. Some of our 
     policy supporting the authority of GIPSA includes:
       ``We . . . oppose any attempt to lessen the ability of 
     [GIPSA] to adequately enforce the act and its regulations.''
       ``We support more vigorous enforcement of U.S. antitrust 
     laws in keeping with original intent; to include . . . [the] 
     Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921.''
       ``The Packers and Stockyards Act should be amended to . . . 
     strengthen the ability of GIPSA to stop predatory practices 
     in the meat packing industry.''
       We support ``establishing GIPSA as the overall authority 
     and provider of oversight to ensure livestock contracts are 
     clearly-written, confidentiality concerns are addressed, 
     investments are protected . . .'' as well as ``enhanced price 
     transparency, [and] price discovery,'' and ensuring that 
     ``contractors honor the terms of contracts.''
       These overarching policy principles guide Farm Bureau's 
     comments on this proposed rule.
       It is also worth noting that Farm Bureau has consistently 
     requested thorough economic analysis from agencies when 
     promulgating new rules. Without such an analysis it is 
     difficult for America's farmers and ranchers to assess the 
     true impact of rules and to understand all of the 
     implications of proposed rules. This rule is no exception.
       We oppose language to preclude USDA from reviewing the 
     comments and completing their economic analysis and are 
     strongly opposed to any action that would stop work on that 
     rule.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Bob Stallman,
     President.
                                  ____

     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC, April 21, 2011.
       ATTN: Agriculture & Appropriations Legislative Aides
       Dear Representative: As a result of rapid consolidation and 
     vertical integration, the livestock and poultry markets of 
     this nation have reached a point where anti-competitive 
     practices dominate, to the detriment of producers and 
     consumers. Numerous economic studies in recent years have 
     demonstrated the economic harm of current market structures 
     and practices, and have called for greater enforcement of 
     existing federal laws in order to restore competition to 
     livestock and poultry markets.
       Until recently, Congress and the U.S. Department of 
     Agriculture have largely ignored these trends. Fortunately, 
     Congress included language in the 2008 Farm Bill to require 
     the U.S. Department of Agriculture to write regulations, 
     using its existing Packers and Stockyards Act authorities, to 
     begin to restore fairness and competition in livestock and 
     poultry markets.
       On June 22, 2010, the Grain Inspection Packers and 
     Stockyards Agency (GIPSA) issued proposed rules to implement 
     the 2008 Farm Bill mandates, and to address related 
     anticompetitive practices in the livestock and poultry 
     industries. These reforms are long overdue and begin to 
     respond to the criticisms by farm groups, consumer groups, 
     the Government Accountability Office and USDA's Inspector 
     General about USDA's past lack of enforcement of the Packers 
     and Stockyards Act. The proposed GIPSA rules define and 
     clarify terms in the Act in order to make enforcement more 
     effective, and to provide clarity to all players in livestock 
     and poultry markets.
       The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 makes it unlawful 
     for packers, swine contractors, and live poultry dealers to 
     engage in any ``unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive 
     practice or device,'' or to ``make or give any undue or 
     unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person 
     or locality in any respect, or subject any particular person 
     or locality to any undue or unreasonable prejudice or 
     disadvantage in any respect.'' The ambiguity of these terms 
     has resulted in uncertainty in the marketplace and hindered 
     enforcement of the Act.
       Key provisions of the proposed GIPSA rules would:
       Provide contract growers with commonsense protections when 
     making expensive investments in facilities on their farms to 
     meet the packer or poultry company requirements; provide 
     growers, farmers, and ranchers with access to the information 
     necessary to make wise business decisions regarding their 
     operations; require transparency and eliminate deception in 
     the way packers, swine contractor and poultry companies pay 
     farmers; eliminate collusion between packers in auction 
     markets; and provide clarity about the types of industry 
     practices the agency will consider to be unfair, unjustly 
     discriminatory, or when certain practices give unreasonable 
     preference or advantage. These are all terms used in the 
     existing statute, which have never been adequately defined.
       Prohibit retaliation by packers, swine contractors or 
     poultry companies against farmers for speaking about the 
     problems within industry or joining with other farmers to 
     voice their concerns and seek improvements. Currently, many 
     farmers are often retaliated against economically for 
     exercising these legal rights.
       Allow premiums to be paid to livestock producers who 
     produce a premium product, but requires the packer or swine 
     contractors to keep records to detail why they provide 
     certain pricing and contract terms to certain producers.
       Reduce litigation in the industry by eliminating the 
     ambiguity in interpretation of the terms of the Packers and 
     Stockyards Act. Such ambiguity leads to litigation as farmers 
     and packers seek court action to clarify the intent of the 
     Act.
       GIPSA has received approximately 60,000 comments on the 
     proposed rule during the five-month public comment period 
     that ended in November 22 of 2010. USDA is in the process of 
     analyzing those comments, and providing the in-depth cost-
     benefit analysis necessary before issuing the final rule.
       Because of the great importance of this rule to livestock 
     and poultry producers and consumers, and the large volume of 
     misinformation about the rule perpetuated by livestock and 
     poultry trade associations and packer-producer groups, the 
     undersigned organizations are writing to reiterate our strong 
     support for the GIPSA rule and for its swift publication in 
     final form.
       We urge your support for the GIPSA rulemaking process, and 
     its efforts to restore fairness and competition in our 
     nation's livestock and poultry markets.
           Sincerely,
         Agriculture and Land Based Training Association (CA); 
           Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association; Alliance 
           for a Sustainable Future (PA); Alternative Energy 
           Resources Organization (AERO)--MT; Ambler Environmental 
           Advisory Council; American Agriculture Movement; 
           American Corn Growers Association; American Federation 
           of Government Employees (AFL-CIO), Local 3354, USDA-St. 
           Louis (representing Rural Development and Farm Loan 
           employees in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas); American 
           Grassfed Association; American Raw Milk Producers 
           Pricing Association; Ashtabula-Lake-Geauga County 
           Farmers Union; BioRegional Strategies; Buckeye Quality 
           Beef Association

[[Page H4262]]

           (Ohio); C.A.S.A. del Llano (TX) California Dairy 
           Campaign; California Farmers Union; California Food & 
           Justice Coalition; Campaign for Contract Agriculture 
           Reform; Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment; 
           Carolina Farm Stewardship Association; Cattle Producers 
           of Louisiana; Cattle Producers of Washington; Center 
           for Celebration of Creation; Center for Food Safety; 
           Center for Rural Affairs; Chemung County Church Women 
           United (NY); Chemung County Council of Churches (NY); 
           Chemung County Council of Women (NY); Church Women 
           United of Chemung County (NY); Church Women United of 
           New York State; Citizens for Sanity.Com, Inc.; Citizens 
           for Sludge-Free Land; Colorado Independent 
           CattleGrowers Association; Community Alliance for 
           Global Justice; Community Farm Alliance (Kentucky); 
           Community Food Security Coalition; Contract Poultry 
           Growers Association of the Virginias; Court St Joseph 
           #139, Coming/Elmira, Catholic Daughters of the 
           Americas, Corning, NY; Crawford Stewardship Project; 
           Cumberland Counties for Peace & Justice; Dakota 
           Resource Council; Dakota Rural Action; Davidson College 
           Office of Sustainability; Ecological Farming 
           Association; Endangered Habitats League; Family Farm 
           Defenders; Farm Aid; Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance; 
           Farmworker Association of Florida; Fay-Penn Economic 
           Development Council; Federation of Southern 
           Cooperatives; Food & Water Watch; Food Chain Workers 
           Alliance; Food Democracy Now!; Food for Maine's Future; 
           Gardenshare: Healthy Farms, Healthy Food, Everybody 
           Eats;
         Georgia Poultry Justice Alliance; Grassroots 
           International; Heartland Center/Office of Peace and 
           Justice for the Diocese of Gary, Indiana and the 
           Integrity of Creation; Hispanic Organizations 
           Leadership Alliance; Idaho Rural Council; Illinois 
           Stewardship Alliance; Independent Beef Association of 
           North Dakota (I-BAND); Independent Cattlemen of 
           Nebraska; Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming; Institute 
           for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Iowa Citizens for 
           Community Improvement; Iowa Farmers Union; Island Grown 
           Initiative Izaak Walton League; Kansas Cattlemen's 
           Association.
         Kansas Farmers Union; Kansas Rural Center; Ladies of 
           Charity of Chemung County (NY); Land Stewardship 
           Project; Main Street Opportunity Lab; Maryknoll Office 
           for Global Concerns; Michael Fields Agricultural 
           Institute; Michigan Farmers Union; Michigan Land 
           Trustees; Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance; 
           Midwest Environmental Advocates; Midwest Organic Dairy 
           Producers Association; Minnesota Farmers Union; 
           Missionary Society of St. Columban; Mississippi 
           Livestock Markets Association; Missouri Farmers Union; 
           Missouri Rural Crisis Center; National Catholic Rural 
           Life Conference; National Family Farm Coalition; 
           National Farmers Organization; National Farmers Union; 
           National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association; 
           National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition; Nebraska 
           Farmers Union; Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture 
           Society; Nebraska Wildlife Federation; Network for 
           Environmental & Economic Responsibility; New England 
           Small Farm Institute; Nonviolent Economics; North 
           Carolina Contract Poultry Growers Association; 
           Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Northeast 
           Organic Farming Association--NY; Northeast Organic 
           Farming Association, Interstate Council; Northern 
           Plains Resource Council; Northwest Atlantic Marine 
           Alliance; Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association; 
           Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance; Ohio Farmers 
           Union; Oregon Livestock Producers Association; Oregon 
           Physicians for Social Responsibility; Oregon Rural 
           Action; Organic Consumers Association; Organic Farming 
           Research Foundation; Organic Seed Alliance; 
           Organization for Competitive Markets; Partnership for 
           Earth Spirituality; Past Regents Club, Catholic 
           Daughters of the Americas, Diocese of Rochester, NY; 
           PCC Natural Markets; Pennsylvania Farmers Union; 
           Pennypack Farm and Education Center (PA); Pesticide 
           Action Network North America; Pomona Grange #1, Chemung 
           County NY; Powder River Basin Resource Council (WY); R-
           CALF United Stockgrowers of America; Rocky Mountain 
           Farmers Union; Rural Advancement Foundation 
           International--USA (RAFI-USA); Rural Coalition; Sisters 
           of St. Francis of Philadelphia; Slow Food USA; South 
           Dakota Livestock Auction Markets Association; South 
           Dakota Stockgrowers Association; St John the Baptist 
           Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order, Elmira, NY; 
           Sustain LA; Taos County Economic Development 
           Corporation; Texas Farmers Union; The Cornucopia 
           Institute; Tilth Producers of Washington; Trappe 
           Landing Farm & Native Sanctuary; Veteran Grange #1118, 
           Chemung County, NY; Virginia Association for Biological 
           Farming; Western Organization of Resource Councils 
           (WORC); WhyHunger; Women, Food and Agriculture Network.

