(House of Representatives - June 18, 2013)

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[Pages H3721-H3730]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Amodei). Pursuant to House Resolution 
266 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of 
the Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the 
bill, H.R. 1947.
  The Chair appoints the gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) to 
preside over the Committee of the Whole.

                              {time}  1528

                     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 consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 1947) to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural 
and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 
2018, and for other purposes, with Mrs. Miller of Michigan in the 
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  The gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Lucas) and the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Peterson) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Oklahoma.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture 
Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013.

                              {time}  1530

  This bipartisan bill is 4 years in the making, and I could not have 
had a better partner than my friend from Minnesota (Mr. Peterson).
  He began this process 4 years ago when he led us into the countryside 
to have eight field hearings across this great Nation. We followed up 
those field hearings with a series of 11 audit hearings on every single 
policy under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Agriculture.
  In all, we held 40 hearings on every aspect of this FARRM Bill. The 
result is legislation that calls for reduced spending, smaller 
government, and commonsense reform.
  The committee has held two markups of this essential bill, the first, 
last Congress, and one last month. Both of those markups lasted for 
more than 12 hours each. We considered over 200 amendments in total. In 
the end, we achieved a large bipartisan margin of support. The vote 
tally this year was 36-10, with 23 out of 25 Republicans and 13 out of 
21 Democrats supporting it.
  Some of my colleagues were amazed by the duration of the markup; but 
I came to Congress to legislate, and an important part of the 
legislative process is an open and fair debate. The Speaker shares that 
sentiment, and I hope during the debate of the amendments to the FARRM 
Act, we'll let the body work its will, then we'll vote for final 
  The FARRM Act is different for many reasons. There is a reason that 
we put reform in the title. This is the most reform-minded bill in 
decades. It repeals outdated policies, while reforming, streamlining, 
and consolidating over 100 government programs.
  It reforms the SNAP Act, also known as the food stamp program, for 
the first time since the welfare reforms of 1996; and it makes 
tremendous reforms to the farm programs.
  The Agriculture Committee and the agriculture community have 
voluntarily worked together to make these reforms and to contribute to 
deficit reduction. Every part of this bill is a part of the solution to 
Washington's spending problems. We save the American taxpayer nearly 
$40 billion, which is almost seven times the amount of cuts to these 
programs under sequestration.
  Regarding reforms to traditional farm programs, first of all, we 
eliminate direct payments. They cost taxpayers $5 billion a year. They 
were payments that people received every year, regardless of the market 
conditions and whether or not they farmed.
  Instead, we take a more market-oriented approach to policy, where 
there is no support when market prices are high. We encourage 
responsible risk management where farmers are able to plan for 
catastrophic events.
  In addition to eliminating direct payments, we repeal the ACRE Act, 
the disaster program for crops, and the countercyclical program. My 
philosophy from the beginning of the FARRM Bill process has been that 
these programs had to be based on market economies. They had to work 

[[Page H3722]]

all crops in all regions of the country. Our bill achieves this, while 
also saving $23 billion, which is a record 36 percent spending 
  In conservation, a subject near and dear to my heart, we streamline 
the delivery of these incredibly important programs. During our 
hearings, we learned that conservation programs had grown in number and 
complication, often acting as a deterrent for the adoption of these 
voluntary, incentive-based programs. Therefore, the FARRM Act 
eliminates and consolidates 23 duplicative and overlapping programs 
into 13, which saves nearly $7 billion.
  We authorize and strengthen and fully pay for livestock disaster 
assistance that is incredibly important to our livestock producers 
during devastating droughts, such as the ones we're experiencing 
  The bill invests in core specialty crop initiatives like Specialty 
Block Grants, Plant Pest and Disease Management programs; and the FARRM 
Act also maintains our investment in agricultural research.
  You know, my friends, I've had a lot of my colleagues ask me, Frank, 
why do you get so excited about these issues? Why do you get so stirred 
up? You're usually a pretty calm, laid-back fellow.
  Well, let me tell you, I come from a part of the country that was the 
abyss of the Great Depression and the drought of the 1930s. Some of you 
may have seen Mr. Burns' documentary about the Dust Bowl. Those are my 
constituents. Those were my relatives in Roger Mills County, as well as 
the panhandle.
  I was raised by a generation, my grandparents, who were young men and 
women during the Great Depression, who lived through that drought. They 
were scarred forever.
  My maternal grandfather cosigned my first farm lease, cosigned my 
note at the bank so that I could start farming. But he was convinced, 
till the day he died, just as my other grandfather was, the Great 
Depression was coming back; it was coming back.
  My parents were young men and women in the fifties, and they went 
through the drought of the fifties, far worse than the drought of the 
thirties. To the day he died, my father was convinced that it would 
never rain again.
  And I came home from college in 1982 just in time to observe the 
collapse in agricultural land prices. I was raised by the generation 
that suffered through the thirties and the fifties.
  I came home to watch the Vietnam generation be destroyed, farmers be 
destroyed by things beyond their control in the early 1980s. That's why 
I get so worked up on this policy.
  The misery of the thirties, the misery of the eighties, economically, 
was not an accident. It was policy mistakes in the twenties and 
thirties that led to that agony. It was policy mistakes in the 
seventies and eighties that led to that agony.
  Now, you say, Frank, you're excited, you're getting worked up. Look 
at the 1930 census for Roger Mills County. There were 14,000 people 
living in my home county. By the 1940 census there were 7,000 people 
living in my home county. And we've just now made it back to the mid-
  You don't have that kind of economic devastation, depopulation, 
suffering by accident. And that's why I'm here; that's why I'm working 
with my colleague, the ranking member, Mr. Peterson. That's why I've 
worked with Republicans, Democrats alike for years now to get to this 
point. That's why I want to work with all of you.
  I cannot make it rain. There may be people in this town who say they 
can make it rain, but I cannot make it rain. But in my tenure as 
chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, I can make sure we pass a 
comprehensive FARRM Bill that does not repeat the mistakes of the 1920s 
and -30s, does not repeat the mistakes of the 1970s and -80s.
  I will not be a part of inflicting on future generations what was 
inflicted on what I call that generation of Vietnam veterans who came 
home to farm and, instead, went to the bankruptcy auctions, or my 
grandparents' generation, whose young men and women were wiped out in 
the 1930s. I will not be a part of that.
  So I will work with all of you to try and improve this draft that 
attempts to produce a safety net that is workable, that is efficient, 
both for rural America and producers, but also for consumers.
  I ask you to work with me in that regard. I ask you to do the right 
thing. I ask you to avoid the mistakes of the past. I ask you to look 
at the language, to study the language, and be good, responsible 
  Madam Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I want to associate myself with the comments of the chairman, who, by 
the way, has done an outstanding job putting this bill together. And 
with the exception of maybe some differences on the SNAP title of the 
bill, I have to say that if I was still chairman, I wouldn't have a 
bill that's much different than what the chairman and I have put 
together. And maybe one of the reasons for that is that my family has a 
similar background to Mr. Lucas' family. My grandfather went through 
the Depression.

