tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 11, 2013 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house is not in order. he house will come to order. the gentleman from minnesota may continue. continue.on: mr. peterson: the second is to support the senate amendment of the five-year supplemental nutrition assistance program. to be clear, this motion keeps intact the long standing alliance needed to pass a strong farm bill. america's two largest farm organizations, the american farm bureau federation and the national farmers administration, both wrote in opposition to h.r. 2642, the farm only farm bill. the farm bureau president wrote, it is frustrating our members that this broad coalition to support for passage of the complete farm bill appears to have been pushed aside in favor of interests that have no real stake in this farm bill, the economic vy tilt and jobs of
provisions will make it more difficult to make improvements, changes and reforms over time as we discover they are needed. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this motion to instruct and reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: i yield myself such
time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: i'm overjoyed to be at this point in the farm bill process where we are on the verge of setting down with my friends in the other body and beginning to put the final bill together. this has been a long and challenging process for both myself, the ranking member, mr. peterson, and all members of the house agriculture committee. we have touched on many subject matters. we have had the most amazing open markups in committee with amendments almost beyond galore. twice we have been across the great floor of this body in an open process considering iterally 100-plus amendments almost every time it seems. from that process, we are now with a product ready to go to conference with the other body. this motion and the next two
senses of congress resolution address several things that were decided on the floor of this house. while i appreciate the opportunity to reassess the judgments of the body, i would just simply say this looking at the various points. my good friend, the ranking member is exactly right. this motion would restore 1938 and 1949 law as the permanent ase farm bill. roosevelt was president. truman was president when the 1949 law was in place. the average tractor was 55 horsepower, the average dairy might have been 40 could yous.
a lot of things that have long faded away in subsequent farm bills. i know my friend and a number of groups in good faith advocate 49 t we keep that 1938 and 19 law in place. but i would suggest to my colleagues, the open process we have been through, the open process we are about to have in conference, if we can come up with good language that a majority of both bodies can agree on that a fellow down at the white house will sign, if it's good policy, maybe the conference should be given the option, as is now the case within the farm bill language of using the 2013 farm bill as base. the senate retains the old permanent law from 1938 and
1949. at present, we don't do that in the house daft, so we have the ability to discuss it and work on it. i personally think that's a good thing. now the other portion of this seriousnd this reflects sincere differences of opinion in the committee and on the floor about how to address the fundamental nature of the nutrition title. this house decided the re-authorization should be for three years instead of the more traditional concurrent with the rest of the farm bill. every member has to vote their own conscience on that issue. but understand, the motion, as structured would take away the potential option for moving
permanent law from the roosevelt, truman administration to the present day and it would year restore that five- authorization on the nutrition programs. things my colleagues have to take sb consideration. i reserve the balance of my time and i'm the only speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota. pertsperts i yield two minutes pertpert -- >> i thank the gentleman from minnesota as well as chair from oklahoma. i rise to support this motion to instruct. mr. costa: the farm bill traditionally around this place has been one of the most bipartisan efforts that we
engage in. unfortunately for over the last year, it hasn't seemed that way. i think that the importance of maintaining the permanent law of 1938 and 1949 is not to suggest that farming today is as it was then. of course it's of course it's not. it's always provided in the past efforts back in 2008 and back in the last three or four decades, the sort of incentive necessary to come together on a bipartisan fashion, to put together a bill that reflects not just current farming needs throughout this great country f ours today but also on the importance of the nutrition programs that go to so many in our society that are in need. now, that brings me to the second point that is reflected in the senate measure that's
reflected in this motion to instruct and that is bifurcating in the nutrition programs. it makes absolutely no sense. there's been a tradition here that i think has worked well in maintaining the incredible amount of cornucopia food that we produce in this nation and also never forgetting those in our society who are most in need. and that marriage between the nutrition programs, which has benefited from the foods that our farmers and ranchers and dairymen produce to those who need a helping hand has worked well. and so therefore why should we separate it? why should we have a three-year nutrition program instead of the five-year that marries and complements the ongoing farm programs? so for all of those reasons, i support this motion to instruct. and let me finally say the time has come. the time has come to put away the posturing, go to work, go to conference and pass a farm bill that reflects america's