  The meatpackers have a stranglehold on this House, scaring Members 
with millions of dollars in campaign contributions and real threats of 
political retribution. Instead of engaging in well-meaning public 
debate and attempting to win on the merits of the argument, the 
National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which has a right to speak out, 
but not a right to intimidate, sent out a national notice to its 
members to harass the American Farm Bureau. This is not the nature of 
well-meaning debate and, for many, has crossed the line of propriety.
  I urge my colleagues to resist the misinformation and to stand strong 
for independent producers and family farmers and ranchers.
  Section 721 of the base bill goes further than many realize. It will 
stop USDA from conducting its economic analysis of this industry.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number 
of words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. I yield to the gentlelady from Ohio.
  Ms. KAPTUR. I thank the gentleman so very much for that kind effort.
  The current proposal will silence the nearly 60,000 comments on the 
rule because it will prevent USDA from reading the record. And, 
finally, it will undermine long overdue fairness in poultry and 
livestock contracts for millions of farmers, ranchers and producers.
  By allowing section 721 to remain in the bill, the House is standing 
with the few big meatpackers and against the many thousands and 
thousands of producers.
  To understand how illogical this committee's action is, I refer the 
House to the committee report where, on competition issues, the 
committee directed USDA to submit legal documents by June 10, 5 days 
ago, and before the House began consideration of this bill. On its 
face, the committee has directed the agency to comply with something 
before the House has even considered the bill. Is this proper?
  Furthermore, I would note that, ironically, if section 721 were to be 
implemented, the agency would not be able to comply with its own report 
language. If there ever was a time that the Appropriations Committee 
has overstepped its bounds, this is it.
  After the 2002 farm bill, this committee prevented USDA from 
implementing an important provision of law known as the Country of 
Origin labeling. It was the same consolidated meat packing industry 
crying from the rafters with claims of exaggerated economic costs which 
was behind the meat labeling COOL delay. We seem to have returned to 
the dark days, recycling the same talking points.
  It took us almost 8 years and, finally, consumers now have the legal 
right to see where their meat comes from, which is what the vast 
majority of the American people wanted. So on behalf of the millions of 
farmers, ranchers and independent producers, I pledge to continue this 
fight and to prevent a similar 8 years of delay and confusion on USDA 
competition rules in the meat industry.
  Let USDA do its job.
  I thank the gentleman and the gentlewoman so much for their 
consideration.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, I thank the gentlelady for her 
attention to this matter, both gentleladies for their attention to this 
matter and for standing up with and for the best interests of 
agriculture.
  Mr. Farr. Mr. Chair, I submit the following:

                   Statement of Administration Policy


       H.R. 2112--Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
     Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

                          (rep. rogers, r-ky)

       The Administration has serious concerns about the content 
     of H.R. 2112, making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural 
     Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related 
     Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 
     2012, and for other purposes. The Administration is committed 
     to ensuring the Nation lives within its means and reducing 
     the deficit so that the Nation can compete in the global 
     economy and win the future. That is why the President put 
     forth a comprehensive fiscal framework that reduces the 
     deficit by $4 trillion,

[[Page H4263]]

     supports economic growth and long-term job creation, protects 
     critical investments, and meets the commitments made to 
     provide dignity and security to Americans no matter their 
     circumstances.
       While overall funding limits and subsequent allocations 
     remain unclear pending the outcome of ongoing bipartisan, 
     bicameral discussions between the Administration and 
     congressional leadership on the Nation's long-term fiscal 
     picture, the bill provides insufficient funding for a number 
     of programs in a way that undermines core government 
     functions and investments key to economic growth and job 
     creation. Programs adversely affected by the bill include:
       Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The Administration 
     strongly objects to the level of funding provided for 
     nutrition programs that are critical to the health of 
     nutritionally at-risk women, infants, children, and elderly 
     adults. The proposed funding levels would lead to hundreds of 
     thousands of participants being cut from the Special 
     Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and 
     Children (WIC) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, 
     and reduce Federal support for food banks. These cuts would 
     undermine efforts to prevent hunger and support sound 
     nutrition for some of the most vulnerable members of our 
     society.
       Food Safety. The Administration is concerned with the 
     funding provided in the bill for the Department of 
     Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service 
     (FSIS) which will significantly hamper USDA's ability to 
     inspect food processing plants and prevent food borne 
     illnesses and disease such as E. coli and Salmonella from 
     contaminating America's food supply. The Committee's 
     recommendation may require the agency to furlough employees 
     including frontline inspectors which make up over 80 percent 
     of FSIS staff. By reducing FSIS inspections, food processing 
     plants may be forced to reduce line speeds, which could lead 
     to decreasing product output and profits, as well as plant 
     closures.
       Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI). The 
     Administration is concerned that the bill does not support 
     HFFI, which is a key initiative to combat childhood obesity. 
     HFFI will expand USDA's activities to bring healthy foods to 
     low-income Americans and increase the availability of 
     affordable, healthy foods in underserved urban and rural 
     communities by bringing grocery stores and other fresh food 
     retailers to ``food desert'' communities where there is 
     little or no access to healthy food.
       Research. The bill provides insufficient funds for USDA 
     research programs, which are needed to help solve food 
     production, safety, quality, energy and environmental 
     problems. By reducing funding for the Agricultural Research 
     Service to its lowest level since 2004 as well as 
     inadequately funding the Nation's competitive grant program, 
     the bill will hinder the Department's ability to develop 
     solutions to address current as well as impending critical 
     national and international challenges.
       Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Administration is 
     concerned that the funding level in the bill and resulting 
     staff reductions will severely limit the FDA's ability to 
     protect the public's health, assure the American consumer 
     that food and medical products are safe, and improve 
     Americans' access to safe and less costly generic drugs and 
     biologics.
       Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The 
     Administration strongly objects to the funding level for 
     CFTC, as it would cause a cut in staffing levels and 
     seriously undermine CFTC's ability to protect investors and 
     consumers by effectively policing the futures and swaps 
     marketplace through its current market oversight and 
     enforcement functions. Moreover, the funding level would 
     significantly curtail the timely, effective implementation of 
     the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection 
     Act, including new CFTC responsibilities to regulate the $300 
     trillion swaps derivatives market.
       International Food Aid. The Administration opposes the 
     level of funding provided for the Food for Peace Title II 
     international food aid program as it would severely limit the 
     United States' ability to provide food assistance in response 
     to emergencies and disasters around the world. Given a 
     statutory floor on non-emergency development food aid, a 
     reduction would be borne entirely by the emergency component 
     of the program, and would prevent distribution of emergency 
     food aid to over 1.1 million beneficiaries.
       In addition, the bill includes the following problematic 
     policy and language issues:
       Restrictions on Finalizing USDA Regulations. The 
     Administration opposes the inclusion of section 721 of the 
     bill, which effectively prevents USDA's Grain Inspection, 
     Packers and Stockyards Administration from finalizing a rule 
     on conduct that would violate the Packers and Stockyards Act 
     of 1921. The final rule has not yet been published and any 
     concerns about the rule are better addressed through the 
     standard rulemaking process than through an appropriations 
     rider.
       Restrictions on FDA Regulations and Guidance. The 
     Administration strongly opposes section 740 of the bill, 
     which would undermine or nullify FDA statutory standards that 
     have been in place for decades and that are essential to 
     protect the health of Americans. The provision would unduly 
     limit the factors that FDA considers in determining the best 
     ways to protect the public from unsafe foods; protect the 
     safety of the blood supply from HIV, West Nile Virus, and 
     other infections; ensure the safety of infant formula; 
     protect patients from drugs and medical devices that have not 
     been shown to be safe and effective; assure that food 
     labeling and health claims on foods are accurate; and reduce 
     youth use of tobacco products and otherwise reduce illness 
     and death caused by tobacco use.
       WTO Trade Dispute. The Administration is concerned by a 
     provision in section 743 that would eliminate payments that 
     are being made as part of the mutually agreed settlement of a 
     World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute regarding U.S. 
     domestic cotton supports and the export credit guarantee 
     program. The framework serves as a basis to avoid trade-
     related countermeasures by Brazil that are authorized by the 
     WTO until the enactment of successor legislation to the 
     current Farm Bill. Under the agreement, the United States is 
     committed to fund technical assistance and capacity-building 
     support for Brazil's cotton sector. The bill's provision 
     preempts the resolution process and would open the door to 
     retaliation negatively affecting U.S. exports and interests.
       The Administration strongly opposes inclusion of 
     ideological and political provisions that are beyond the 
     scope of funding legislation.
       The Administration looks forward to working with the 
     Congress as the fiscal year 2012 appropriations process moves 
     forward to ensure the Administration can support enactment of 
     the legislation.

  Mr. KING of Iowa. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Gibson).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New York 
will be postponed.


               Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mr. Blumenauer

  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following new section:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel of the 
     Department of Agriculture to provide benefits described in 
     section 1001D(b)(1)(C) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 
     U.S.C. 1308-3a(b)(1)(C)) to a person or legal entity in 
     excess of $125,000.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, these are challenging budgets and 
difficult economic times. But unfortunately, there really are 
alternatives to slashing environmental payments and nutritional support 
in the farm bill. There is an alternative to reform and modernize.
  The last farm bill pretended to start limitations in payments. But 
exempted from the modest limitations in some areas were market loan 
payments, loan deficiency payments, and commodity certificates not 
capped. This means that entities can virtually receive unlimited title 
I dollars under the current law.
  Mr. Chairman, it's important for us, as we are dealing with trying to 
reduce the strain on the Federal budget, to do so in a way that is 
strategic. The amendment I propose would establish a $125,000 payment 
limitation in total. Now, this will save two-thirds of a billion 
dollars.
  Bear in mind that we are now cutting existing environmental contracts 
if this bill came forward. The majority of farmers and ranchers in this 
country still receive nothing, 62 percent receive nothing. In my State 
of Oregon, it's 87 percent of the farmers and ranchers. It's time to 
start with modest restrictions on government subsidies.
  There are a wide range of areas in this budget. As it's working its 
way through the House, we're going to see very dramatic reductions, 
almost a third in transportation. We sliced $1 billion from sewer and 
water programs to State and local governments. At a time of record high 
farm commodity prices, this would be a time to place this modest 
limitation.
  There's actually a question whether or not some of these payments 
even go to farmers at all. In 2009, some of the entities that received 
title I handouts--the Fidelity National Title Institute received over 
$4.85 million. Almost $3 million went to the Mercer County

[[Page H4264]]

Abstract Company. The American Marketing Peanut Association received 
largesse from the Federal Government worth over $3.98 million.