                              {time}  1540

  My father almost got bankrupted by Ezra Taft Benson and some of the 
nonsense that went on during that period of time. So the chairman is 
right. Policy makes a big difference in agriculture, and I stand with 
him in never going back to a time where we don't give our farmers and 
ranchers the safety net they need to operate in a very risky and now 
capital intensive business.
  So today we're debating a new 5-year farm bill. As the chairman said, 
the process has gone on long enough. We started the debate on this when 
I was still chairman, and it's time for us to pass a bill.
  This farm bill gives farmers and ranchers the necessary tools to 
provide American consumers with the safest, most abundant and most 
affordable food supply in the world. The bill includes farm, 
conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, 
forestry, energy and specialty crop programs.
  With roughly 16 million American jobs tied to agriculture, the farm 
bill is a jobs bill. The rural economy remained strong during our 
Nation's financial crisis, and in my part of the world it was 
agriculture that kind of kept us going through that process. This is 
why the farm bill is so important. Failing to pass a new 5-year farm 
bill could potentially devastate our rural economy. Why would we 
jeopardize the one part of our economy that has been, and continues to 
be, working?
  I often tell people that the Agriculture Committee is probably the 
least partisan of all the committees in Congress. And that doesn't 
happen by accident. We listen to each other, we try to understand each 
other, work together, and at the end of the day, have the best 
interests of our constituents in mind.
  The bill before us today is a compromise that reflects that 
tradition. It's a compromise between commodities and regions, urban and 
rural Members. I didn't get everything I wanted; Chairman Lucas didn't 
get everything he wanted, but that's how the legislative process is 
supposed to work.
  The bill makes major reforms to farm programs. Repealing direct 
payments saves taxpayers nearly $40 billion a year, and it ensures that 
farmers won't get a government subsidy for doing nothing. Instead, 
producers are given the choice between two countercyclical farm safety 
programs, addressing either price declines or revenue losses, which 
only support farmers during difficult times. The bill also sets new 
income requirements so individual millionaires won't receive farm 
payments and continues the no-cost sugar program.
  H.R. 1947 also makes significant reforms to dairy programs, the 
result of more than 4 years of work that we've done on the committee 
and compromise within the dairy industry. The new dairy safety net will 
address the volatility of the dairy market, help consumers by making 
all milk prices more stable and hopefully eliminate the price spikes 
that have been normal in today's marketplace.
  The 2008 farm bill was the first farm bill to address the growing 
demand for fresh fruits and vegetables, local foods and organics. The 
2013 FARRM Bill

[[Page H3723]]

continues this investment by increasing funding for specialty crop 
block grants, providing support for the Farmers Market and Local Food 
Promotion programs and authorizing the very first organic check-off for 
research and promotion.
  We also recognize the challenges facing many beginning farmers by 
including support for outreach and education to beginning, socially 
disadvantaged and military veteran farmers and ranchers. The bill also 
streamlines and reforms current conservation programs, better targeting 
resources to allow farmers and ranchers to continue to preserve our 
valuable natural resources.
  Now, a lot of attention has been given to the bill's cuts to 
nutrition programs, more than $20 billion over 10 years in this bill. 
Personally, I would have preferred that we updated the income and asset 
limits in the current SNAP program so that we would have treated 
everybody in the country the same. We've looked at that, we weren't 
able to come to consensus, so we didn't move in that direction.
  So we have cuts to nutrition spending in this bill, and they've 
received most of the attention in this regard, but we also like to 
point out that there's additional support for TEFAP, increased funding 
for Community Food Projects with a focus on low-income communities, and 
it provides more resources to help USDA's anti-trafficking efforts.
  So, while I think it's ridiculous to cut hundreds of billions of 
dollars out of nutrition programs, as some Members have called for, I 
also don't think it's realistic to say that we can't cut one penny from 
these programs because clearly there isn't a government program that 
couldn't stand some reductions. So I think what we've done here at the 
end of the day is responsible reform that's a middle ground that will 
allow us to continue and to complete the work on this bill.

  So I know we're going to have a lot of amendments I guess starting 
tomorrow, but it's my opinion, and it's the chairman's opinion, that in 
order for us to get a bill conferenced, we need to go through this 
process and stick together on the committee so we can have a bill that 
can be conferenced and get this bill signed before September 30 when 
the current law expires.
  We need to keep this a bipartisan bill and not stray too far from 
what was approved in committee. I know that compromise is rare around 
here, but it's what is needed to finally get a new 5-year farm bill 
completed, and that is our objective.
  So, Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time and yield back.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chair, I'd like to yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Alabama (Mr. Rogers).
  Mr. ROGERS of Alabama. Madam Chairman, I rise in strong support of 
the farm bill. The American people want Congress to cut wasteful 
spending and red tape. And I honestly believe the American people also 
want to have their food grown right here in America. It's my opinion 
this farm bill accomplishes both those goals. This farm bill also cuts 
spending for agriculture programs by over $40 billion--that's billion 
with a B.
  The bill eliminates or consolidates more than 100 programs 
administered by USDA. It also ends the often criticized direct payments 
for farmers. The farm bill also cuts $20 billion in mandatory spending 
on food stamps over the next 10 years.
  Many opponents of the bill have characterized this legislation as a 
bill to support the expansion of the food stamps. That couldn't be 
further from the truth. Like many of my colleagues here, I believe the 
food stamp program is wasteful and open to fraud. Food stamp spending 
has doubled since 2008, and it's tripled since 2002. Without reform, 
food stamp spending will continue to increase through loopholes the 
Obama administration has used to expand the program.
  That's why we should pass this farm bill. I agree it's not perfect. 
But passage allows the House to join with the Senate in conference to 
pursue further reforms that are one step closer to signing this into 
  With that, Madam Chairman, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on 
the farm bill.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I'm pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
second-ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, the gentleman 
from North Carolina (Mr. McIntyre.)
  Mr. McINTYRE. Madam Chairman, for decades, Congress has worked in a 
bipartisan fashion to craft farm bills that protect and support our 
farmers, strengthen rural economic development, encourage conservation 
and provide nutritional support for the most vulnerable in society. 
These bills have generally received wide bipartisan support.
  This year I was pleased to, once again, work with my colleagues on 
the Agriculture Committee to advance a strong, reform-minded, fiscally 
responsible and bipartisan farm bill. This bill preserves the farm 
safety net and provides regional equity while consolidating over 100 
programs and making targeted cuts to rein in Federal spending and move 
toward a balanced budget.
  These reforms will save almost $40 billion. In fact, do you realize 
that less than 1 percent of our entire Federal budget is agriculture? 
Yet, by God's grace, it feeds us all.
  The farm bill is critical not only to our Nation. I know in North 
Carolina agribusiness and farming are the number one industry. Each 
year, agribusiness brings millions of dollars in revenue to our State, 
supporting countless families. When we talk about economic opportunity 
for families in rural America, we are talking about the farm bill.
  Last Congress, we brought a broad, bipartisan bill, but the committee 
was never able to get a vote on the floor. Now is our chance. Now is 
the critical time for rural America. People in our rural communities do 
count, and they ought to have the opportunity to have a farm bill voted 
upon. Now is the time that our farmers need to be able to plan for the 
future, and now we must have that opportunity to give them the chance 
to plan to help feed all of us.
  This is the place, now is the time, now we have that opportunity to 
do something about it. Delay is serious, not only for our farmers, but 
for all of us. Short-term extensions only provide a band-aid. 
Uncertainty diminishes agriculture's ability to face the challenges 
associated with a growing population in our country and indeed a 
growing world population.
  Yes, rural Americans are willing to do their part to cut the deficit 
and rein in spending, but we should not disproportionately put the 
burden upon the backs of families who live in small towns and 
communities across America. We hope that you will stand together and 
let's get the farm bill done for all Americans.