needs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i am pleased to yield one minute to the gentlelady from ohio, one of our subcommittee ranking members, ms. fudge. ms. fudge: thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from ohio is recognized for one minute. ms. fudge: thank you very much. 2642, rm act, which h.r. re-authorizes farm development and agriculture trade programs through fiscal year 2018, for five years. however, h.r. 3102, the nutrition reform and work opportunity act, which passed last month, re-authorize nutrition programs for only three years. this separation is problematic and it needs to be addressed. farming and feeding go hand in hand, and a comprehensive farm bill recognizes this connection. we can restore this connection by ensuring a five-year re-authorization for all programs that come under the farm bill. i urge my colleagues to
recognize the link between nutrition and farm communities. support a farm bill that meets the nutritional needs of all americans. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: i yield to the gentlelady three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. >> this is sound policy and the right thing to do. the farm bill has always been built on a successful coalition of rural and urban communities and members of congress who come together in a bipartisan way to create responsible farm and food policy. by authorizing farm policies for five years, but only extending nutrition programs for three years. , we're leaving them with great uncertainty when they need help the most. ms. delbene: let's be honest, this reduces the likelihood of
congress passing a bipartisan farm bill that works for our farmers, food producers and families. so, too, does repealing permanent farm law, as the current house bill does. for the last two years, congress has failed to act. why are we making it even harder to pass a final farm bill? snap helps nearly 47 million americans, including over 22,000 in my district. nutritious food and not go hungry. it's proven to be efficient and effective with error rates at historic lows. it helps americans in every district throughout the country by preventing them from falling into poverty and lifting them up through job training and ducation programs. i'm proud that a model was modeled after my home state of washington in the nutrition bill to go to conference. 60% of those in washington's programs found employment and more than half were off assistance in two years.
this is a commonsense policy to increase education and job training while decreasing the number of people who needs snap. this bill has been hijacked long enough. let's get back to the bipartisan cooperative process in which the house agriculture committee drafted the farm bill. let's not make things more difficult than they need to be. we were sent here to do our jobs, to govern and pass policies that will grow our economy, and it's no secret that congress has been failing at fulfilling this basic responsibility. so i urge my colleagues to support this motion, to authorize both farm and nutrition programs, for the full five years. let's get to work and pass a five-year farm bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from minnesota, a new member of the committee, while an old member, he was a member back in the 1970's of one minute. tee, the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. nolan: i want to thank them for the tireless work that both of you and your staffs and your subcommittee chair's put into writing this legislation. it's the product of many years. a wealth of experience that has brought consumers and producers together, that's brought urban and rural people together and has produced an abundance supply of food for people here in this country and all over the world. american agriculture is just absolutely one of the wonders of the world, and i believe that this motion helps to keep that great success and progress moving forward. and then last but not least, i want to say how refreshing it was to be a part of that committee markup. as you know, i was on a 30-year
-- 32-year hiatus, the longest in history. i have been asked time and time again how things are different from the way they were then. and believe me, there are a lot of differences, big and small. one of the best thing was to be part of that ag committee, bipartisan, free-wheeling markup where everybody got their opportunity to offer their resolution, got an opportunity to have a vote on it, and i commend you, mr. chairman for that kind of spirit. that's the kind of spirit that has moved this country and accounted for so much of our great success over the years. i thank you and thank our ranking member and urge adoption of this motion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is
recognized. mr. peterson: i'm pleased to yield to the gentlelady from onnecticut, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from connecticut is recognized for three minutes. ms. delauro: i rise in support of this motion to instruct the conference committee to re-authorize america's nutrition and anti-hunger programs for five years. at the moment, the majority's farm bill extends crop insurance and other agricultural programs for five years, but the nutrition portion only re-authorizes food stamps and other programs for three years. this two-year discrepancy would allow for all kinds of sen nan gans the next time this is up for debate. when the majority severed the nutrition title from the farm bill, they broke a long-standing bipartisan compact on