                              {time}  2300

  These aren't the small family farmers that I think all of us would 
like to support.
  In this day and age, it's embarrassing to be giving away $4 million 
of taxpayer money in 1 year to a private, for-profit company when I 
think what we should be doing is concentrating on the support for 
America's farmers and ranchers. We have the opportunity, with this 
amendment, to take a step in this direction.
  I would strongly urge that my colleagues join with me in adopting 
this amendment establishing a $125,000 overall limit, and be able to 
start saving two-thirds of $1 billion and send a signal that we're 
serious about reforming spending.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I rise to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oklahoma is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. LUCAS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this amendment. This 
amendment would have far-reaching and devastating effects for America's 
farmers. I'm not sure the gentleman is aware of the full extent of this 
amendment.
  This amendment throws the Noninsured Crop Disaster Program into an 
arbitrary payment limit scheme. This program, in which farmers pay a 
fee to obtain crop insurance coverage, protects them from catastrophic 
events like flooding and tornados. If this amendment passes, farmers 
who have been flooded out are quite literally up a creek without a 
paddle. They won't get the coverage they've signed up for even though 
they've paid in.
  This amendment would also affect the permanent disaster program. 
Producers were required to purchase crop insurance to be eligible for 
that program. This amendment would be a bait and switch--they've 
fulfilled their end of the bargain, but we're pulling the rug out from 
under them now.
  There's a time and a place to debate the appropriate level of support 
for farmers. I welcome that debate as a part of the 2012 farm bill 
process which will in effect begin next week. The Agriculture Committee 
will be auditing farm programs for effectiveness and efficiency, and 
then we will seek input from across the country on the best way to 
support our farmers and ranchers while making good use of taxpayer 
dollars.
  Discussing farm programs in the context of a farm bill will represent 
honest, transparent policymaking. This amendment prevents that 
discussion from taking place by altering the terms of the contracts 
with farmers once they've already been signed. Protecting farmers 
during catastrophic weather events is the least we can do to maintain a 
stable food supply in our country.
  My colleagues in the Midwest have seen firsthand the devastation that 
comes with flooding. My colleagues in the Southwest know how droughts 
can turn healthy farms into desolation. For that reason alone, I urge 
my colleagues to oppose this amendment. But I also urge you to oppose 
it because policy changes like this should be conducted within the 
broader context of all farm bill policy.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, I oppose this amendment, and I want to 
associate myself with the remarks of Chairman Lucas.
  In the 2008 farm bill, we spent a lot of time working through this 
payment limitation issue. There were a lot of different ideas and a lot 
of different discussions, and it was not easy. We made significant 
reforms in this payment limitation area, and as the chairman indicated, 
we came to a resolution and people are relying on that. We've got a 5-
year farm bill. People make decisions not from year to year; they make 
them in the long term, and it's just not fair to come in and change 
things in the middle of the stream.
  One of the other things we did is we applied the payment limitations 
to all of the programs, and as I understand this amendment, it only 
applies to the commodity title. So we're once again going to create a 
different set of payment limitations for one part of the farm program 
compared to another.
  I don't know exactly what the purpose of this is because the farm 
programs are not designed to be a welfare program or to pick winners 
and losers and decide how big a farm is going to be and all that sort 
of stuff. The purpose of these farm programs is to support production 
agriculture so we can feed this country and, frankly, feed the world. 
You read all these stories coming from all over the world that we're 
worried that we're not going to have enough food to feed all of the 
increase in population and all that stuff. If you go down this track, 
you're going to go down a policy that's going to make it very difficult 
for us to feed the world.
  So this is ideology run amok. Some people have problems with the way 
we've designed this safety net. And I think we could do a better job, 
but this is just the wrong thing to do. This is too complicated an 
issue to settle here on the floor in a few minutes of debate. And it's 
just not fair to the people that have made long-term decisions, have 
invested a lot of money based on expecting that this farm bill was 
going to be in this form until September 30, 2012. So I encourage my 
colleagues to oppose this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HIMES. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Connecticut is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. HIMES. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment offered 
by my colleague from Oregon.
  And with all due respect to the ranking member, I think the effort to 
limit these subsidies is both fiscally responsible, more in keeping 
with the kind of market economics that so many of us in this Chamber 
believe are the right way to go, and will help the health of the 
American people, something that will have a dramatic impact on the 
rising health care costs in this country.
  Mr. Chairman, the amendment would limit the total title I payments to 
farm entities to less than $125,000 a year. It doesn't eliminate them; 
it simply limits them. Under current law, market loan payments, loan 
deficiency payments, and commodity certificates are not capped, and 
entities can receive unlimited title I dollars.
  Mr. Chairman, 4 hours ago in this Chamber, we debated amendments that 
would eliminate and gut the WIC program, WIC--women, infants and 
children. This is a program that seeks to provide basic food to poor 
children, to poor families.
  There were amendments that would eliminate the Food for Peace program 
whereby we send food--in those bags that we've all seen, ``A gift from 
the people of the United States of America''--to people who are 
starving around this planet, a gift from the people of the United 
States of America at a moment when we can use friends. And we said 
we're going to gut them, we're going to reduce them. Why would you do 
that? You would only do that if you face the kind of budget constraints 
that we face today. A brutal necessity to find savings.
  Here we have an opportunity to save nearly $1 billion in subsidies to 
large producers. These are not small farmers, as my colleague from 
Oregon said. The top 10 percent of subsidy recipients receive almost 
three-quarters of these funds. This is not the small farmer; these are 
big conglomerates.
  These subsidies are bailouts. We hear a lot about bailouts in this 
Chamber. And nobody thinks bailouts are a good thing. These are slow-
motion, year-in-and-year-out bailouts of an industry.
  Many of my colleagues support both the goals of fiscal responsibility 
and the idea that markets are efficient. Here, not only are we taking 
taxpayer dollars and sending them to a slow motion, perpetual bailout, 
but we're doing it in such a way that it creates cheap corn sugars and 
other things that go into the fast-food that exacerbate the obesity 
problem in this country. This is a bad idea. And I urge my colleagues 
to support this amendment for both fiscal health and sheer market 
grounds.

[[Page H4265]]

  I yield to my colleague from Oregon.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. I thank the gentleman, and I appreciate his kind 
words and thoughtful analysis.

                              {time}  2310

  The approach that we are taking here is to put an overall limit of 
$125,000 in addition to what we are talking about. This would have only 
affected about 6,500 entities in 2009. It is an appropriate step 
forward.
  I hear some of my colleagues concerned about changing the rules for a 
few thousand people who are getting huge amounts of subsidy. You know, 
this bill will change the rules for tens of thousands of farmers and 
ranchers who would otherwise get environmental protections, payments 
for environmental programs. In fact, some of the existing contracts 
would be abrogated.
  Now, there are going to be lots of changes going on. I hope that we 
start now beginning the process of agricultural reform and making clear 
that we want to start by putting some overall limitation during a time 
of record high farm prices. There is never a good time to do it. I 
think the time to do it is now.
  I look forward to a spirited debate on farm bill reform. I hope at 
some point we are able to actually do some meaningful reform, as 
acknowledged by even the proponents from the committee. We have got 
lots of problems with the existing bill. We could do a better job. It 
is complicated.
  Well, this isn't complicated. This is straightforward and direct, and 
I urge an ``aye'' vote in support of the amendment.
  Mr. HIMES. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONAWAY. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CONAWAY. Mr. Chairman, once again we have come to a point where I 
need to defend the work of the Ag Committee, the authorizing committee, 
the committee that knows the most about this process.
  The $125,000 limit is picked out of whole cloth. It is made up. It is 
arbitrary. It is capricious. It has no clue what it might have as an 
impact on the farmers and ranchers in the district and parts that I 
represent. It is a drive-by shooting of farm policy that, frankly, 
makes no sense whatsoever if you are really going to seriously protect 
the production of agriculture in this country.
  On the one hand, we hear our colleagues on the other side rant about 
imported foods, and they want to then turn around and make sure that 
the American farmer and producer does not have the safety net that we 
promised them in 2008. Now, I understand my colleagues don't like that 
safety net. They had ample opportunity when they were in the majority 
in 2008 to effect a farm bill when it came to this floor. If they 
didn't like the process, they needed to take that up with Speaker 
Pelosi and them.
  The process going forward that I anticipate happening next year is 
that we will begin, as the chairman has said, to audit these farm bill 
programs over the next several months. We will then craft, with limited 
resources, a new farm bill that will be introduced in the committee, 
debated through subcommittees and at the full committee, and then we 
will bring it to the floor. It will be exposed to all of these 
arguments in an appropriate manner that should take place, not in the 
appropriations process.
  I know my colleagues on the other side of the aisle did not vote for 
the budget we passed here in April. That budget clearly said the 
appropriations process in 2012 would not be used to effect a farm bill, 
that the farm bill would be written by the Agriculture Committee, the 
authorizing committee in 2012.
  My colleagues' arguments are unpersuasive, and I do believe this is 
an ill-advised amendment to go at a safety net that, by every 
description, is complicated, is difficult to understand, but it has 
worked to protect production of agriculture from the risks that they 
take year in and year out to provide the safest, most abundant and 
cheapest food and fiber source of any developed country in the world.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against the Blumenauer amendment. It is 
the wrong policy at the wrong time and the wrong place.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Again, I think that this is an amendment that 
is ill-conceived. I think it will do great harm, and I think it is not 
timely. I agree with the gentleman that the authorizing committee has 
great expertise. We have taken a lot of time to vet this program, and I 
think for us to come tonight willy-nilly and do it is very, very ill 
advised.
  Nineteen years ago when I came to this body I was on the authorizing 
committee, on the Agriculture Committee, and the chairman of the 
committee at that time was a gentleman by the name of Kika de la Garza. 
Mr. de la Garza was fond of telling us one of his life experiences, and 
that was his submarine story.
  He said that all of his life, from the time he was a little boy, even 
though he grew up in the rural areas in Texas on the farm, that he 
wanted to ride on a submarine. He always was just enamored with 
submarines. Finally, after he came to Congress and after he became the 
chairman of a committee, he had an opportunity to go out on one of our 
nuclear submarines. Of course, as the guest, he was allowed to take the 
wheel and to submerge the submarine, to get it up, to play with the 
periscope, and he was just really, really amazed at how impressive that 
nuclear submarine was. So he turned to the captain and he asked the 
captain, he said, Captain, how long can this nuclear submarine stay 
underwater without coming up? It is so fine, we have spent so much 
money and it is an excellent machine. The captain looked at him and 
said, Mr. Chairman, how long would you guess? And Mr. de la Garza said 
he thought for a while, and he said, Well, maybe a year? And the 
captain chuckled and said, Mr. Chairman, we can stay underwater for as 
long as we have food for the crew.
  We in this country will be able to defend ourselves and we will be 
able to have a strong country as long as we have food, and right now we 
are headed to getting imported food for the majority of our people. If 
we continue with the route that we are going, if we impose these 
limitations, if we limit the ability of our farmers to compete on a 
level playing field with our global competitors, all of our food will 
be coming from Mexico and South America and China.
  We cannot afford for that to happen. America cannot stay strong. Our 
people cannot be healthy. We cannot get safe food if we don't allow our 
farmers to have the capacity to earn a living and to produce the 
highest quality, the safest and most economical food and fiber anywhere 
in the industrialized world.
  We have to defeat these amendments. We have to studiously and 
assiduously study the way to reform these programs and to get cost-
effectiveness. But tonight in this bill is not the place to do it. The 
time to do it is when we take up the farm bill in 2012 with the 
authorizing committee and all others having the opportunity to take our 
time and to thoughtfully craft a new farm policy.
  With that, I urge the defeat of this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. KIND. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of 
words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Wisconsin is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KIND. Mr. Chairman, I do rise in support of my friend, my 
colleague from Oregon's amendment this evening.
  I am not sure if a $125,000 payment limitation is the right amount, 
but this isn't a new concept. There has been a lot of discussion about 
payment limitations under title I, and the gentleman is correct. The 
time to start doing this is now.
  We can pretend that there aren't major policy changes being made 
under this agricultural appropriations bill, but there are. There are 
deep cuts in the conservation title. We just had a large consortium, a 
coalition of outdoor sporting groups, write a letter expressing their 
concern about the deep cuts in the voluntary and incentive-based land 
and water conservation programs and the impact that is going to

