Hoyer: Reject This Partisan Farm Bill

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“I thank the Chairman. I thank the Ranking Member. I thank the Chairman as well. The Chairman does not want to do this, with all due respect.

“The Chairman has said publicly he does not want to do this. The Chairman has said publicly he wants to do what, historically, we have done – gone forth in a bipartisan way – and that's the bill he constructed last year, and his colleagues did not bring it to the Floor. That's the bill he constructed this year and it was brought to the Floor. But, as Mr. Peterson has so eloquently stated, it was turned from a bipartisan bill into a partisan bill.

“Why? Why? Why do we always have to do that? The response to its failure, because sixty-two of Mr. Lucas’s party would not join him in the extraordinarily eloquent closing that he gave, not speaking to the motion to recommit but said: look, I understand that there's some of you think it's too much, and some of you think it's too little, but it is democracy. And yet the Chairman's party rejected his bill.

“We rejected it as well because you adopted three amendments that you knew beforehand was going to turn this to a more partisan bill. So what did you do? You left this House and said: we're going to not compromise, not try to create a broader coalition, but we are going to narrow the coalition. We're going to try to buy off those sixty-two folks who said they really don't like this bill at all anyway – and get them to say this a Republican bill, let's pass it, knowing full well it will not pass the Senate, knowing full well the President won't sign it.

"Farmers need our agreement. I don't think I've ever opposed a farm bill, not because I represent a vast farm district. I don't. But I understand that food and fiber is critical for my people, for our nation, and, indeed, for much of the world.

“And so, ladies and gentlemen, let us reject this flawed process – this process which abrogates the pledge of three days of consideration for legislation. Last night published – and we're asked to vote on it today. Why? Because this is a very controversial provision, and they didn't want to have the light of day shine too long on this flawed process.

“Let us reject this bill. Let us reject a partisan bill. Let us speak out for the farm community of America and, yes, those who need nutritional help. And let us also speak for job growth in rural America, which the bill that the Chairman reported out would have helped.

“This bill ought to be rejected, and we ought to do our duty and our responsibility in a responsible and effective, democratic, bipartisan, cooperative way, and I yield back the balance of my time – and I congratulate the Chairman for what he would like to do.”