anti-hunger initiatives that goes back decades. connecting the programs that help farmers produce and the programs that help poor families scape hunger, this arrangement separate farm programs from nutrition programs on a permanent basis. they break the coalition that supports this bill and quite honestly, it is being done to put food stamps at risk. indeed, this is a shell game. the critical anti--hunger programs have been supported by republicans and democrats all across the country, east coast, west coast, the heartland, because hunger is not a partisan issue. we all have a vested interest in ending hunger in our country. t what this farm bill, the house republican majority has betrayed this fight by cutting $40 billion from food stamps our
most important anti--hunger program and telling four million of our most vulnerable citizens, children, seniors, disabled, they are saying you may not know where your next meal is coming from. the majority is robbing poor families of food even while continuing to dole out twice as uch as $90 billion in farm subsidies to some of the nation wealthiest families and agri business. in the crop insurance program, there are no income eligibility requirements. you can be a billionaire and still collect the subsidy. in the food stamp program, can make only up to $23,000 and with that, -- you can only spend almost up to $1.50 on a meal. that's the inequity we are talking about here.
there should be a condemnation of what this house majority is doing to hunger and nutrition programs and it is, and it has been near universal, homeless, seniors, education, health care organizations, even republican leaders, like former republican senator bob dole announce their opposition to this reckless and extreme plan. for a moment, let's understand what -- would the gentleman yield two minutes? mr. peterson: yield the gentlelady for two minutes. ms. delauro: let us understand what the cuts to nutrition programs that the majority is suggesting. what does it mean in terms of our children? roughly 20% of these households that receive the benefit have children under the age of 18.
23% have children that are four years old and under. the damage, the damage that hunger does to children is irreparable. if they go to school hungry, they cannot learn. d if they cannot learn, they cannot succeed. i ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, read the data, read the report in the lancet journal in the last week or so that tells you what the scientific data is that shows what the impact of hunger is on children's brains and their ability to learn, and we know that the learning period for children is from zero to three. why would we want to do irreparable harm to the children
in this nation by cutting off food which the united states has a great abundance, an overabundance. and yet we want to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program. it is reckless and it is extreme. and i just say to my colleagues if the farm programs are being authorized for five years, the nutrition programs should be re-authorized for five years, just like they have in the past. that coalition that's come together from all over the country, region by region, democrats and republicans in one unified farm bill, i please urge my colleagues to go in this direction. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: i yield two
minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. holt. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. holt: i follow on the remarks of our colleague from connecticut. the snap program is in jeopardy, which means children's health is in jeopardy and we should extend the a.r.r.a. benefits as well as to fully fund, not cut, the snap program. she referred the article in "the lancet." allow me to quote. many studies have shown positive association from reset of snap d reports of child abuse and leg elect. children have better academic outcomes and less obesity than children this none participating
families. the program was implemented, i'm continuing to quote here county by county, thus allowing for comparison across counties that differed only by snap vale built. in -- availability. in snap there was significant increase in mean birth rate. that is an important measure associated with infant health. in mean birth weight for black and white americans compared to those counties where snap was not available. available counties were less likely to have metabolic syndrome like diabetes in adulthood. these are children -- i depart from the text, these are children who had the benefits of snap as adults. they were healthier. and returning to the article, and women who had received food
stamps during early childhood, women who received food stamps during early childhood were more economically self-sufficient. end quote. this is an important point. the benefits of food stamps -- may have 10 additional seconds. mr. peterson: i yield an additional minute. mr. holt: the benefits of food stamps extend far beyond the hunger pains. the benefits last for years, even into the next generation, why, why on earth would we consider reducing support for such an important humane and yes, economically beneficial program? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: i don't believe i have any additional speakers, so i would just say to my
colleagues -- the gentleman yield? mr. lucas: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i would note to my colleagues that many of the points great merit offered over the course of this were discussed in committee and on the floor. and i respect the sincerity of my colleagues, but we need to remember, this motion has two key central points. number one, that the 1938 and 1949 law remain permanent, that we take away the conference's ability to negotiate that point with the united states senate, take it away, take it off the table, is the goal of this sense f congress or this motion to