[[Page H4266]]

have on quality water and habitat protection or the ability of our 
farmers to be good stewards of their land. There is a huge demand for 
these programs which will be dramatically affected with the deep 
spending reductions that are contained in this appropriation bill.
  The same goes for the nutrition programs. The huge funding reductions 
will have an impact on tens of thousands of families throughout the 
Nation, low-income children that rely on these programs, the Women, 
Infants, and Children program in particular, seniors on these nutrition 
programs. They are going to feel the effects of the decisions that we 
are making in this Agriculture appropriation bill.
  Now, for so many of my colleagues to stand up this evening and claim 
we can't mess with title I program funding, we should wait for the next 
farm bill, I think, is disingenuous at best.
  I ask my colleagues tonight, mohair subsidies? Is that the best we 
are going to be able to do? And I would submit to my colleagues that 
the reason why mohair was picked on is because they are not a 
particularly well-organized, sophisticated, politically-connected 
entity out there, so it was easy to go after them, as my colleague from 
Utah showed with his amendment.
  But we have known for a long time now that these subsidy programs 
under title I do distort the marketplace. They do distort our trade 
policy, as my Brazil cotton subsidy amendment highlighted a little 
earlier this evening. And we are long past time to start making these 
revisions in light of the huge budget deficits that we are facing.

                              {time}  2320

  When 80 percent of the producers in our Nation get nothing under 
title I subsidies--not a dime--that leaves a very small group of 
entities that is receiving the bulk of these taxpayer subsidies, and we 
all know who they are. They're the big five grain-producing entities of 
this country--corn, soybeans, cotton, rice, and wheat. They're the ones 
who are receiving the bulk of these title I subsidy programs.
  Under the farm bill, there are multiple programs which they can be 
eligible for: from the LDP Program, to Countercyclical, to the new ACRE 
Program under the last farm bill, to the Direct Payment Program. Many 
of us were arguing in the last farm bill whether it was necessary to go 
forward with direct payments that bear no relationship to current 
market prices--all based on past production history.
  Today, we are facing world record commodity prices in these 
categories. Not only did we continue them, but we increased the direct 
payments, and we're allowing double entities on the same fund to 
qualify for the direct payments. Yet none of that is being discussed in 
the context of this Agriculture appropriations bill.
  As to my original point, I'm not sure if 125 is the right level, but 
the concept isn't new, and it's definitely a step in the right 
direction. I think it's trying to bring more sanity to the title I 
subsidy programs, which we shouldn't be delaying until the next farm 
bill which may or may not happen next year. We know it's tough to get 
major pieces of legislation through during an election year, let alone 
a Presidential election year. It could be years from now before we have 
the next farm bill ready to go with any potential change.
  So I commend my colleague for offering this amendment and for 
continuing the discussion, and I encourage my colleagues to seriously 
consider supporting it. I'm sure the Senate will have some ideas, too, 
on things that they recommend.
  This, I think, is appropriate and it's not new; and to claim that we 
shouldn't touch title I, yet we're eviscerating virtually the rest of 
the farm bill in what we're doing with this appropriations bill, I 
think is disingenuous.
  I would be happy to yield to my friend from Oregon.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. I appreciate the gentleman's words, and I appreciate 
his courtesy.
  I listened with amusement to my friend from Georgia talk about his 
concern that we're going to be importing food from overseas if we have 
some reasonable limitation on these title I payments.
  The food, which are the fruits and vegetables that the people in my 
State raise--and I met with a bunch of them this last week again--get 
zip. They get nada. We're cutting back on the research funding for 
them. We're cutting back on marketing. We're cutting back on helping 
them comply with the environmental requirements that they want to meet 
because they're good stewards of the land. We're making it harder for 
them to do the work of producing food for America. Yet we're having 
lavish subsidies for five commodities, which is where 90 percent of the 
money goes.
  If you really cared about protecting the food supply, we'd redirect 
it. We'd save this $650 million, and we'd put it where it would do more 
good.
  Mr. KIND. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. I move to strike the requisite number of words.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Wyoming is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. I yield to the gentleman from Minnesota.
  Mr. PETERSON. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.
  I just wanted to clarify that it was discussed that what we were 
trying to do was to get the top 20 recipients off of the EWG Web site, 
and I just got a copy of it.
  Four of the top 10 recipients actually are title or law firms that 
did work for WRP. The top one is Fidelity National Title at $4.8 
million. That is all work that was done on WRP contracts. It looks to 
me like six of the top 20 are actually abstract and title firms that 
did work on conservation WRP contracts that are not affected by this 
amendment, so that's a problem.
  You're throwing all these statistics around and claiming that these 
big guys are getting all this money. But these aren't even farmers. 
These are law firms. Maybe we should have payment limitations on law 
firms. That might be a good thing. Maybe we should only let these guys 
do $125,000 worth of WRP work so that we can spread it around a little 
bit and make it more fair. That's the other problem with this whole 
concept.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARR. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FARR. I wasn't going to rise on this amendment--and I probably 
shouldn't--but this discussion just bugs me.
  I represent more productive agriculture in my district than anyone in 
this room--$4 billion in just one county--and I represent a bunch of 
counties. What we grow are specialty crops. We grow 85 crops in 
Monterey County. As we were talking about earlier, 58 percent of all 
the lettuce in the United States is grown in that county. We grow 35 
different varieties of wine grapes, and we are the leading counties in 
strawberry production and in a bunch of berry productions. In fact, our 
motto there is that we're the ``salad bowl capital of the world,'' 
which includes all of the ingredients in salad--celery, lettuce. All 
those things, we grow.
  Do you know what? They don't get a dime of support from the Federal 
Government. If the market falls, they eat it. If a disaster comes in, 
they eat it.
  So the reason these amendments are brought up by Mr. Kind and Mr. 
Blumenauer year after year is that, frankly--do you know what?--the 
farm bill doesn't address this issue. It really doesn't. It's too 
tough--it's too politically tough--and there are too many vested 
interests in this town. You have a whole bunch of agriculture out 
there, and some people would suggest that more than all of the money 
created in commodity supports is in what they call ``specialty crops,'' 
and that's the stuff you eat all the time.
  You can't have this bifurcated world out there where you have a bunch 
of people who are essentially on welfare and a bunch of people who are 
just assuming all the risk. What really surprises me is that, with the 
conservative side of the aisle over here that really is driven toward 
market approaches to solve problems, this is not a market approach. 
This is a subsidy. It's a taxpayer subsidy, and it's going to very 
wealthy people in some cases.
  So I am rising to say this amendment, as in the past, gets defeated; 
but

[[Page H4267]]

these gentlemen have an issue, and I just beg with the leaders. I've 
got great respect for the ranking member of the Ag Committee here on 
our side of the aisle. I know he can wrestle with these problems. He's 
a CPA. He knows these things.
  I think the handwriting is on the wall. If the conservatives on your 
side of the aisle would take this on as an issue that Americans are 
really going to address, we may get some progress on the farm bill. If 
you don't, you're abandoning your marketing concepts, and you're 
abandoning what is needed in modern America.
  Just remember, that apple, that pear, that banana in there, that 
celery, the strawberries--the list goes on and on with all the fruits 
and vegetables--they don't get any of these payments. So let's not have 
a bifurcated agricultural production out there where half of it depends 
on taxpayer payments and the other half has to just live by market 
forces. Let's have everybody a lot more influenced by market forces.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Oregon will 
be postponed.


                 Amendment Offered by Mr. King of Iowa

  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following new section:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to make payments (or to pay the salaries and expenses 
     of personnel of the Department of Agriculture to make 
     payments) under section 201 of the Claims Resolution Act of 
     2010 (Public Law 111-291; 124 Stat. 3070), relating to the 
     final settlement of claims from In re Black Farmers 
     Discrimination Litigation, or section 14012 of the Food, 
     Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-246; 122 
     Stat. 2209).

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, this amendment emanates from claims 
that were filed subsequent to a press conference held by then-Secretary 
of Agriculture Dan Glickman in 1995, who said that the USDA was 
discriminating against black farmers. I believe that happened. Their 
estimate at the USDA at that time was that there were approximately 
3,000 black farmers who would file claims under what resulted in a 
consent decree in the late nineties.