                              {time}  1550

  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to Subcommittee Chairman 
Conaway from the great State of Texas.
  (Mr. CONAWAY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. CONAWAY. Madam Chairman, I want to thank Chairman Lucas as well 
as Ranking Member Peterson for the great work they've done in getting 
us to this point. It's been bipartisan, and it's been an honor to work 
with both these gentlemen.
  This bill wasn't written overnight. This bill that we'll consider 
today or tomorrow or the next couple of days is the result of 4 years 
of debate, a 2-year audit of every single policy in the USDA, as well 
as 40 hearings and the second markup last month and now the floor 
debate. This landmark bill saves taxpayers billions over the next 10 
years while making the greatest reforms in food policy since 1996.
  There are many reasons why this balanced, equitable, and market-
oriented farm bill is deserving of support. As we consider this 
legislation, I hope every Member of Congress will really think about 
how important it is to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. 
This is a piece of legislation, not an opportunity for theatrics.
  The difference between those who don't support this legislation and 
those who do is simple: the first group talks about cutting spending, 
talks about cutting the deficit, talks about making reforms, and talks 
about reducing the size of government, and the farm bill and its 
supporters actually do all of those things.
  Failure to pass this farm bill means more of the same from 

[[Page H3724]]

$40 billion in additional government spending; 100 programs that we on 
the committee believe have outlived their usefulness will continue on; 
and we will continue the runaway, abusive spending programs within the 
SNAP programs without the reforms that we've put in place for this 
  Opposing this bill is a vote for the status quo in Washington. A vote 
against this bill is a vote for the status quo in Washington.
  I could go back to my district and tell my constituents that I voted 
against this bill because I'm a fiscal conservative, knowing full well 
that what I really did was leave Washington with the spending spigot 
fully turned on, and I'm not going to do that. I hope my fellow Members 
won't do it either.
  This bill helps to provide food safety for our national security. A 
nation that produces its own food is more secure.
  In addition to the work on the Ag Committee, I also serve on the 
Armed Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, and I 
see the dangers that our country faces every day. It is not in our 
Nation's best interest to depend on other countries for our food supply 
like we do for energy and other areas.
  This bill is supported by hundreds of farm associations, 
agribusinesses, and farmers and ranchers across the country, including 
more than 80 in my home State of Texas.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill. Let's pass this and move 
  While farmers and ranchers would rather not ask us for this farm 
bill, it's simple--they don't have a choice.
  If they could buy insurance for their crops like you and I can on our 
home, they would do it in a heartbeat. But they cannot. Without federal 
crop insurance, farmers and ranchers would have no insurance on a crop 
that they will spend more money each year to produce than most 
Americans will spend in a lifetime.
  If farmers and ranchers could freely market their crops around the 
world without foreign governments putting up barriers, high tariffs, 
and spending billions of dollars to subsidize their farmers and 
ranchers, they would gladly do it.
  But while we are debating cutting farm policy to record low levels, 
foreign subsidies and tariffs are hitting record highs and just keep 
rising. There is nothing free market about selling out America's 
farmers and ranchers to the uncompetitive trade practices of foreign 
  This farm bill represents a modest response to Mother Nature and 
foreign subsidies and tariffs. It represents just one-quarter of 1 
percent of the total budget. If every committee in Congress and every 
facet of government contributed to deficit reduction as the Agriculture 
Committee has, we would have the deficit licked by now.
  Great thinkers throughout history have drawn the connection between 
the people who produce our food and clothing and the good of a nation. 
We in Congress owe it to the American taxpayer to pass legislation that 
promotes the safest, most abundant and cheapest food and fiber supply 
in the world.
  I urge my colleagues to pass this farm bill.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to one of 
our subcommittee ranking members, the gentleman from California (Mr. 
  Mr. COSTA. Madam Chairman, I rise today to highlight the important 
and positive reforms in this year's FARRM Bill, that includes the Dairy 
subtitle, as we try to improve and save money for the Federal 
Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, otherwise known as the 2013 
  I first want to thank Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson for 
the terrific work that they've done in cobbling together this 
bipartisan effort. It's never easy.
  I can tell you as a grandson of two generations of dairy farmers in 
California that what American farmers do every day is work as hard as 
they possibly can to provide the highest value food quality at the most 
cost-effective level to American consumers, and they've been doing it 
for generations.
  The Dairy Security Act of this bill is the result of 4 years of hard 
work and compromise by dairy producers and other members of the dairy 
industry across the country. This program is intended to provide a 
strong, market-based safety net that will keep dairy producers afloat 
while providing stable consumer prices.
  The dairy industry--and producers especially--has been a victim in 
recent years because of dramatic price volatility, and so have the 
consumers. At the same time, producers have been forced to deal with 
feed costs that have skyrocketed from $2 a bushel to $7 a bushel, and 
that has had a dramatic impact.
  Dairy producers across the country have seen their overhead increase 
as their profits have remained stagnant. Current Federal dairy policy 
continues to foster outdated support programs which no longer provide a 
meaningful safety net or ensure any stability for our dairy farmers or 
our consumers.
  In California, my home State, the leading dairy State in the Nation, 
we have lost 100 dairies as a result of bankruptcy in the last 18 
months. Something needs to be done. We need to fix this broken system.
  This title provides stability to the producers and benefits the 
consumers as well. It is time to bring meaningful reform, and this 
measure does this.
  I ask my colleagues to support this effort as we move along this 
bipartisan compromise.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the subcommittee 
chairman, the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Crawford).
  Mr. CRAWFORD. I thank the chairman and the ranking member for their 
outstanding work in crafting the 2013 FARRM Bill. I would especially 
like to thank the farmers and ranchers across rural America for their 
patience as we work through this long, difficult process.
  Madam Chair, the bill before us today is the product of our extensive 
outreach to farmers, ranchers, and stakeholders across the entire 
  I believe that the most essential aspect of writing any farm bill is 
the critical input we receive from our rural constituents. The 
Agriculture Committee made this possible through holding a series of 
farm bill field hearings in nearly every region of the country, 
allowing producers to contribute to the farm bill process by having 
their voices heard.
  Last year, I had the opportunity to host one of those field hearings 
in my hometown of Jonesboro, where all types of producers from Arkansas 
and around the Midsouth region had a chance to testify. They shared 
with the committee the challenges they face in the modern agricultural 
economy and provided suggestions about how the farm bill can be 
tailored to reflect their unique risk in the marketplace. This feedback 
was critical in helping us craft policy that meets the needs of 
producers not only in Arkansas, but around the country.
  After hearing from stakeholders across the Nation, it was remarkable 
to me to hear time and time again that ag producers are willing to do 
their part to reduce the deficit. This willingness has allowed the Ag 
Committee to craft a farm bill that saves nearly $40 billion. This was 
no easy task, mind you, and the committee had to make some very tough 
choices. But I believe we were able to fairly balance the needs of our 
producers with the need to pay down the debt.
  The final product is a bipartisan farm bill that saves taxpayers 
money, reduces deficit spending, and repeals outdated government 
programs while reforming, streamlining, and consolidating others. 
Whether it's through the elimination of direct payments, the 
consolidation of conservation programs, or eliminating abuse in the 
food stamp program, every part of this bill contributes fairly to 
deficit reduction.
  I proudly support the 2013 FARRM Bill, and I encourage my colleagues 
to do the same.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to another 
subcommittee ranking member, the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Walz).
  Mr. WALZ. Madam Chairman, I, too, want to thank the chairman and the 
ranking member, who not only have worked unwaveringly to craft a great 
piece of legislation, but collaborating, shepherding this thing 
through, saving taxpayer money, supporting jobs, streamlining for 
efficiency, and eliminating burdensome programs. I'd also especially 
like to say they've done it with dignity, they've done it with grace, 
and they've done it with the respect and thoughtfulness for this 
institution. And I'll tell you, the American people need a lot of that.
  Last week, we had a poll that showed us at a 10 percent approval 
rating. The North Koreans are at 17 percent. That ought to tell you 
something here. It would be funny if it wasn't so dang disappointing. 
The sacrifices that went