instruct. the second point of course, deals with the authorization on snap. should it be three years, should it be five years. that's the question you have to decide in this motion. do you take away the house's ability to have the option of making whatever we can all agree on, permanent law? do you insist that we continue to have the food program, snap, run concurrent with the rest of the farm bill. it's a simple set of issues to consider. for my own perspective, i would ask the house to allow the conference committee as much as flexibility as possible in negotiating with the other body. as much flexibility and that would require rejecting the motion to instruct. with that, mr. speaker, i thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and look forward to the joys of a hopefully not quite as challenging conference
as this first two years of this process has been, but nonetheless, an acknowledgement we need to get our work done in a timely fashion and bring a product that majority can support and accept. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized to close. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i would just say we have had a way to deal with this the last 40 some years that has worked pretty well. and i think it's a big mistake as most groups in the farm bill feel it's a mistake to eliminate permanent law and have a situation where one part of the bill is authorized for a different length of time than the other. people that have been involved in this for a long time think this is a mistake. i think it's a mistake and ask to support this motion to instruct and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate has expired. without objection, the previous
question is ordered on the motion. the question is on adoption of the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it and the motion is not adopted. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays? mr. peterson: yes. the speaker pro tempore: those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
>> pursuant to the rule, h.res. 380, i call up h.res. 378. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 378, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives regarding certain provisions of the senate amendment to h.r. 2642, relating to the secretary of agricultures administration of tariff rate quotas for raw and refined sugar. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 380, the resolution is credit. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. -- is considered as read. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. pitts, and the gentleman from minnesota, mr. peterson, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. pitts: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pitts: i rise in support of the resolution and call on the house to support reforming the sugar program in upcoming negotiations on the farm bill. just a few months ago, i offered a reform amendment to the farm bill that gained unprecedented support and which
made modest but essential reforms to our government sugar program. today we debate this resolution, one that is even more modest but just as critical to bringing stability and balance to our sugar market. as a matter of fact, my resolution is even more timely. following our debate on this program, the government began shuffling out money to support sugar growers. $250 million worth in four months. we were told by the opposing side that it operated at no cost. we need to address this wasteful practice. mr. speaker, every single one of us has a small food business in our district. sugar is an essential ingredient, even in many foods that aren't necessarily sweet. we all know how hard it is on small businesses right now. we know how critical these jobs are to our economy. shouldn't we do everything we can to help them grow strong?
today, millions of american families are on a tight budget. they watch their spending carefully, especially when it comes to buying food. and when they walk down to the grocery aisle, they may not realize the cost that goes into the products that they buy for themselves and their children. few know they are paying significantly more for these products in order to ensure the profits of a small handful of sugar producers. they don't realize altogether americans are paying an additional $3.5 billion a year because of a sugar government -- government sugar program that makes little sense. tens of millions of americans are looking for jobs. many don't understand why there aren't -- isn't more work available right now. what they don't know is that a nationwide industry is suffering because we have a sugar program that favors the few over the many.
there are more than 600,000 jobs in sugar using industries today. however, that industry has seen tough times. more than 127,000 jobs have been lost since the late 1990's. the department of commerce estimates for every one job the sugar program saves, three are lost in sugar using industries. the sugar program is a bad deal for businesses, for consumers, for job seekers and for taxpayers. and when the house passed a farm bill this summer, every single commodity program was reformed except for one, the sugar program. the sugar program is probably more need of reform than any other commodity. the program controls prices to ensure that all -- at all times sugar farmers and producers profit. when the prices were high like they were four out of the last five years, they do well.