                              {time}  2330

  The 3,000 estimate became 22,551 claims of discrimination. But 
according to the census, there are 18,000 black farmers. According to 
the testimony of the president of the Black Farmers Association before 
the Judiciary Committee, there are 18,000 black farmers. Well, the 
18,000 black farmers estimating 3,000 claims of discrimination became 
22,551 claims. That was Pigford I. And $1.05 billion was paid out then 
to settle all of the claims that were there. There was an argument made 
that others didn't get filed. But it always was a number greater than 
the actual number of black farmers. And you can't have more black 
farmers discriminated against than there actually are.
  They tried to open up Pigford II. This Congress didn't act on it in 
an affirmative way between the House and the Senate until late last 
fall in a lame duck session. President Barack Obama introduced 
legislation as a junior Senator from Illinois in 1989 and 2007, and was 
instrumental in pushing this through in a lame duck session that 
appropriated $1.15 billion to pay out claims.
  Now we have not 3,000 claims. We still have 18,000 black farmers. Now 
we have 94,000 claims and report after report of fraudulent claims and 
marketing this as perpetuation of a fraud across this country. And my 
amendment shuts off the funding that would be used to administer or to 
fund the balance of these Pigford II claims, which this Congress must 
investigate the fraud that's here.
  By the way, Shirley Sherrod, who was fired by the Secretary of 
Agriculture, was the largest recipient and the largest civil rights 
claim in the history of America, with $13 million for her claim. Three 
days later, Tom Vilsack hired her to work for the USDA. Later, he fired 
her. Later, he hired her back. Then she sued Andrew Breitbart. All of 
these things are information that we need to find out. This Congress 
cannot be paying out another $1.15 billion in good money going after 
bad claims. We have reports and videotape. One is a class counsel who 
had his own videotape and says that he has 3,000 clients who have filed 
discrimination claims, and least 10 percent of them are fraudulent 
claims. A class counsel, who was included in this second agreement, 
which by the way, the court has not finally approved.
  So, Mr. Chairman, this amendment shuts off the funding that would be 
used to pay these claims, the funding that would be used to administer 
these claims, and it gives this Congress an opportunity to look into 
what has been done to the taxpayer here in America. And so I urge 
adoption of my amendment. I believe that I have explained what it 
amounts to, although it has been very intensively in the news over the 
last year or so.
  I would urge its adoption.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. The opportunities for Members to have 
amendments is a privilege that should not be denied. And I respect my 
colleague from Iowa for his right to offer an amendment. But it is 
tragic and disappointing that my friend from Iowa, who served with me 
on the Judiciary Committee, would take this time to demean the tragic 
lives that black farmers, Native Americans farmers, and others impacted 
have experienced over several decades; to raise the name of Shirley 
Sherrod, whose eloquent story and painful story of the loss of her 
father in the segregated South, who was murdered, and the family had to 
survive after his tragic murder because of his color--to my knowledge, 
a farmer, man of the Earth.
  I sat on the Judiciary Committee for a number of years, and this 
legislation proceeded through the Judiciary Committee. I join the 
gentleman in wanting to ensure the adequacy of the implementation of 
this settlement. I want to stand alongside a transparent system. But 
this was a lawsuit that many of the litigants died before they even got 
to the settlement. This is the American way--a battle in the courts, a 
settlement--had it not been for the good will of Members of this body 
on both sides of the aisle, members of the Congressional Black Caucus 
who joined with members of the Democratic Caucus, Republicans, past 
Presidents, who were concerned and interested in the devastation 
tragedy of the segregated South and a segregated Department who treated 
black farmers in a disparate way from others. Individuals who went 
bankrupt, who lost farms because they could not get the same access to 
agricultural loans that others could. And in the wisdom of the court 
system and the wisdom of this body and the wisdom of a settlement, 
relief was brought not before many had died and their heirs, trembling, 
limited, scattered, few, were able to come together and receive the 
funding.
  I'm sorry Mr. King was not at the signing of that final settlement 
and to see those historic families, patriots, who expressed nothing but 
love for this country. What a tragedy to come and interfere with an 
existing settlement. I don't even know how he can put this amendment up 
on the floor. It's late. We're losing our voices here. But I would ask 
my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to recognize that there's 
nothing wrong with ensuring that the Agriculture Department and the 
surrounding entities that are dealing with the distribution of these 
funds be transparent and without fraud.
  But it would be absurd for any Member to join and to vote to 
interfere with the legitimate settlement of legitimate claims that have 
evidenced the pain and devastation and disregard and disparate 
treatment and discrimination and unconstitutional treatment of farmers 
who we claim on this floor today to love. Farming is part of the 
American fabric. And if there's any

[[Page H4268]]

body of people who understands farms, it is the ex-slaves who worked 
for 400 years without payment in the cotton fields of the South.
  I ask my colleagues to consider opposing this amendment, and I rise 
respectfully to oppose it.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chair, Pigford v. Glickman was a class action 
discrimination suit between the USDA and black farmers. The suit was 
filed by an estimated 2,000 black farmers who said that USDA 
discriminated against them in loan programs. A settlement agreement was 
approved in 1999.
  The suit claimed that USDA discriminated against black farmers on the 
basis of race and failed to investigate or properly respond to 
complaints from 1983 to 1997.
  The deadline for submitting a claim was September 12, 2000. However, 
a large number of applicants filed late and reported deficiencies in 
representation by class counsel.
  Consequently, the 2008 farm bill (PL 110-246) permitted any claimant 
who had submitted a late-filing request under Pigford and who hadn't 
previously obtained a determination on the merits of their claim should 
obtain a determination. A maximum of $100 million in mandatory spending 
was made available for payments of these claims in the 2008 farm bill.
  The multiple claims that were subsequently filed by over 25,000 black 
farmers were consolidated into a single case, In re Black Farmers 
Discrimination Litigation (commonly referred to as Pigford II).
  On February 18, 2010, Attorney General Holder and Secretary Vilsack 
announced a $1.25 billion settlement of these Pigford II claims.
  The Pigford II settlement provides both a fast-track settlement 
process and high payments to potential claimants who go through a more 
rigorous review and documentation process.
  Potential claimants can seek the fast-track payments of up to $50,000 
plus debt relief, or choose the longer process damages of up to 
$250,000.
  Finally, our Nation's black farmers who were discriminatecl against 
by their own government have received some modicum of justice.
  Despite years of political gamesmanship that prevented us from 
finding a fair resolution, thousands of families who have waited for 
the settlements will now receive them.
  We cannot deny them this basic justice.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Iowa (Mr. King).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Iowa will be 
postponed.


                     Amendment Offered by Mr. Engel

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug 
     Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or 
     any other Federal Agency receiving funds under this Act to 
     lease or purchase new light duty vehicles, for any executive 
     fleet, or for an agency's fleet inventory, except in 
     accordance with Presidential Memorandum-Federal Fleet 
     Performance, dated May 24, 2011.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New York is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. ENGEL. On May 24, President Obama issued a memorandum on Federal 
fleet performance, which requires that all new light-duty vehicles in 
the Federal fleet to be alternate fuel vehicles, such as hybrid, 
electric, natural gas, or biofuel, by December 31, 2015.

                              {time}  2340

  My amendment simply echoes the Presidential memorandum by prohibiting 
funds in the Agriculture appropriations bill from being used to lease 
or purchase new light-duty vehicles except in accord with the 
President's memorandum.
  Two weeks ago, I introduced a similar amendment to the Department of 
Homeland Security appropriations bill that was accepted by both parties 
and passed by voice vote unanimously.
  Our transportation sector is by far the biggest reason we send $600 
billion per year to hostile nations to pay for oil at ever-increasing 
costs, but America doesn't need to be dependent on foreign sources of 
oil for transportation fuel. Alternative technologies exist today that, 
when implemented broadly, will allow any alternative fuel to be used in 
America's automotive fleet.
  The Federal Government operates the largest fleet of light-duty 
vehicles in America. According to GSA, there are over 660,000 vehicles 
in the Federal fleet, with almost 38,000 belonging to the Department of 
Agriculture. Supporting a diverse array of vehicle technologies in our 
Federal fleet will encourage development of domestic energy resources, 
including biomass, natural gas, coal, agricultural waste, hydrogen, and 
renewable electricity.
  Expanding the role these energy sources play in our transportation 
economy will help break the leverage over Americans held by foreign 
government-controlled oil companies and will increase our Nation's 
domestic security and protect consumers from price spikes and shortages 
in the world's oil markets. I ask that we all support my amendment.
  The chairman, the gentleman from Georgia, and I cochair the Oil and 
National Security Caucus, and we do it because we believe that America 
cannot be totally free unless we're energy independent and while we 
still have to rely on hostile foreign nations to get our fuel and to 
get our fuel supplies.
  On a similar note, I have worked with my colleagues, Mr. Shimkus, Mr. 
Bartlett and Mr. Israel, and for many years with Mr. Kingston to 
introduce the bipartisan open fuel standard, H.R. 1687. It's similar to 
what I'm doing now.
  I just wanted to briefly mention that our bill, not this amendment 
but our bill, would require 50 percent of new automobiles in 2014, 80 
percent in 2016, and 95 percent in 2017 to be warranted to operate on 
non-petroleum fuels, in addition to or instead of petroleum-based 
fuels. It would cost $100 or less per car to manufacture cars that 
would be flex fuel cars.
  Compliance possibilities include the full array of existing 
technologies, including flex fuel, natural gas, hydrogen, biodiesel, 
plug-in electric drive, fuel cell, and a catch-all for new 
technologies.
  I encourage my colleagues to support the Engel amendment and the open 
fuel standard as we work toward breaking our dependence on foreign oil. 
I thank Chairman Kingston for his courtesies, and I urge bipartisan 
support of my amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Chairman, the chairman of the subcommittee informs 
me that he will accept the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel).
  The amendment was agreed to.


