Rep. Conaway praises farm bill passage
U.S. Representative K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 216-208 to pass the farm bill:
“This piece of legislation wasn’t written overnight – it’s the result of four long years of debate, a two-year audit of every single policy administered by the USDA, 40 hearings and two committee markups.
“There are many reasons why this balanced, equitable and market-oriented farm policy legislation is deserving of support. It strengthens Title I by offering ranchers and farmers choices in how to manage risk while reforming outdated policy. This move creates regional equity among agriculture producers, increasing their choices and implementing a broad approach to production agriculture.
“The bill also includes an amendment I offered with Texas Rep. Filemon Vela that would address Mexico’s failure to uphold its water obligations to the United States under a 1944 water treaty. It’s no secret that Texas has suffered a terrible drought, and there is no relief in sight. Mexico needs to begin fulfilling its obligations – our farming and ranching communities depend on it.
“The farm bill also addresses the ongoing lesser prairie chicken habitat issue. An amendment I offered with New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce and Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer would require the Agriculture secretary to conduct a 90-day study on the cost of programs to conserve the lesser prairie chicken and its habitat. The study must also detail the conservation effectiveness of these programs and rank them based on cost effectiveness. Conservation and cost effectiveness are not mutually exclusive, and I encourage the federal government to listen and work closely with stakeholders on this issue.
“Good agriculture policy is good federal policy – and this bill represents the best in agriculture policy today.”