[[Page H3725]]

into us doing the basic needs, the American public did not believe we 
could fulfill the basic needs. Well, you know what, they're wrong on 
this count because we're going to do it in here with the leadership of 
these two gentlemen who have spoken before. We need to make sure that 
this piece of legislation goes through the process, it's amended by the 
Members of this House in an appropriate manner, and we move it forward.
  I can tell you, for those who say we would be better off just doing 
an extension, that's not what my dairy folks are telling me when 
they've watched drought, flood, and winter kill. They're struggling day 
to day to try and feed their herds and facing liquidation. To them, no 
farm bill means no funding for livestock disaster programs. Tell that 
to my youth in my district, where the average age of a farmer is 58 
years, where we lose all these good programs to put people on the land.
  So I urge all my colleagues: take a look at this. Do what you're 
hearing people say. This is reform. This is savings. This is smart 
policy. And it also gives the American people food security.
  It's a national security issue. We feed 316 million Americans--our 
farmers do--and billions worldwide. I ask my colleagues, look over our 
shoulder, in this quote by Daniel Webster. Let us try and develop 
something worth being remembered for.
  I urge passage of this bill.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the subcommittee 
chairman from Georgia (Mr. Scott).
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Madam Chairman, I rise today in support 
of this FARRM Bill. I, along with many others in this room, have worked 
on drafting a farm bill that meets the needs of our agricultural 
producers and consumers.
  We've taken part in audit hearings and met with producers, grocers, 
and consumers. We've debated agricultural policy through two midnight-
hour markups on a bill that should pass every 5 years. Through all of 
this, I have gained knowledge of many unnecessary programs and the 
fraud and abuse that plagues these programs. I also have a newfound 
appreciation for the FARRM Bill and its value to American citizens.
  My granddad always said the farm bill is for when times are bad, not 
when they are good.

                              {time}  1600

  Several of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have reasons to 
vote against the bill. Some say it cuts too much. For others, it 
doesn't cut enough. Let me be clear. This bill is a good step in the 
right direction. It will reduce Federal spending. It reduces the fraud, 
abuse, and waste in many of the government programs that are in the 
government today.
  I would like to share a few facts with you. If we don't pass this 
  $40 billion is the amount of money that will be spent on outdated 
commodity programs that we have cut out of this bill;
  11 million is the number of additional acres in conservation programs 
that would receive a government program that we have cut out of this 
  We have also reduced SNAP payments for about 2 million people who 
should not qualify for them anyway.
  Some of the reforms to the nutrition title include:
  Restrictions in the use of the LIHEAP program;
  Eliminating lottery winners from qualifying for SNAP benefits;
  And eliminating State performance bonuses and advertising for the 
  As my friend from Texas (Mr. Conaway) has asked: ``Is this a 
legislative moment or a theater moment?''
  Madam Chair, I submit that this is a true legislative moment. During 
this time, we need to act on the facts. Farmers and families need the 
certainty of long-term agricultural policies so they can continue to be 
the cornerstone of our Nation.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I am now pleased to yield 2 minutes to an 
outstanding member of our committee, the gentleman from Massachusetts 
(Mr. McGovern).
  Mr. McGOVERN. Madam Chair, I want to begin by thanking the chairman 
of the Ag Committee, Mr. Lucas, and the ranking member, Mr. Peterson, 
for their hard work. There have been countless hours on this bill, and 
so have their staffs. I appreciate their dedication.
  I very much want to support a farm bill, so it is with deep regret 
that I come to the floor to say that I cannot support this farm bill. 
The main reason is because of the $20.5 billion cut in the SNAP 
program. That is too much, that is too harsh. Two million people will 
lose their benefits. Over 200,000 kids will be knocked out of the free 
breakfast and lunch program. Those aren't my statistics or a liberal 
think tank's statistics; that's what CBO says, the Congressional Budget 
Office. What happens to these 2 million people? Where do they go? Where 
do they get food? The fact of the matter is food is not a luxury, it is 
a necessity.
  There are some who have said that all we are doing is reforming SNAP 
and we are dealing with the rising costs. If we were truly reforming 
SNAP, I would feel better about it if we held at least one hearing on 
it in the subcommittee.
  In terms of dealing with rising costs, the best way to deal with that 
is to invest in our economy and put people back to work. When more 
people go to work, the number of people on SNAP goes down. It's 
countercyclical. That's how you decrease spending on SNAP.
  Madam Chair, we have 50 million people in this country who are 
hungry--17 million are kids. We all should be ashamed. We ought to be 
having a discussion on how to end hunger in America. SNAP is one tool 
in the antihunger toolbox to end hunger. We need to have a broader 
discussion. But I can say with certainty that cutting SNAP by $20.5 
billion will not alleviate hunger in America. It will cause more pain, 
more suffering, and more misery.
  I want a farm bill that not only helps our farmers but moves us 
toward a day where we no longer have hunger in America. Unfortunately, 
this bill as written will make hunger worse.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Thompson), a subcommittee chairman.
  Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Madam Chairman, I rise in support of 
the House Agriculture Committee's 2013 FARRM Bill.
  This legislation is a product of 3 years of extensive hearings, 
research, and fact finding. The bill eliminates outdated farm programs, 
direct payments, countercyclical payments, the average crop revenue 
election program, and the supplemental revenue assistance payments, for 
example. These programs are part of an old system and need to be 
  Regarding SNAP and food stamps, we have made significant reforms. 
Specifically, we have closed a number of loopholes and have eliminated 
categorical eligibility. While we have eliminated these loopholes, such 
as automatic enrollment, the bill still allows for eligibility, based 
on income, to ensure that those who truly need the assistance continue 
to have access.
  For the second consecutive Congress, I have had the privilege to 
chair the Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry. At the 
subcommittee level, we were successful in consolidating and cleaning up 
a number of programs. The bill consolidates 23 conservation programs 
down to 13. I believe it achieves this without negatively impacting the 
effectiveness or the goals of these programs.
  We have also included several provisions to promote the health of our 
Nation's forests. Agriculture is the number one industry in 
Pennsylvania, and I am pleased to see that we are bringing much-needed 
reform to the Commonwealth's top sector--dairy. First and foremost, 
this bill repeals all of the dairy price support system, and replaces 
that system with a free-market margin program.
  Like many of my colleagues, I have significant concern with the 
supply management portion of the dairy title. However, we can address 
this matter in the amendment process.
  This bill is not perfect. However, it does make significant changes 
to both farm and nutrition programs, and will save the taxpayer over 
$40 billion. Without passage of this bill, none of these reforms will 
be made, none of the savings will be realized, and we will continue 
these broken policies or, even worse, revert to the permanent law for 
the 1930s and the 1940s.