                 Amendment Offered by Mr. King of Iowa

  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used for mifepristone, commonly known as RU-486, for any 
     purpose.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  This is an amendment that comes and there's an Iowa focus on this 
that affects the whole country. We have had a practice that began 
experimentally in Iowa by Planned Parenthood of issuing telemed 
abortions by distributing RU-486, the abortion pill, what is also known 
as mifepristone, distributing it through a means of setting up a 
television monitor and it circumventing the requirement in Iowa that 
they be seen by a doctor. A doctor sits remotely on the other side of 
the Skype screen, so to speak, and interviews the potential mother, who 
if once she answers the questions that the doctor asks and they record 
it under film that they've protected themselves perhaps from liability, 
he clicks the mouse on the one end and it opens a drawer underneath the 
screen on the other end and out rolls the abortion pill, RU-486.
  I am very concerned about the robo distribution of abortion pills in 
Iowa or anywhere else. Some of us signed a letter, 70 of us, to 
Kathleen Sebelius and asked if they had distributed grants for 
telemedicine to any of the abortion

[[Page H4269]]

providers, including Planned Parenthood. Their response came back in 
the affirmative, that they had issued several grants to Planned 
Parenthood; and these funds, as near as we can determine, are being 
used to provide telemedicine for the robo abortions, robo Skype 
abortions as I've described.
  This amendment provides that none of the funds made available in this 
$15 million telemedicine line item that's in this appropriations bill 
shall be used for the purpose of purchasing, prescribing, dispensing, 
procuring, or otherwise administering mifepristone, commonly known as 
RU-486.
  I would just urge the body to pay attention to what this means for 
the country and understand that no one in America paying taxes should 
be compelled to pay for abortions if they are doing that. Skype-robo 
abortions are abhorrent. They're irresponsible. We have 14 deaths of 
moms that have come from this; 2,207 adverse events; 339 blood 
transfusions; and 612 hospitalizations.
  This is a dangerous drug, and to distribute it through robo-Skype 
abortions--I'm opposed to it philosophically for a lot of reasons, but 
practical minds who might disagree on the abortion issue should 
understand that this government should not be paying for it. This 
amendment prohibits the use of these funds in the $15 million line item 
from being used to provide telemedicine abortions.
  Mr. FARR. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. KING of Iowa. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. FARR. Could you tell me where in the bill this has anything to do 
with what you're talking about?
  Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, I believe I did, but I would 
restate that there's a line item in the bill that provides $15 million 
to go to grants for telemedicine.
  Mr. FARR. That's not in the amendment that we have.
  Mr. KING of Iowa. The amendment that I have put out here says: ``None 
of the funds made available by this Act may be used for mifepristone, 
commonly known as RU-486, for any purpose.''
  And so I've specified why I'm concerned and why I address this 
language to the broader bill, but because there are grant funds 
available for telemedicine in the bill, that's why I'm concerned that 
this application that I've used could well go, and has gone according 
to Kathleen Sebelius, to those grants.
  If the gentleman doesn't agree, I would think he neither would 
disagree with the amendment because, therefore, it wouldn't have an 
effect by the gentleman's interpretation.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge the adoption of my amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. FARR. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I know it's late, but I rise in opposition to 
this, because, first of all, using telemedicine by FDA I don't think 
is, one, illegal, or ill-wise. Secondly, I think what the gentleman is 
going to talk about is a legal drug in the United States. It's been a 
legitimate drug in the United States after it met all of the rigorous 
FDA process in 1996 and has been available since 2000 in this country.
  I remember vigorous debates in this committee about the 
conditionality by which FDA would license this drug. It is legal and 
available in all 50 States in the United States, in Washington, DC, in 
Guam, and in Puerto Rico. It's a prescription drug which is not 
available to the public through pharmacies. Instead, its distribution 
is restricted to specifically qualified licensed physicians. To use it, 
a woman must go to a doctor's office.
  Whatever controversy surrounded the introduction of RU-486 in the 
United States was settled years ago, and there's no reason for this 
amendment other than to stir up the controversy over the reproductive 
rights of women. I think by the gentleman's comments, you can see that 
that's what he's trying to do.
  I would urge us all to oppose this amendment. And frankly it doesn't 
have anything to do with USDA funds, because we don't do telemedicine 
abortions.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Iowa (Mr. King).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Iowa will be 
postponed.

                              {time}  2350


              Amendment Offered by Mr. Clarke of Michigan

  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  Of the funds appropriated by division B of Public 
     Law 111-117 under the heading ``Economic Support Fund'' for 
     assistance for Afghanistan, $7,700,000 shall be transferred 
     to, and merged with, funds appropriated by this Act under the 
     heading ``Agricultural Marketing Services, Marketing 
     Services''.

  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan (during the reading). I ask unanimous consent 
to dispense with the reading, Mr. Chairman.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Michigan?
  Mrs. LUMMIS. I object.
  The Acting CHAIR. Objection is heard.
  The Clerk will continue to read.
  The Clerk continued to read.
  Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Chairman, I reserve a point of order on the 
gentleman's amendment. I don't have a copy of it.
  The Acting CHAIR. A point of order is reserved.
  The gentleman from Michigan is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
  I would like to let this Congress know and the American people know 
that I've identified a funding source so that we can provide nutritious 
food and fresh fruits and vegetables to those Americans who live in 
areas around this country that the gentlelady from Texas (Ms. Jackson 
Lee) so appropriately described as food deserts.
  As a matter of fact, this government currently spends hundreds of 
millions of dollars to build agricultural businesses, to help support 
farmers, to help new farmers start new agricultural businesses in order 
to address food desert issues. Unfortunately, that money is not spent 
here to help Americans eat better. It's spent in the Afghanistan 
desert. As a matter of fact, in this previous fiscal year, this 
government spent over $700 million on agricultural aid in Afghanistan. 
What I propose is to redirect 1 percent of that money that's going to 
Afghanistan right now, send it back to the United States so people here 
can eat nutritional food and have access to fresh fruits and 
vegetables.
  And I would like to say one thing. The argument on why we're spending 
that kind of money to support farmers in Afghanistan is because we 
don't want those farmers growing poppies to sell opium to fund safe 
havens for terrorists. We understand that there are people around the 
world that want to attack this country like they did many years ago, 
but because bin Laden is now dead, it's time for us to reassess our 
mission in Afghanistan. We don't need to spend $100 billion a year in 
Afghanistan right now. We need to take a share of that money to help 
the American people. So, if we took 1 percent of the money that we 
spent last year, we would be able to fund the program proposed by the 
gentlewoman from Texas.
  Look, I've got young folks in the city of Detroit right now that 
would likely not have to resort to selling drugs if they could make a 
living in urban agriculture. We need that money that's going to 
Afghanistan. We need it right here in the United States so we can help 
our farmers here, so we can support farmers' markets, so we can provide 
food and nutritional supplements to our pregnant mothers and to their 
infants and children. Our people in the United States need a share of 
their own money back here, and that's why I wanted to rise to raise 
this point.
  Now, I understand that the rules of this House may not allow me 
tonight to redirect that money from Afghanistan back here to this 
budget. And you

[[Page H4270]]

know what also, too? We could use a share of that money to help retire 
our deficit and debt at the same time. I'd like to work with you on 
that. But you know what we should do? We should change these darn rules 
of the House so we can reduce the overspending, help create jobs here, 
reduce health care costs--because people are going to be eating a lot 
better, and help the American people right now during this economic 
recession.
  I'd like to work with you. I'd also like to work to change the rules 
of the House so that we can do this, and I understand at this late date 
this is not the time to act, but I'd like to pledge an agreement to 
work with the majority so that we can save the American people money, 
save us health care costs, provide better nutrition, address those food 
desert issues, fund the initiative proposed by the gentlelady from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) and help end this economic recession and return 
us to prosperity.
  With that, Mr. Chair, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
  There was no objection.


                Amendment No. 22 Offered by Mr. Garrett

  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       At the end of the bill, before the short title, insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to 
     promulgate any final rules under paragraphs (13) or (14) of 
     section 2(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act, as added by 
     section 727 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer 
     Protection Act, until 12 months after the promulgation of 
     final swap transaction reporting rules under section 21 of 
     the Commodity Exchange Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from New Jersey is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. GARRETT. This is a protect retiree pensions and jobs by ensuring 
a well-functioning swaps market amendment.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask for your support today for my amendment which 
would do that--prevent unintended consequences from impacting literally 
millions of pension plan participants and the beneficiaries that 
follow. My amendment would simply require the CFTC to finalize 
important data-reporting rules before they implement new rules for 
certain swap transactions.
  See, with this change, it would be able to collect the transaction 
data that it needs to determine the reasonable standards for block 
trade levels and real-time reporting requirements without first 
disrupting the marketplace. You see, finalizing any numerical 
determination of block trade sizes or setting real-time reporting 
requirement timeframes prior to having necessary data, really, if you 
think about it, would be arbitrary, would encourage litigation, and 
will likely have the unintended consequences on those very same pension 
funds I talked about--their ability to protect their investors, as well 
as on the economic growth of our country and job creation.
  So, what this amendment would do is require swap data-reporting rules 
to be finalized and be in place before promulgating the final block 
trade rules or those real-time reporting criteria rules.
  Now, I do this because numerous market participants of all shapes and 
sizes have sent to us public comment letters warning of the dangers of 
getting block trades and real-time rules wrong. I will just give you 
this one. I had others. I will just give you one of those letters, and 
that comes from the American Benefits Council. Who are they? Well, they 
and their members provide benefit services to over 100 million 
Americans in the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets, 
whose members include more than 100 of the country's largest pension 
funds and manage more than $1 trillion on behalf of 15 million member 
plan participants and the beneficiaries.
  I will just give you one quote from this, not all the other ones: We 
have concerns about the sequencing of proposed real-time reporting 
rules in relation to the collection of swap market information. We 
believe that they should first obtain market information via reporting 
of trades of swap data repositories--which have to be set up, of 
course--and then propose rules based on this data such as real-time 
reporting, which necessarily would better serve the intended purposes.
  So, in conclusion, by instituting a more commonsense approach to 
these rule-makings, we're giving them the ability to collect that data 
of the swap transaction information to determine those reasonable block 
trade levels that they have to set, the real-time reporting requirement 
as well, and to do so in a way that will not impair the well-
functioning of the marketplace.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, I rise to oppose the amendment and move 
to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman and Members, this is part of the 
continuing effort to delay the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act as 
long as possible. We've seen some other examples of that. This section 
deals with public reporting swap data.
  What people need to understand, the people that are most afraid of 
the public disclosure are not the people that are using this market. 
It's the banks. What this is really about and what this end-user debate 
that's been going on is about more than anything else is that the 
public disclosure of this information will lower the spreads of the 
Wall Street banks that do these swaps. That's what's the bottom line of 
this whole deal.