when prices are low, the government buys sugar to make sure that farmers and producers make their money back. this isn't a functioning sugar market. it's a nonstop bailout. meanwhile, the world price for sugar is typically much lower than here in the united states. and this is a big advantage for foreign competitors. in fact, canada even advertises their access to the world sugar market as a reason for american companies to relocate or build new facilities in their nation. mexican food companies also have lower and more stable prices, and the advantages of importing products to the u.s. under nafta. simply put, we are handicapping our food industries at a time when they face intense competition. good jobs are flowing out of the u.s. and other nations. in the farm bill, we sent over to the senate, every single commodity program was reformed except for sugar. dairy farmers, peanut growers, cotton growers, many more will all seek changes to their
programs. the resolution on the house floor today proposes a modest change to the sugar program. currently, the secretary of agriculture has the authority to manage imports of sugar for six months out of the year. the other six months of the year, he or she can do nothing, even if prices spike unreasonably high. the secretary basically has to make an educated guess about how much sugar should be imported. the way the statute is written, the secretary must err on the side of growers and producers, and this means that if the guess is wrong, big sugar benefits and consumers gets fleeced. it's time to put an end to a policy that makes little sense, a policy that didn't even exist until the 2008 farm bill. this is a failed experiment that has hurt lots of people and helped only a bipartisan -- bipartisan group working across the aisle to stand up for consumers, for job seekers, for businesses and taxpayers. i reserve the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: mr. speaker, i rise to claim time in opposition. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. peterson: and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. peterson: and i rise to oppose ts resolution and say we have very strong bipartisan oppoon're doing this because we haven't -- you know, we settled this issue when we had the debate on the floor in june earlier, and this is a sense of the congress which there's no requirement that the conference committee pay any attention to this. i don't quite understand why we're going through this process, but in any event, we're here. so, you know, we have a sugar policy that supports $20 billion in economic activity, 142,000 jobs. and the reason we have it is that every country in the world that produces sugar subsidizes
those industries or supports them most cases substantially more than the united states. so if we change this program or give up what we put together here, what you're going to do is give this industry away to countries that subsidize and support their industry more than we're doing here in the united states. and i don't know why we want to do that, you know, but that would be the effect of this. mexico, the government owns 20% of the industry in mexico. and with nafta, we gave mexico open access to our market. part of the fact they own the industry down there. president reagan once say, unilateral disarmament has never worked. it only encouraged aggressors. reagan had it right. so whether it's defense policy or economic policy, you don't give something away for nothing to people that are doing more opponents are
claiming they're doing. you know, we bring in 1 1/2 million tons of sugar from 40 countries. nobody else does that. you know, this is sugar we could make here in the united states, but we gave away 15% of our market to be, you know, help other countries and we've been doing that for a long time. so today sugar growers, you know, we've had pretty good prices. all of a sudden, because mexico had a good crop, i guess, we had the prices collapse. you know, so if you think that the loan rate, the bottom price we have in the sugar program is giving us some kind of a profit i some kind of fat cat deal, invite you to come up to american crystals' annual meeting in december in my area.
representative kramer's area, where they are going to be reporting they lost money this year because the sugar prices are at loan rates. so the loan rates in the bill are not guaranteeing anybody a profit. you know, they're putting a floor under, try to keep us in bits until next year. so, you know, there's no good reason to be doing this. we settled this issue before. this april 1 date, the reason for that is, you know, in the past usda has made mistakes in terms of where we were at with the market and by having an april 1 date, we can make it less likely that these mistakes are going to happen in the future. and that's the main reason that we got it in there. so the sugar program has operated at no cost for a long time. during that time the opponents claimed that the prices were too high. now, the prices have collapsed.
now they're saying the safety nets cost too much. they're still complaining about the prices being too high. you know, i'll guarantee you you can get the price down to almost nothing and it wouldn't change the price of people charge for candy bars, you know. you could probably give it away and they wouldn't lower the price. so, you know, this is -- has been a good policy. it keeps sugar stable. you know, there was a time in this country when we didn't have -- we got rid of the sugar program. what happened? we had prices go up to 50 cents a pound. we have the candy companies and the sugar users come in and ask for the government program to be put back in place so they can get the prices down to a more affordable level. i'll guarantee you, if you get rid of the sugar policy, what you're going to have is a feast or famine situation. you might have low prices for a while.