[[Page H3726]]

  I strongly urge my colleagues to vote for this legislation, and I 
thank both the chairman and ranking member for their leadership.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I am pleased to yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Cuellar), a former member of the committee.
  Mr. CUELLAR. Madam Chairman, I rise in support of the importance of 
passing the new 5-year farm bill into law.
  I first want to thank Chairman Lucas for all the good work that he 
has done, and my ranking member, Mr. Peterson--I still call him my 
ranking member, Mr. Peterson--for all the work that he and the other 
members of the Agriculture Committee, in a bipartisan way, have done, 
including the staff that worked so hard to make sure that we get this 
farm bill done.
  As you know, we did pass an extension, which was not the right thing 
to do, but we did an extension. We need to provide some sort of 
continuity with a 5-year program. As you know, this is something that 
needs to be done in a bipartisan way, and this is what the committee 
has done after having numerous bill hearings, after making some changes 
that provide some reform, reform that will save the taxpayers over $40 
billion in funding over the next 10 years through important reforms to 
our commodity, conservation, and nutrition agencies.
  I don't like the cuts to the nutrition, but I do understand this is a 
process. We have to get into a conference committee and work with the 
Senate. Therefore, I'm asking the Members to support the process and 
get this bill to where we can support it as bipartisan.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Hudson).
  Mr. HUDSON. Madam Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the 
farm bill--a product of several years of hard work and patience from 
Chairman Lucas, Ranking Member Peterson, and their staffs at the 
Agriculture Committee.
  Madam Chairman, I would like to call attention to the patience of our 
farming community across this Nation, the economic engine of rural 
America, and especially to the farming families in the Eighth District 
of North Carolina, which I call home. When I go home every weekend and 
travel across my district, I hear one resounding thing, and that is get 
a 5-year farm bill done to provide us the certainty we need.
  Madam Chairman, this bill is not perfect. In my opinion, it does not 
contain enough cuts or reforms, but our alternative is the status quo. 
I would like to see more cuts and will offer and support amendments to 
do just that. Ultimately, I will support this bill because not 
supporting it, again, means the status quo. Not supporting this bill 
means not getting over $40 billion in mandatory cuts when we had the 
chance. Not supporting this bill means not having a 5-year bill to 
provide certainty that our farmers need.
  From the important provisions found in the commodities title to 
ensuring the critical safety net of crop insurance remains intact to 
making responsible cuts and reforms to bloated programs, saving the 
taxpayers' money, this bill is a bill we need to support.
  This a bill that provides the tools our farmers need to keep them 
producing food and fiber for our country and the world.
  Like I said, this bill is not perfect and I look forward to the 
debate we will have in the coming days, and considering the amendments 
my colleagues and I will offer to make this the best bill we can for 
the Agriculture Community and the American taxpayer.
  On behalf of the farmers and agribusiness community of North 
Carolina, I am eager to get this bill finished and providing long 
awaited certainty and reforms.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chairman, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to a 
new member of our committee from Illinois (Mr. Enyart).
  Mr. ENYART. Madam Chairman, I rise today in support of this important 
and long overdue legislation.
  When I ran for Congress, I pledged to work for southern Illinois' 
agricultural industry. That's why I voted in committee to advance this 
bipartisan 5-year bill.
  The inability of the House to pass a farm bill was among the biggest 
failings of the last Congress. This is by no means a perfect bill. It 
cuts far too deeply to the SNAP program. There are real people in my 
district and in yours who depend on this program, and while we must 
reduce the deficit we shouldn't be doing that on the backs of those who 
can't afford to put food on the table. However, I believe that funding 
will be bolstered here on the floor of the House and in conference.