                              {time}  0000

  If the market participants know more, like what we do in the exchange 
trading and so forth, the margins are going to come down and the 
profits of these big banks are going to shrink. In fact, some people 
have said that they think that once this is implemented that it's 
probably going to reduce the profits of the Wall Street banks 40 
percent. And they don't like it, and they want to delay it.
  So some would argue that we need more data collection, and I guess 
that's what you are arguing before this public reporting. I think for 
some swaps, that is the case, and I will agree with that. But on other 
swaps, the institutions are already collecting this data. They can go 
forward with this public reporting. We have the information. There's no 
reason to delay it. In other cases where we don't have the information, 
it probably isn't appropriate to delay it.
  But the CFTC has the discretion to do this, and it's right in the 
law. It's on page 328 of the conference report. And we've put in there 
the criteria to allow them to move ahead with the swaps where we have 
the data and to delay it where we don't have the data. But what you are 
trying to do is you are going to delay the whole thing, and all it's 
going to do is ensure that these profits and these big bonuses that 
they're paying on Wall Street can go on longer than they need to.
  So I don't know any reason why we need to do this. If you read this, 
they have all the discretion. All of the problems that people brought 
up with the block trades and these other things that people were 
concerned about are in there.
  And the last thing it says: They have to take into account whether 
the public disclosure will materially reduce market liquidity. And they 
are doing that, and they are doing that as we're going through this 
process. And I believe that at the end of the day, it's going to be 
fine.
  Mr. GARRETT. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. PETERSON. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. GARRETT. So the gentleman agrees that there is only partial 
information at this point in time out there.
  Mr. PETERSON. On some things.
  Mr. GARRETT. On some things.
  On other things, the gentleman would agree that there is no 
information out there at all on certain--
  Mr. PETERSON. Well, I wouldn't say there isn't any information. Some 
of these are so thinly traded that you are never going to be able to 
have real-time reporting. We understand that, and there is not going to 
be a requirement on those. But there's no reason to

[[Page H4271]]

stop the real-time reporting where we have the information and where 
that information will make these prices better for the people that use 
it.
  And this is the same issue with the end users. They're going to get a 
better deal if we allow this disclosure. Why they're fighting us is 
beyond me, unless they're in cahoots with the Wall Street banks. I'm 
not sure. Do people think that the folks on Wall Street aren't making 
enough money? Is that what this is about? I don't know.
  Mr. GARRETT. I would appreciate if the gentleman would not make the 
allegation that we make these applications here because anyone is in 
cahoots with Wall Street banks, such as you've just made.
  Mr. PETERSON. They are the people that are against this. They were 
against it when we did it. So I just don't buy that the pension funds 
are the ones that are concerned about this because the things that 
they're concerned about are covered in the law, and they're being taken 
into account by Chairman Gensler and the people at the CFTC as they 
develop these rules.
  Mr. GARRETT. If the gentleman will yield, I know I read through it 
quickly because I was asked to move along things quickly at the end of 
the evening, but one of the documents that I read was one of the 
comment letters. It was not from the Wall Street bank but was from the 
American Benefits Council, those very same pension benefits companies 
speaking about this. They are the ones who are raising it. So it is 
those end users. Those are the participants. Those people are 
representing beneficiaries. They are the ones who are asking for this 
delay. It's not the Wall Street banks that I'm making reference to. 
It's the pension funds.
  Mr. PETERSON. There are hundreds of thousands of comments. I haven't 
read them all. I don't know what they all say.
  Mr. GARRETT. We can supply you with the ones.
  Mr. PETERSON. Well, I have end users coming into my office arguing 
against their own interests. So I can't figure it out.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. PETERSON. But all I'm saying is this is an unnecessary amendment. 
It's in the statute. These things are covered. It makes no sense to 
delay the entire situation. You have maybe a few things that are of 
concern, and they are going to be taken care of.
  Mr. FARR. I move to strike the last word.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from California is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. FARR. What Ranking Member Peterson is talking about is that this 
is an ag bill that is to help agriculture, producers of agriculture. 
What this amendment does is hurt them. It supports the banks by 
delaying transparency. So it's going to cost the end user more money. 
The end user is all the customers that this bill is all about.
  If the gentleman really wants to help the banks, maybe his amendment 
ought to be in the Financial Services bill. But this is going to hurt 
our people that we, in this committee, work for all the time. And I 
don't think that's a very good amendment.
  I ask for a ``no'' vote on the amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Garrett).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey 
will be postponed.


          Amendment No. 29 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas

  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 80, after line 2, insert the following (and make such 
     technical and conforming changes as may be appropriate):
       Sec. 747.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used in contravention of the Food and Nutrition Act of 
     2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.).

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I hope my colleagues will 
join me in recognizing the value of emphasizing the importance of urban 
gardening. My amendment would prohibit any of the funds made available 
by the appropriations from being used in contravention of the Food and 
Nutrition Act of 2008.
  Forty-seven million American families live in poverty that restricts 
their access to healthy food. The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 
supports numerous programs aimed at reducing hunger throughout the 
country. Seventeen million children struggle with hunger every day, 
affecting their ability to learn and develop in a country so full of 
resources. It is unconscionable that millions of children do not have 
enough to eat. We cannot consider proposals that would contradict 
existing legislation aimed at improving food security, such as the Food 
and Nutrition Act of 2008.
  In my home State of Texas, where I represent the 18th Congressional 
District, 17.4 percent of all households struggle with food security. 
Community Food Projects Competitive Grants are a vital aspect of the 
Food and Nutrition Act and must be preserved. Community Food Projects 
Grants have helped thousands of people in low-income communities combat 
food insecurity by developing community food projects that encourage 
healthy habits and self-sufficiency. These grants increase the self-
reliance of low-income communities that have historically encountered 
difficulties in providing foods. Programs funded by Community Food 
Projects Grants have been successful in cities and towns. And, in fact, 
more than 550,000 Harris County residents relied on the Supplemental 
Nutrition Assistance Program to buy food.
  But one of the important aspects of this is the urban garden. The 
People's Garden School Pilot Program will develop and run gardens in 
high-poverty schools. Teaching students about health and nutrition and 
increasing access to healthy foods are invaluable benefits of schools 
where more than 50 percent of the student body qualifies for free or 
reduced-cost lunches.
  I rise to encourage support for this particular part of the bill so 
that we can continue to support urban gardening. And I want to salute 
Veggie Pals, a gardening program that does just that. It finds patches 
of land wherever it might be, and it makes sure that we provide healthy 
food.
  This amendment would ensure that nothing in this legislation, nothing 
in this appropriation would prohibit the growth and continued expansion 
of this very important concept of urban gardening. The number of 
Americans who suffer from poverty and hunger is unacceptable.

                              {time}  0010

  Reducing or redirecting funding meant to increase food security and 
nutrition is simply not an option. Join me in recognizing the value of 
urban gardens. And thank you to the Veggie Pals gardening program that 
has educated how many thousands of children and emphasized the value of 
good and healthy food.
  This program, Veggie Pals, urban gardening, educating people about 
nutrition, meal preparation, physical activities, cookbooks, Olympics 
and others, promotes healthy behavior.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. Chair, I rise before you and my colleagues today to take the 
opportunity to explain my amendment to H.R. 2112, ``Making 
Appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration, and Related Agencies Programs for the fiscal year 
ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes.'' My amendment would 
prohibit any of the funds made available by the appropriations from 
being used in contravention of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.
  47 million American families live in poverty that restricts their 
access to healthy food. The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 supports 
numerous programs aimed at reducing hunger throughout the country.
  17 million children struggle with hunger every day, affecting their 
ability to learn and develop. In a country so full of resources, it is 
unconscionable that millions of children do not

[[Page H4272]]

have enough to eat. We cannot consider proposals that would contradict 
existing legislation aimed at improving food security, such as the Food 
and Nutrition Act of 2008.
  In my home state of Texas, where I represent the 18th Congressional 
District, 17.4 percent of all households struggle with food security. 
Community Food Project Competitive Grants are a vital aspect of the 
Food and Nutrition Act that must be preserved.
  Community Food Project grants have helped thousands of people in low-
income communities combat food insecurity by developing community food 
projects that encourage healthy habits and self-sufficiency.
  These grants increase the self reliance of low income communities 
that have historically encountered difficulties in providing for their 
own food needs. Programs funded by community food project grants have 
been successful in cities and towns across America, and would certainly 
make a difference in the 18th Congressional District. In December of 
2010, more than 550,000 Harris County residents relied on the 
Supplemental Nutrition Access Program to buy food.
  Hunger and food insecurity have grave impacts on children. Students 
do not have the opportunity to succeed if they are hungry. The People's 
Garden School Pilot program will develop and run gardens at high 
poverty schools. Teaching students about health and nutrition and 
increasing access to healthy foods are invaluable benefits at schools 
where more than 50 percent of the student body qualifies for free or 
reduced cost lunches.
  Community food project grants and other initiatives such as the 
People's Garden Project represent practical and long term solutions to 
ending food insecurity in America. We must be committed to funding 
programs that encourage self-sufficient food sources, highlight the 
importance of nutrition, and reach children at an early age.
  The number of Americans who suffer from poverty and hunger is 
unacceptable. Reducing or redirecting funding meant to increase food 
security and nutrition is simply not an option. We must continue to 
fund programs like the community food project grants and the People's 
Garden.
  It is the responsibility of each and every Member in this chamber to 
work for the well-being of our constituents and to ensure that the 
basic needs of constituents are met. I urge my colleagues to think of 
those who are affected by hunger in their districts and support this 
amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas will 
be postponed.


                    Amendment Offered by Mr. Scalise

  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used to implement the Departmental Regulation of the 
     Department of Agriculture entitled ``Policy Statement on 
     Climate Change Adaptation'' (Departmental Regulation 1070-001 
     (June 3, 2011)).

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Louisiana is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Chairman, this amendment prevents any taxpayer funds 
from being used to implement the Department of Agriculture's new rule 
and regulation titled Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation.
  Mr. Chairman, we've had this debate on cap-and-trade in the last 
Congress. In fact, there was a bipartisan coalition of Members that 
voted and ultimately defeated the cap-and-trade proposal by President 
Obama brought in the last Congress. And yet here we now have a new 
regulation that was just issued by the Department of Agriculture less 
than 2 weeks ago to implement, in essence, a back-door attempt to put a 
cap-and-trade program in place in the Department of Agriculture.
  And if you'll look at some of the details laid out in this policy 
statement, this is a regulation that was just implemented by the 
Department of Agriculture. It gives new powers to the Department to go 
into areas where right now we, as a Congress, have said we don't want 
the administration to be going.
  In fact, if you'll look at what agencies like the EPA are doing in 
trying to implement other forms of cap-and-trade, global warming, 
carbon emission-type programs, we've been rolling those agencies back. 
We've been having hearings that have showed how this is not only bad 
policy but this will kill jobs in America.
  And so if you look at some of the provisions in this, the policy 
establishes a USDA-wide directive to integrate climate change 
adaptation planning into USDA programs, policies, and operations.
  Mr. Chairman, it further goes on, it actually gives new powers to the 
agency. It says every single office shall identify for USDA's Office of 
the General Counsel areas where legal analysis is needed to carry out 
actions identified under this Department regulation.
  Now, what does that mean? Well, if you just look at what these types 
of policies and regulations are being used to do at EPA, what it does 
is give the authority for USDA lawyers to go and issue findings that 
can then be used against our farmers, findings that will cost our 
farmers jobs, increase the price of food.
  And don't just look at what this policy does. Look at what's 
happening in some of the other agencies where they're already trying to 
carry this out, and Congress has been trying to roll them back.
  And so at a time when we're broke--42 cents of every dollar we spend 
is borrowed money--this new regulation creates and references all of 
these new offices, the Climate Change Program Office. It says they've 
got to develop a USDA climate change adaptation plan. It references the 
USDA's global change task force.
  In fact, if you look, after they released this new regulation, they 
issued $7.4 million to implement a bunch of new grants that are being 
used to do things like study carbon credits.
  Well, again, that was all brought up in cap-and-trade and rejected by 
Congress. And yet here they come with a de facto, back-door attempt at 
another cap-and-trade-type of program.
  We've got to stop this attack on our job creators. We've got to stop, 
in this case, the attack that's being proposed on our farmers. They 
actually are now spending millions of dollars, the USDA is, to study 
how farmers can grow crops in 2050, based on what they think the 
climate will be under these new regulations.
  Look, our local weatherman can't tell us what the weather's going to 
be this Saturday, within a 50 percent margin of error. And yet the 
Department's spending millions of dollars to tell us what the climate's 
going to be in 39 years to determine how our farmers should be growing 
crops. This is ludicrous. We rejected it here in Congress. We shouldn't 
be allowing these kinds of regulations to be implemented. And hopefully 
this amendment will get adopted.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Scalise).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Louisiana 
will be postponed.