you will have high prices that will do more harm than the program is. we've already settled this issue. i ask my colleagues to reject this for any number of reasons and yield -- reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the co-chair of the sugar reform caucus, danny davis of illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i've been very pleased to work in a very bipartisan way with representative pitts, representative goodlatte, blumenauer and others as we have shaped h.res. 378. the domestic sugar program is an outdated system of strict government controls.
high sugar prices were -- nsible for the last of thousands of jobs in the last decade. while growers of cotton, peanuts, rice, soybeans and wheat have seen their benefits and their program's continue to get a free ride without any reform. no other crop has a program like sugar, which restricts both domestic production and imports. peanut and tobacco growers once had a quota that limited production but congress reformed those programs a long time ago. now we are only left with the sugar program where it remains
permanently in the 2013 farm bill to continue to cause higher consumer prices for food products containing sugar. this program is designed to benefit a few at a tremendous cost to the many. our current sugar policy offloads the program's cost on to consumers and food companies. entices u.s. companies to relocate overseas, destroy u.s. jobs and limit export market opportunities for the rest of the economy. it's time for congress to timely reform this realic of a program of the past and put an end to sugar's special status. we can now correct a specific aspect of the 2013 farm bill by res. ting h. ress -- h.
278. he farm bill directs the secretary of agriculture to manage the overall sugar supply, including imports so market prices on average can stay higher in the united states compared to the overall world price of sugar. we need to eliminate this same provision in the 2013 farm bill that would limit the secretary of agriculture's ability to allow sufficient sugar imports into the country so consumers can pay their prices. all that we're asking is to give opportunity for the secretary of agriculture some flexibility to adjust. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas,
the chairman of the relevant subcommittee, mr.
conaway for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. conaway: i thank the gentleman for yielding time, i rise in strong opposition to the pitts-goodlatte amendment. we have already voted on this amendment provisions during the farm bill and the house voted to reject it. and i'm not sure why we are here again to retrade all of this issues. if the resolution were to pass and i hope our members remember how they voted in july and stick with that again this week, but because provisions in both bills in the house and senate are the same, this has less effect for the conferees to ignore it. we can and do grant extra access above and beyond the commitments if we need more. the farm bill says let's wait to see how much mexico is
going to send us before we grant others
extra access. mexico has 100% access to our market and heavily subsidize their sugar and the mexican government owns 20% of that industry. the pitts amendment would ignore and let them have extra access. that's reckless. the effect on our market is foreign subsidized sugar, depressed prices and making impossible for our farm erts to repay their loans. how good is that for taxpayers? sugar farmers are experiencing a 57% drop in sugar prices. not one consumer has benefited from that drop. my colleagues on both sides argue that sugar costs too much money and where are the savings are going to the consumers.
where you where are the reduced soda and candy bar prices. when prices are high, there is no cost to taxpayers. when prices are depressed because of excess, prices of are depressed. either have a safety net or you don't. the argument that this was not adjusted in this farm bill is speeshyouse on its face. if there is a legitimate change that you want, fine. that's not what these folks are proposing, they are saying change it. this program worked for 10 years without any cost to the taxpayer directly and will continue to work that way. they picked a great year to pick this fight. the prices are down and safety net has kicked in and the sugar program is working for producers and they can't argue that prices are less. in canada, it's 29 cents a
pound. in america, it's 26 cents. where are the jobs? it's not cheaper. where are all the jobs coming back? you cannot argue that sugar prices drive those. reject the pitts' amendment and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: i yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the committee, mr. goodlatte. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: i congratulate the gentleman from pennsylvania and the gentleman from illinois. we offered a an amendment that would have saved taxpayers money and kept jobs at home and ended special treatment to one farm commodity at the expense of all others. this farm bill makes major policy changes that leaves no commodity untouched except one.
