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The Scoop

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Verbatim: Stutzman floor speech on farm bill

The office of Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, issued this news release today:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Marlin Stutzman gave the following speech on the House floor today in support of the first farm-only Farm Bill in 40 years:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you Chairman Sessions, for yielding and thank you for all the hard work you do on the Rules Committee.

“Mr. Speaker – I’m a farmer. I love to farm. It’s in my blood. I farmed before I came to Congress. And I'll farm after I leave Congress.

“So as a fourth-generation farmer today I rise to say we have a historic opportunity to legislate responsibly and reform prudently when it comes to farm and food stamp policy.

“We together can defeat business as usual in Washington, D.C. For the first time in 40 years of farm policy, the House has an opportunity to enact landmark reform in ag policy and separate the Farm Bill.

“Because of policy dating back to the Carter Administration, 80 percent of the last trillion dollar Farm Bill went to food stamps.

“I don’t believe that’s right. As a farmer I can tell you it doesn't serve farmers well. And believe it or not it doesn't serve the needs of those who need help in this country, either.

“A year ago, I began to call on Congress to separate the Farm Bill. Our goal has been to reform ag and food stamp policy so they can really help the folks they were intended to help.

“Farm policy and food stamp policy should not be mixed. They should stand on their own merits.

“As Congress immorally sinks our country into debt by $17 trillion dollars, taxpayers deserve an honest conversation in order to find solutions. And solutions to help Americans who really need help.

“Together, we can get this done and pass the first farm-only Farm Bill in 40 years.

“Today, we can pass a bill that sends a clear message: the days of deceptively-named, budget-busting bills are over.

“By splitting the bill we can give taxpayers an honest look at how Washington spends our money. We’ve made progress by eliminating direct payments but there’s more work ahead. Splitting the Farm Bill is the next logical step on the path to real reform, for farm policy and genuinely helping those who genuinely need help.

“I’m proud to vote for legislation and I thank all those who put such hard work into it. And as a fourth-generation farmer, I’m proud to vote for the first farm-only Farm Bill in forty years.”

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