Opening Statement: Congressman Yoho Farm Bill Conference Meeting to Consider H.R. 2
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First off, I am honored to join this Conference. Negotiating this legislation and delivering certainty for our nation’s farmers and ranchers is my top priority. I want to thank Chairman Conaway for his leadership throughout this entire process and look forward to working with Chairman Roberts. And thanks to all my constituents who have participated by attending our Gainesville field hearing, hosted me at their farm, or came to my office to discuss policy. Your input has been invaluable.
With this Conference we have an opportunity to find agreements that deliver the certainty our farmers, ranchers, and citizens need. Every Member here understands the importance of passing a Farm Bill. In a time of low commodity prices and market uncertainty, we must deliver before September 30th.
We each have important priorities. I am ready to consider my colleagues needs while we work together and craft an acceptable product that delivers for our citizens. We must continue to provide the safest, most reliable food supply for the nation.
I’ll begin by issuing my strong support for the House-passed reforms to the nutrition title. With our strong economy, there are more jobs available than people to fill them. It is imperative that we take this opportunity to encourage work through legislation. The best tool to fight poverty is a job. It’s as simple as that.
I want to issue my strong support for the House position regarding citrus.
I also lend my strong support for the EQIP/CSP merger and the House reforms to the entire conservation title.
I am concerned with the Senate language which cuts the rural electric loan program. Florida could see as much as a $100 million cut. That money is going to come out of the pockets of people I represent in rural Florida. We can do better than this.
I’ve worked long and hard with Chairman Conaway and industry to ensure the FMD Vaccination Bank was included in House bill and will do the same during this conference.
The changes made to the Research Facilities Act are a huge priority to me and my constituents. Many of them spend hundreds of hours a month conducting research, analyzing zoonotic diseases, and protecting our food supply. The changes made in the House version will create greater funding flexibility and I urge the conference to adopt this measure.
Mr. Chairman, I also urge that the House-passed repeal of the WOTUS rule be retained in the final product. This provision would assist farmers and ranchers not only in North Central Florida, but across the country.
Several items included in the House bill would provide certainty, transparency, uniformity and most importantly, a scientific basis for regulation of pesticides when used on farms or in homes. I urge members to include the bipartisan FIFRA language in the final conference report. We must not hamper innovation when it comes to crop protection technology.
Many of your farmers and ranchers back home share an unfortunate situation with mine. The lack of a base acre update has created a divide between the great people who produce our country's food and fiber. I’m committed to working with each of you to find a solution to this issue.
Lastly, I hope that this conference will accept language I offered, and the House passed, ensuring a favorable regulatory environment for plant breeding innovation.
Again, I am honored to serve on this Conference and look forward to working with each of you on your priorities.