                              {time}  1610

  Let's look at what the bill does right:
  It funds infrastructure upgrades for Midwestern waterways so farmers 
can get their crops to market;
  It increases energy access to rural America, improving efficiency and 
reducing input costs for farmers and small businesses;
  It ensures farmers have the flexibility to grow a wide array of crops 
without penalty and without fear of losing their insurance;
  It saves taxpayer dollars and conserves critical wildlife and hunting 
habitats while still allowing farmers to manage their lands as they see 
  It makes the USDA more efficient by streamlining programs and by 
cutting down on unnecessary paperwork and burdensome regulation for 
  It eases access to lines of credit so that farmers who want to expand 
their businesses have the tools necessary to do so;
  It strengthens crop insurance to protect taxpayers while also making 
sure that farmers don't lose the farm if disaster strikes.
  It's time that we do what we were sent here to do. It's time to act 
on a bill that, although imperfect, should have been adopted a year 
ago. It's time to pass a comprehensive farm bill. I stand in support of 
this legislation, and I urge my colleagues to join with me.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Benishek).
  Mr. BENISHEK. I rise today in support of H.R. 1947, better known to 
everyone simply as the farm bill.
  Over the past 3 years, I've been talking to farmers all over northern 
Michigan. My district is home to a diverse group of farmers. These 
family-owned operations are a vital and growing part of northern 
Michigan's economy, and it has been a privilege getting to know them.
  Earlier this month, I visited with farmers in Leelanau County. I 
spoke to farmers at the Bardenhagen Farm in Suttons Bay, Michigan. Jim 
Bardenhagen and his family have been working their farm for over a 
century, so they know a thing or two about agriculture. Their story is 
like that of a lot of farmers across the First District and this whole 
country. These farmers have been telling me about the need for a strong 
farm bill, and I believe that's just what we have here.
  Look, I understand this farm bill is not an easy issue for everyone. 
I can fully understand. I'm a doctor, not a farmer, so I tend to talk 
and trust those who understand these complicated issues best--the 
farmers in my district. For those of you who don't have a lot of 
farmers, don't worry. You sure eat. I'd be happy to give you the 
numbers of lots of farmers in northern Michigan, and they'd be happy to 
talk to you.
  I look forward to a robust debate.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I am pleased to yield 1 minute to another 
new member of the committee, the gentlelady from Illinois (Mrs. 
  Mrs. BUSTOS. I rise today to talk about an issue of critical 
importance to my district in Illinois, and that is passing a 5-year 
farm bill.
  As anyone can tell as one drives across my district, from Rockford to 
the Quad Cities to Peoria and everywhere in between, agriculture is our 
number one industry. My district is home to thousands of farmers and to 
millions of acres of some of the best farmland in the world. It is also 
home to Caterpillar and John Deere--among the best farm implement 
manufacturers in the world. The entire western border of my 
congressional district is met by the Mississippi River, on which barge 
transportation of agricultural products is absolutely vital to commerce 
in the region, in the State, and even in the world.
  Whenever I talk with farmers or those employed in the agricultural 
business, what I hear more than anything else is that they want--and 
they need--certainty. Unfortunately, last year, Congress failed to pass 
a 5-year farm bill and, instead, resorted to a short-term extension, 
which expires at the end of September.

[[Page H3727]]

  The Acting CHAIR (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen). The time of the gentlewoman has 
  Mr. PETERSON. I yield the gentlelady an additional 1 minute.
  Mrs. BUSTOS. Thank you, Mr. Peterson.
  As a member of the Agriculture Committee, it was an honor to be part 
of the farm bill markup last month. Unlike so much else in Washington, 
the markup was an exercise in bipartisanship. The entire committee was 
civil and accommodating toward one another. While the bill we passed is 
not perfect, it contains many worthwhile provisions.
  Illinois farmers have endured some of the most extreme weather 
conditions in recent years, including record floods this year and the 
worst drought in a generation just a year ago. That is why we need to 
keep in place a strong and stable crop insurance program so that 
farmers, always at the mercy of Mother Nature, can continue to provide 
the food our Nation and our world depend on. The bill also contains an 
amendment that I sponsored that would help aid improvements to river 
transportation infrastructure, flood prevention and drought relief, 
including the aging locks and dam system along the Mississippi and 
Illinois Rivers.
  The family farmers I talk with back home in Illinois want the 
security and the stability of a 5-year farm bill. That is how they can 
plan for future growth and investments and can continue to provide the 
world with a stable food supply. Let's give them the certainty by 
passing a 5-year farm bill.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 2 minutes for the purpose of a 
colloquy to the gentleman from Washington State, Doc Hastings.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  As you know, the central Washington growers whom I represent provide 
a variety of top-quality produce to people across the country and 
around the world, including the majority of apples, pears, and cherries 
grown in the United States. There is no question that both consumers 
and growers want to ensure that we have the safest food supply in the 
world. However, Mr. Chairman, I have serious concerns with the one-
size-fits-all regulations that the Food and Drug Administration has 
proposed to govern the way that all fruits and vegetables are grown and 
  I think that we can all agree that lettuce and apples are grown in 
completely different ways. For one thing, lettuce is grown in the 
ground and apples in the trees. That's obvious. It only makes sense 
that these products should be evaluated based on how susceptible they 
may be to food safety risks and subjected to regulations that would 
reflect both the risk level and the way they are grown.
  I am concerned that the current regulations, which subject all 
growers of fresh produce to the same requirements and restrictions, are 
nearly impossible to meet for tree fruit growers in my district. There 
has never been a known food safety problem with fresh apples; and yet 
if implemented, these regulations risk putting our growers out of 
business and pushing apple production overseas.
  Would the chairman agree that the FDA should evaluate the risks of 
individual agricultural products based on the best available science 
and consider the growing methods and conditions of these products when 
developing regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act for the 
safe production, harvesting, handling, and packing of fresh fruits and 
  I yield to the chairman, the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Lucas).
  Mr. LUCAS. I recognize the gentleman from Washington's concerns about 
the one-size-fits-all approach of the FDA. In fact, this was among the 
several concerns we raised during debate in the House when the Food 
Safety Modernization Act was under consideration.
  I share his belief that, if the FDA is going to be given the task of 
telling farmers how to farm, it should do so after a thorough 
examination of the risks of the different types of fruits and 
vegetables and then, based on the best available science, consider the 
growing methods and the conditions of individual commodities when 
developing regulations.
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. LUCAS. I yield myself an additional 30 seconds.
  I would encourage the FDA to reevaluate the proposed regulations, 
including docket No. FDA-2011-N-0921-0001, and make the necessary 
revisions to ensure that they meet this purpose.
  I yield to the gentleman.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I would like to thank the chairman for 
his words and his attention to this issue that is so important to the 
growers of my central Washington district. I look forward to continuing 
to work with him to ensure that the new food safety regulations 
recognize the diverse way that farms across the Nation grow our food 
and keep them safe for the public.
  Mr. PETERSON. I am now pleased to yield 1 minute to another new 
member of the committee, the gentleman from California (Mr. Vargas).
  Mr. VARGAS. I thank the ranking member for yielding.
  Madam Chairman, I would like to thank the chairman and the ranking 
member of the Agriculture Committee for their leadership and their hard 
work in bringing a farm bill to the floor this year.
  I rise in support of many of the provisions in the FARRM Act, but 
with grave concerns about the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition 
Assistance Program, SNAP.
  I strongly support the provisions in the FARRM Act that expand 
funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grants, that restore funding for 
the Specialty Crop Research Initiative and that maintain funding for 
pest and disease control, market access programs and organic 
  While the FARRM Act provides many positive provisions that support a 
strong agriculture safety net, the $20.5 billion in cuts to the SNAP 
program is unconscionable. If the FARRM Act is enacted, the CBO 
estimates that nearly 2 million low-income people will lose SNAP 
benefits and that another 1.8 million people live in households that 
would experience a benefit cut of $90 per month.
  We cannot continue to balance the budget on the backs of our poor, 
our children, our seniors, and our veterans. I want to support a farm 
bill, but I cannot support these cuts to SNAP. I do, though, thank them 
very much for their hard work.

