FEDERAL AGRICULTURE REFORM AND RISK MANAGEMENT ACT OF 2013; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 89
(Extensions of Remarks - June 20, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E936-E937]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




       FEDERAL AGRICULTURE REFORM AND RISK MANAGEMENT ACT OF 2013

                                 ______
                                 

                               speech of

                             HON. PAUL RYAN

                              of wisconsin

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 18, 2013

       The House in Committee of the Whole House on the state of 
     the Union 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:

  Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Madam Chair, I want to thank Chairman Lucas 
and Ranking Member Peterson for their work on this bill. There are some 
good ideas in here, and we should act on them. But I have some serious 
concerns with the bill. On balance, I'm afraid the bad parts outweigh 
the good. And so I must vote against it.
  Here's what this bill gets right: In some areas, it cuts wasteful 
spending. It eliminates direct payments. It adjusts the food-stamp 
program. And it consolidates duplicative programs. I want to commend 
the chairmen and the members of the Agriculture Committee for proposing 
these reforms. My concern is they don't go far enough.
  And in other areas, this bill increases spending. For instance, it 
creates new farm-support programs, such as the Price Loss Coverage and 
the Revenue Loss Coverage programs. Overall, the bill's changes to 
farm-support programs are supposed to save money for taxpayers, but 
under certain economic conditions, they could actually cost more. And 
there's another problem: This bill expands crop insurance at a time of 
record debt for our nation--and record profits for the agriculture 
sector.
  Now, we should have a safety net for our farmers. We should help the 
little guy--the family farm that's in need. We shouldn't bankroll the 
big guys. But that's what this bill does. It loosens eligibility 
standards for crop subsidies--and increases the number of people who 
can apply. In fact, they may not even be farmers. Under this bill, 
someone could make up to $950,000 a year in a nonrelated industry--and 
still receive subsidies. Over 6,000 people who are losing money on the 
farm--but who are making plenty of money elsewhere--would become 
eligible.
  Finally, I have concerns with the food-stamp program. The 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has grown at an annualized 
rate of 12.5 percent over the past ten years. It will cost about $80 
billion just this year. And though the program's costs will fall over 
the next ten years, they will remain at elevated

[[Page E937]]

levels--much higher than they should be. The fact is, we need to reform 
this program--and we need to encourage work. The 1996 welfare-reform 
law brought millions of children out of poverty. By strengthening work 
requirements in SNAP, we can build on the bipartisan work started in 
the 1990s and reduce poverty. This farm bill is a missed opportunity. 
Despite making modest changes, the legislation doesn't pursue real 
reform.
  I want to commend Chairman Lucas for bringing good ideas to the 
table. But I'm afraid this bill has serious flaws, and therefore I must 
vote no.

                          ____________________