the farm bill makes no change to the sugar program. in fact, the sugar program wasn't given the scrutiny of a hearing as the ag committee was constructing the current farm bill. since 2008, manufacturers across the country have been struggling to run their operations due to the scrun certainty created by the sugar program. for every job of the proponents of this horrendous policy that is maintained by the sugar program, the commerce department estimates it eliminated three jobs in food manufacturing. i wish we could be debating greater reform. what we are debating is quite modest. this motion to instruct restores the flexibility to manage sugar imports, the authority that the secretary had prior to the 2008 farm bill. to be clear, this language will not allow a pound more sugar to enter the u.s. unless the secretary authorizes that it can come in upon a finding that it's
needed. many of you may be wondering why we are discussing sugar again since the house debated the farm bill, the negative effects have gotten worse. while proponents of the program claim there is no cost, nothing could be further from the truth. it has cost the american taxpayers $250 million. in less than three months this has cost $250 million which is almost as much as the amount of money available for an entire year for the emergency food assistance program. the program that purchases commodities for food banks and more for programs for senior citizens. i urge my colleagues to support this motion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: for the 12 years, there was no cost at all and the food stamp part of the farm bill
had no hearings either. i would yield two minutes to the ood gentlelady from minnesota, mismccollum. ms. mccollum: i'm here on behalf of my farmers. my state is number one in suing ar production. the state's economy and rural economy take a direct hit because of this resolution. this resolution hurts our farmers, small businesses, hospitals, schools, the lives of real people in rural communities. american-grown sugar creates more than 142,000 jobs in 22 states and $20 billion in annual economic activity. we have farmers in their fields right now finishing up harvesting and this resolution sends a message that this house wants to shut down sugar production, which will shut down
jobs. some jobs will be created in brazil. let's defend u.s. jobs and defeat this resolution and stand with sugar beet farmers in minnesota and across the united states. the majority party has shut down the federal government and i'm not going to stand by and shut down the sugar program. let's protect community and jobs and vote no on this resolution. and i yield back. ism the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from california. ms. speier: i thank the gentleman for yielding me this time. it's kind of uncomfortable being on this side of the aisle, but it's also a recognition that this is truly a bipartisan effort and i'm really thrilled to be joining in it. imagine that when the farm bill s debated here, every single
commodity program in the farm bill was amended, was reformed with the exception of sugar. now why would that happen? well, maybe it's because of some sweet-talking sugar lobbyists that made that happen, but nonetheless, let's be clear of what this resolution does. it does not undermine the sugar program in this country. the sugar program that exists in terms of price support remains. the domestic marketing allotment for sugar remains and does not eliminate sugar import quotas. it says that the secretary of agriculture can make sure during the entire year and not just six months that the market supply is appropriate. what do we know about research that's been done on the cost to consumers? it is said to cost consumers
$3.5 billion. this figure doesn't come from the candy manufacturers. this figure comes from a number of studies by the general accounting office, oecd, by the president's council of economic advisers. what has happened since july? since july, the taxpayers have they $250 million because are guaranteed as sugar producers to 17 cents per pound. and when they couldn't get 17 cents per pound, the u.s. had to buy the sugar and then try to sell it to ethanol producers. mr. speaker, the time has come for us to reform the system. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: i yield to my friend from texas, judge poe. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. poe: our current policy is that sugar will not become a sole-grown foreign product for the united states. when we weaken our sugar producers, it helps brazil and mexico. brazil's yearly $2.5 billion subsidy has led them to controlling 50% of the global sugar exports. mexico has already unlimited access to the united states. and who's the biggest sugar producer? mexican government. mexico owns and operates 20% of the mexican sugar industry and 3 top of that, mexico owes $ - 300,000 feet of water of the rio grande, water that should go to texas sugar growers but it's