                              {time}  1620

  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California, a home of amazingly diverse agriculture, Mr. LaMalfa.
  Mr. LaMALFA. Madam Chairman, I rise today in support of H.R. 1947.
  Is this farm bill perfect? No. Would I like for it to have done more? 
Yes. Is this still a bill that modernizes and moves farm bill reform 
forward? Yes.
  We've made many landmark improvements and modernized many programs 
within this bill. The farm bill provides logical reforms that would 
streamline our Federal Government and cut spending and protect our 
farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.
  We indeed are reducing spending in the farm bill by $40 billion, 
including $6 million in sequestration. We're streamlining the 
conservation programs to the tune of $13.2 billion by repealing direct 
payments, also. We are also saving money in the food stamp area by 
$20.5 billion.
  The farm bill offers the first reforms and savings to the SNAP law 
since the Clinton-era welfare reforms in 1996, modernizing SNAP 
programs while eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.
  In the House Agriculture Committee, I'm proud to say we added further 
reforms to SNAP by preventing the USDA and States from engaging in SNAP 
recruitment activities and prohibiting the USDA from advertising SNAP 
on TV, radio, and billboards.
  This is a farm bill we need to pass to move in the right direction. I 
urge a ``yes'' vote.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I'm now pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
minority whip, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer).
  (Mr. HOYER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
  Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank him for his 
work, and I thank Mr. Lucas for his work.
  We struggle in this Congress to try to bring bipartisan legislation 
to the floor. It's a shame.

[[Page H3728]]

  I've normally voted for the farm bill for a reason I will express 
here. First of all, the farm bill is an important piece of legislation. 
It sets Federal policy in a range of areas that deeply affect the lives 
of farmers, their communities, and consumers. But it also makes a huge 
difference in the lives of those who rely on food assistance to avoid 
hunger, especially children.
  It's a shame that we could not consider the farm bill on its merits 
without undermining its credibility with what we clearly believe are 
not reforms and not the elimination of waste, fraud, and abuse.
  It's so simple to say that. I've heard that for all the time I've 
been here in Congress. Let's just cut out fraud, waste, and abuse. 
Everybody wants to cut out fraud, waste, and abuse; but cutting out 
assistance for hungry people is neither fraud, nor waste nor abuse. 
Well, it may be abuse.
  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP as it is 
called, protects over 46 million Americans who are at risk of going 
without sufficient food. Nearly half of those are children. Are there 
some reforms that are needed? Perhaps. And the Senate has made those 
reforms in a moderate, considered way.
  The average monthly benefit per participant last year according to 
the USDA was $133.41. I challenge any Member of this House to live on 
$133.41 for food. That's $4.45 a day.
  At a time when millions remain out of work struggling to support 
themselves and their family as they seek jobs, it would be 
irresponsible to make the kinds of cuts that are proposed in this bill. 
No one in the richest country on the face of the Earth should go hungry 
in this country.
  Yet that's exactly what this bill would do, slashing $20.5 billion 
from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and putting 2 
million of our fellow Americans at risk.
  Feed the hungry; clothe the naked; give shelter to the homeless--
that's not a political policy. That's a moral policy. Our faiths teach 
us that.
  While we've cut millions in funding in this bill, this Congress has 
done nothing to advance legislation that will help create jobs or 
opportunities to help expand our middle class. While it's important 
that Congress provide certainty to the agricultural community, which I 
support, this unbalanced bill takes the wrong approach on these cuts to 
  The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. PETERSON. I yield the gentleman an additional 1 minute.
  Mr. HOYER. Madam Chair, I'm disappointed. This ought to be a 
bipartisan bill. Mr. Peterson wants it to be a bipartisan bill and many 
of our people and, as a matter of fact, a majority of our people 
supported it in committee.
  I think the chairman wants it to be a bipartisan bill. I understand 
he has to deal within the framework of his caucus like every chairman 
has to do on either side of the aisle. I understand that. But it is a 
  A bill that ought to be bringing us together for people who provide 
this country with food and fiber and, indeed, provide a lot of the 
world with food and fiber, that we have put this almost poison pill--I 
don't know whether it's going to be a poison pill--but almost poison 
pill in it, I regret that. It's not worthy of our country. It's not 
worthy of the morals of this Nation.
  But I thank the chairman and I thank the ranking member for their 
efforts to try to bring us together. Whether they've done so or not, 
we'll have to see.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
South Dakota (Mrs. Noem).
  Mrs. NOEM. I thank the chairman and the ranking member for their 
leadership on this issue.
  Madam Chairman, today I rise, I stand, and at this point I'd even 
leap for joy, for a farm bill that's good for agriculture in this 
  This bill that we have today isn't a perfect bill, but it is a good 
bill. It is bipartisan, it saves nearly $40 billion, it reforms the 
food stamp program and farm programs, it eliminates direct payments, it 
consolidates conservation programs, it saves money, it gives us a 
safety net, and it is still accountable to taxpayers.
  As we debate this bill, though, I don't want to lose sight of a big 
policy discussion. We decided decades ago that it was important for us 
to have a farm bill because it was important for us to grow our own 
food in this country. We didn't want to rely on another country to feed 
us because we recognized that the instant we did that, we would allow 
that country to control us.
  That's why good farm policy is important to our national security. 
That's why when we go to the grocery store, we can count on buying safe 
food. We can know that there will be affordable food there at 
affordable prices. A farm bill is the reason that we all enjoy these 
benefits. We can't take our food supply for granted.
  I urge my colleagues to pass this bill this week.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from the 
great State of Texas (Mr. Neugebauer).
  Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I thank the chairman, and I rise in support of H.R. 
1947, the FARRM Bill.
  This is a win-win. This is a win for the American people because 
they're going to continue to get the safest and cheapest food in the 
  It's a win for farmers and ranchers all across the country because 
now they will have a 5-year farm bill that will give them policy to 
make the important decisions they need to make to run their businesses 
and their farms and ranches.
  And more importantly it's a win-win for the American people because 
this brings $40 billion worth of savings at a time when we're running 
trillion-dollar deficits.
  There's been a lot of discussion about what this bill does and 
doesn't do. This bill does bring reform, reforming over 100 different 
programs. What this bill doesn't do is take one benefit away from a 
SNAP recipient who's qualified for that.
  What we find is there's been some gamesmanship in this program. What 
we owe the American people is to make sure that the people who are on 
these benefits that are very timely for some folks, but make sure that 
they qualify for it. So those people that want to say this takes money 
away or food away from families, that's just not true.
  I urge you to support this reform bill. It's good for the American 
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Iowa (Mr. King).