          Amendment No. 28 Offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas

  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 80, after line 2, insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  None of the funds made available by this Act may 
     be used in contravention of section 310B(e) of the 
     Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 
     1932(e)).

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. As I discuss my amendment, I want to 
indicate to my friends on the other side of the aisle, for the life of 
me, I can't understand why you would oppose an amendment that costs no 
funds and only emphasizes the importance of urban gardening. There lies 
the ludicrousness of

[[Page H4273]]

the lack of collaboration and understanding when there are amendments 
that would help all of us. So I do express my great disappointment that 
you didn't understand the amendment and, rather than ask what the 
amendment meant, you voted loudly ``no.'' That's unfortunate for the 
American people. We do that all the time.
  But I rise today to emphasize the importance of making sure that we 
implement the judgment that has already previously been discussed that 
helps the unfortunate farmers that experienced proven discrimination at 
the Department of Agriculture and to credit Members on both sides of 
the aisle for recognizing it and recognizing the importance of not 
infringing upon a judicial decision, a settlement that could help a 
number of farmers in all categories that were acknowledged by many 
Members of this body.
  I thank a number of my colleagues who worked on these issues for a 
number of years. They worked on it with great sincerity and, as well, 
they recognized that it is important for us to continue to produce 
food, but, as well, we need to ensure that all farmers, small farmers 
and certainly minority farmers, have the opportunity to engage in their 
trade.
  My amendment would ensure that the agricultural appropriations are 
effectively and promptly made available as necessary through this 
process and, as well, to work with cooperatives supporting small 
socially disadvantaged producers.
  The amendment would make the allocation of funds to cooperatives 
supporting the work of minority and socially disadvantaged farmers as 
provided in section 310(b)(e) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act a priority.
  Again, this particular amendment requires no money. It just indicates 
that we should follow through on the provisions. However, this funding 
is vital to support the many farmers and their families that work 
tirelessly to make sure that other hardworking families have food to 
eat. It would be hard to deny the vital role that American farmers play 
in our society.
  It is also important that this significant group of American farmers 
not be overlooked, not be marginalized. And I would, frankly, say that 
we support their continued existence. They have a long history, and I 
believe it is important to do so.
  As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I remember the 
long journey we took in order to ensure that African American, Latino 
and Native American farmers would not be shortchanged of grants, loans, 
and programs. This amendment simply seeks to reinforce that.
  Finally, I would make the point that I hope that we would have the 
opportunity to find the necessary collaboration again to settle claims 
of discrimination from those farmers who had not yet come under the 
particular recent settlement. The President had requested some $40 
million to provide settlements for discrimination claims filed under 
the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

                              {time}  0020

  It is unfortunate that those resources apparently were not able to be 
included.
  The USDA anticipates that 600 claims will need to be settled under 
this action. The estimate of funding needed to settle these 600 cases 
is based on the average settlement cost for claimants under other civil 
rights class action law suits, most notably the already settled Pigford 
discrimination lawsuit.
  This request was only of $20 million. It is not in this bill. This 
amendment does not address the fact that it's not in this bill; it 
simply says we are fair when we understand the issue. I hope that we 
will have the opportunity to understand the issue. The more farmers we 
can have producing the good food that has made America great--the bread 
basket of America--is the better way to go.
  So I hope my colleagues will support this amendment that simply 
reinforces the importance of creating equal access to resources so that 
we can produce the food necessary for the American people. I showed 
just a moment ago that of a healthy child and a military family. We 
need to make sure that all Americans have access to food, and we should 
extinguish the concept of food insecurity. We can do that by helping 
the many different farmers and small farmers that rely upon these very 
important programs to help them produce the food for America.
  Mr. Chairman, I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. Chair, I rise before you and my colleagues today to take the 
opportunity to explain my amendment to H.R. 2112, ``Making 
Appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration, and Related Agencies Programs for the fiscal year 
ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes.'' My amendment would 
ensure that agricultural appropriations are effectively and promptly 
made available to minority farmers and cooperatives supporting small, 
socially disadvantaged producers.
  This amendment would make the allocation of funds to cooperatives 
supporting the work of minority and socially disadvantaged farmers as 
provided in Section 310B(e) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act a priority. I believe by considering cooperative 
development grants for farmers for the fiscal year 2012, we as a 
Congressional body have already taken a step in the right direction. 
This funding is vital to support the many farmers and their families 
that work tirelessly to make sure that other hardworking American 
families have food to eat. It would be hard to deny the vital role that 
American farmers play in our society. The benefits of their labors are 
immediately visible in our schools' cafeterias, our local grocery 
stores, and even on our dining room tables. American farmers and 
farming programs should be appreciated, supported, and funded.
  However, in this significant group of American farmers, it is 
important that we not overlook the too often marginalized population of 
minority farmers. As many of you may know, the history of minority 
farmers and government programs is a long and tumultuous one. Minority 
farmers have faced years of institutionalized discrimination when 
applying for Federal Government funding. This is a fact that is 
discouraging for many minority farmers, and quite frankly embarrassing 
for many government institutions.
  As a Senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I have been 
actively involved in the fight to ensure that minority farmers receive 
justice for the many discriminations that they have faced and a fair 
chance at achieving the American Dream. Too often African American, 
Latino, and Native American farmers have been shortchanged on 
agricultural grants, loans, and programs. This injustice has prevented 
minority farmers from being as successful as they could be. It has also 
prevented American society in general from reaping the benefits of 
their labor. It is with this very saddening fact in mind that I propose 
the immediate distribution of funding designated for cooperatives whose 
primary focus is to provide assistance to small, socially disadvantaged 
producers.

  By accelerating the disbursement of this funding, minority farmers 
and cooperatives supporting minority farmers will have earlier access 
to the resources that they need and deserve. The results of this 
funding--technological advances and agricultural sector growth--will 
benefit not only farmers, but American society as a whole. The benefits 
will be evident on our local farms, in our neighborhood supermarkets, 
and in our national economy. If we want our agricultural sector to 
grow, thrive, and compete, we must consider this amendment to make the 
distribution of these funds urgent and effective.
  The time has come for the United States to take a proactive role in 
upholding the standards of equality and fairness in the agricultural 
sector. I believe it is of the utmost importance that we make use of 
every available opportunity to acknowledge the work of all Americans 
whose labor contributes to the health and welfare of society. All 
agricultural workers, minority farmers in particular, should be 
provided the necessary assistance to ensure that the fruits of their 
labor can continue to fuel our daily work. This is not just because the 
government has historically done such a poor job providing equal and 
fair support to minority farmers, but because it is the right thing to 
do. With this in mind I urge the adaptation of my proposed amendment to 
H.R. 2112. Thank you for your time and consideration in this imperative 
matter.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Texas will 
be postponed.

[[Page H4274]]

                    Amendment Offered by Ms. Hirono

  Ms. HIRONO. I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the amendment.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  For preventive measures authorized under the 
     Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (16 U.S.C. 1001 
     et seq.) and the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act 
     (16 U.S.C. 590a et seq.), including research, engineering 
     operations, methods of cultivation, the growing of 
     vegetation, rehabilitation of existing structures, and 
     changes in use of land, there is hereby appropriated, and the 
     amount otherwise provided by this Act for ``Agricultural 
     Programs--Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and Rental 
     Payments'' is reduced by, $3,000,000, to remain available 
     until expended.

  The Acting CHAIR. The gentlewoman from Hawaii is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak in support of my amendment 
to restore $3 million in funding for the Watershed and Flood Protection 
program. Funding for this program was eliminated in fiscal year 2011, 
and no funding is provided in this bill.
  My amendment provides $3 million for this program, just 10 percent of 
the $30 million provided in fiscal year 2010. I am taking funding from 
the agriculture buildings and facilities and rental payments to offset 
the cost of my amendment. Under my amendment, the Natural Resources 
Conservation Service, NRCS, would make the determination on where to 
direct the funds.
  The Watershed and Flood Control Program provides for cooperation 
between the Federal Government, States, and localities to prevent 
erosion, flood water, and sediment damage. This is also a vital program 
to further the development, utilization, and disposal of water. It also 
helps to further the conservation and utilization of land and 
authorized watersheds.
  Watershed improvements under this program are cost-shared between the 
Federal Government and local governments. I think that's a good thing. 
The program is being zeroed out despite the fact that we have an 
unfunded Federal commitment of more than $1 billion for 297 cost-shared 
projects in 39 States, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands. These projects would help to reduce flood 
damage in 320 communities, improve agriculture water supply in 80 
communities, and improve water quality in 132 streams.
  Clearly, the national reach of this program is apparent from the 
numbers I just cited. In fact, I have a list of the 41 States and the 
Pacific islands that have been helped by this program, including Iowa, 
Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas--the list goes 
on.
  States and the local governments have worked together with NRCS, and 
they put up their own funds to construct flood control and water 
development projects. I don't think it is fair to leave these local 
governments holding the bag while the Federal Government just walks 
away from these commitments. Even shutting down projects of course 
costs money, and we can't leave them just halfway done on these 
projects. How can we just walk away from these projects before 
realizing the economic and environmental benefits they were designed to 
deliver?
  I urge my colleagues to support funding for this important program. 
It affects 40 States plus Pacific islands.
  I will submit for the Record a list of unfunded Federal commitments 
to authorized watershed projects in so many of our States.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentlewoman from Hawaii (Ms. Hirono).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Hawaii 
will be postponed.
  Mr. KINGSTON. 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. 
Conaway) having assumed the chair, Mr. Dold, Acting Chair 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. 2112) 
making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug 
Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year 
ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes, had come to no 
resolution thereon.

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