                              {time}  1630

  Mr. KING of Iowa. Madam Chair, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I come to the floor, first, to congratulate this bipartisan effort. I 
have been through other farm bills I guess a couple of times. I've seen 
it when we had a Republican chair, a Democrat chair, and a Republican 
chair. I've seen it as Ranking Member Peterson worked hard with 
Republicans 6 years ago. And I've seen it as our chairman, Frank Lucas, 
has worked hard with Ranking Member Peterson over the last year and a 
half. This is a very, very difficult balance to pull together.
  But here's what we get with this: first of all, the end of direct 
payments by the agreement of our producers. Whoever, as a recipient of 
a government check, stepped forward and said: I'll give that up because 
economically we can do that. And at the same time, we get some reform 
in the SNAP side of this thing that says we're going to start holding 
some people accountable without taking a single calorie out of the 
mouths of those that are needy and those who we want to get those 
  And in the middle of all of that, if we don't pass a bill, we revert 
to the 1949 bill, which would be a calamity. And if we don't address 
the SNAP version of this, then what we end up with, Madam Chair, is a 
growing food stamp program. So I urge its adoption.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Montana (Mr. Daines).
  Mr. DAINES. Madam Chairman, one of the top requests that I hear from 
Montanans when I go back every weekend is Congress needs to pass a 
long-term farm bill.
  One in five of Montana jobs rely on agriculture, and it's past time 
for passage of a 5-year farm bill that protects

[[Page H3729]]

and promotes Montana's number one industry. We need a farm bill that 
supports our rural communities and gives the ag community the certainty 
needed to plant the crops that feed our country and ensure a stable 
food supply. We need a farm bill that gives Montana farmers relief from 
burdensome regulations and encourages young people to remain active in 
their family farms.
  This bill also contains important provisions for our timber 
community, and for the health of our forests. As we begin fire season, 
we've already seen the terrible consequences of the lack of active 
forest management. It's important we give the Forest Service the 
necessary regulatory relief in order to protect our communities.
  In light of our Nation's escalating debt crisis, Congress must look 
to save taxpayer money wherever possible. I am pleased that the Ag 
Committee has made substantive, cost-saving changes to a wide variety 
of programs in the proposed farm bill, including reforms designed to 
reduce fraud and abuse in the distribution of food stamps. It's 
important to get the farm bill passed through the House, into 
conference, and on the President's desk before expiration. It's time to 
pass the farm bill.
  Mr. PETERSON. I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Boustany).
  Mr. BOUSTANY. Madam Chair, I rise to support this bill, and I 
certainly appreciate the persistent hard work and leadership of 
Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson, and I want to thank both 
for bringing this very important legislation to the floor for a House 
  In 2012, Louisiana farmers and ranchers produced nearly $11.4 billion 
in commodities. It's a vital and growing sector of our State's economy, 
and we need a new farm bill now to provide the kind of certainty going 
forward for our farmers. Throughout south Louisiana, the agricultural 
economy is the lifeblood of our rural communities. This is a bipartisan 
bill containing truly significant reforms, with savings of up to $40 
  Given the immense diversity of American agriculture, it's important 
to have price-loss coverage, which is an important option for our 
Southern farmers, like our rice farmers. This is critical for their 
future security.
  Additionally, an extension of the U.S. sugar program ensures a level 
playing field with other nations, which continue to heavily subsidize 
their sugar industry with unfair trade practices. I strongly urge my 
colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Nebraska (Mr. Smith).
  Mr. SMITH of Nebraska. Madam Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 
1947, the 2013 FARRM Bill. Agriculture is an inherently risky venture. 
But even in tough times, agriculture remains a bright spot in our 
economy, and we cannot afford to undermine this success. We should not 
use the notion of ag producers growing more and wasting less as an 
excuse to chip away at crop insurance. Thanks to crop insurance design, 
last year's losses, a result of the worst drought in decades, were not 
completely borne by taxpayers. Further cuts to this program could mean 
increased costs to consumers.
  This farm bill also provides disaster assistance to livestock 
producers impacted by severe drought; continues investment into 
agriculture research, a crucial component of food safety; and builds 
upon conservation efforts already undertaken by landowners across 
  While this is not a perfect bill, we are here to allow the 
legislative process to work. I'm hopeful we can pass this bill, go to 
conference with the Senate, and ensure producers have the opportunity 
they need to continue to feed the world.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oklahoma has 1 minute remaining, 
and the gentleman from Minnesota has 5\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chair, I would note that I am the last speaker and 
would conclude, and would ask if the gentleman would yield me an extra 
minute or two.
  Mr. PETERSON. Madam Chair, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentleman from Oklahoma.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Minnesota 
yields 5\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Oklahoma to control.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Chair, we've heard some very good debate this evening about the 
merits and the challenges that we face in putting this bipartisan bill 
together. I'd like to take just a moment to focus on the nutrition 
title and the spirit and the logic that went into crafting this.
  The focus of the committee was that the savings should be achieved 
across all areas of the farm bill, and that $40 billion, approximately, 
we have saved does achieve savings in the commodity title, the 
conservation title, as well as the nutrition title. Everybody under the 
jurisdiction of the farm bill contributes to the reforms.
  Now, in the nutrition title for just a moment, I just want to stress 
to my colleagues the committee tried to achieve savings in a way that 
would not deny an individual who was qualified under present law by 
income or assets from receiving help. We just simply say in the 
committee draft that things like automatic food stamps, categorical 
eligibility, something that's evolved out of the 1996 welfare reform, 
we simply say everybody needs to show they qualify, and we'll help you.
  The LIHEAP program, where States in some cases give as little as $1 
to help their citizens pay their home heating costs that triggers a 
whole month's worth of food stamps, we say in the bill: States, you've 
got to give $20 to trigger that.
  The goal of the committee was never to work hardship on anyone. The 
goal of the committee, in a time of $16 trillion national debt, annual 
trillion-dollar deficits, was to achieve savings across the board. But 
it requires that the folks who need help come in and demonstrate they 
qualify. If you don't like the asset level or the income level, that's 
a different debate. We just simply say if you need the help, show us 
you qualify and we'll help you. That's a $20.5 billion savings, 
according to CBO. Will that be the way it's implemented? I don't know. 
But we operate by CBO scores, and there's almost $40 billion in overall 
savings in all areas of the farm bill.
  I would challenge all my friends, if every other committee in every 
other jurisdiction would achieve these kinds of savings across the 
board, we'd be in a different situation with our operating annual 
  The Ag Committee has done its work, and we've done it in a thoughtful 
way. Help us over the course of the next few days with the amendment 
process. Don't, by affection, offer amendments simply to prevent the 
process from happening. Don't do things that are intended not to make 
the bill a better piece of legislation, but to prevent it. Be good 
legislators; be thoughtful legislators. Do what's right, whether it's 
to help the people raise the food, or that other part of our society 
that needs help on a month-to-month basis. Do them all right. I have 
faith in you. I believe through good debate and good discussion on good 
amendments, perfections will be made. A consensus will be achieved. 
We'll move forward. I have faith in you, my colleagues.
  With that, Madam Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1640

  The Acting CHAIR (Mrs. Roby). All time for general debate has 
  Pursuant to the rule, the Committee rises.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Ms. 
Ros-Lehtinen) having assumed the chair, Mrs. Roby, 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. 1947) to 
provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other 
programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2018, and 
for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.

                             General Leave

  Mr. LUCAS. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
on the bill, H.R. 1947.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Oklahoma?

[[Page H3730]]

  There was no objection.