not. this will weaken the u.s. sugar advantage, giving advantage to mexico and brazil by allowing more sugar into the united states, we create unnecessary and hurtful competition. we prefer if we pass this legislation, foreign farmers over american farmers. it is crippling to the united states market to the 140,000 industry jobs. once again, it only leaves us dependent on other countries for our sugar. mr. speaker, it is one thing to be dependent on foreign countries for our energy, it's another thing of becoming dependent on foreign countries for what we eat. i urge my colleagues to vote against this resolution. d that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, at this time i yield two minutes to the
gentleman from pennsylvania, a leader in sugar reform, mr. dent. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. dent, is recognized for two minutes. mr. dent: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm deeply concerned about this issue, as many of my colleagues and i strongly support this resolution by mr. pitts, goodlatte and a host of others. for a host of reasons. this country consumes more sugar than it produces. we must import sugar whether we like it or not. we must deal with other basic facts. i listened with intensity of the gentleman from minnesota, a good friend, who talked about american crystal losing money. well, the answer is not to bail them out with our tax dollars. we've seen enough of that around here. it's time to stop those unnecessary bailouts. you know, we also heard my good friend from texas who was relieved he didn't complain about sugar companies making money, confectioners making money. we want these companies to make money. but the complaint we had four years of high sugar prices and
that simply incentivizes more mexican imports. it provides more incentives for those imports. let's look at the numbers. the current program is a remnant of the depression era. puts 600,000 american jobs in the industry at risk. nearly 127 jobs were lost in segments of the food and beverage industry that use sugar in their industry and, yes, hershey is located in my district. it hits american consumers and businesses with $3.5 billion in extra costs every year. the c.b.o. projects that the sugar for ethanol program, known as the feed stock flexibility program, will cost taxpayers $239 million over the next several years, including $51 million this year. some analyst pros ject costs up to $100 million this year and $250 million over the next two years combined. when sugar prices job below a certain level, the federal government buys that sugar. and then sells it at a loss to
the ethanol producers. the taxpayers are abused twice. when is enough enough? it is unacceptable and wrong to call on the american people to support the current sugar program, not only with their hard-earned consumer dollars but with their tax dollars as well. yes, we're having debates around this place right now about the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. the point is we need to get on with this. let's protect the american people, show them we can do our jobs. i ask my colleagues not repeal the current sugar program but reform it. let's show the american people we can act responsibly. i strongly support the amendment. -- the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: madam speaker, i'd like to correct the record. we do not need to import the farmers in my district could easily produce that 15%. we gave those markets to these countries out of the goodness of our heart. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee.
mr. kildee: thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member, and thank you for your leadership on this issue. i rise in opposition to this resolution. again, it's nothing but an attack on thousands of family farms in this country and in my district. if it was the sense of congress that it was right to end the successful sugar program, the house would have done that last june. instead, we did the opposite. we defeated the same attack, clearly indicating this program should be preserved. the district that i represent is home to michigan sugar, and i hear these references. i heard them on the floor earlier and i saw it again to big sugar. these are family farms that have banded together in cooperatives. you can call that big sugar if you want. it's a term that i suppose is intended to elicit what these farmers are. that's a shame. these are farmly farmers who work hard every day and who are
in competition with multilateral corporations. we talk about the price of sugar. the price of sugar in a candy bar in 1985, it was three cents of sugar in that and it was 35 cents. and today it's $1.89 and there's three cents of sugar in it. this is a struggle of companies that want to marginally increase their profit because not enough profit is going into these companies. they are the most profitable companies in this country. that's good. but when is enough enough? why is it the family farmers are always the ones asked to give more, to potentially risk their livelihood, generations of livelihood? this is wrong, it was wrong when we defeated it in june and it's wrong again today. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: madam speaker, at this time i'm pleased to yield
two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran, another leader in sugar reform in our nation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. moran: madam speaker, i don't want to get in the crosshairs of my friend from minnesota. if i had sugar farmers i suppose in my district i might have a different position. but i'd like to talk about jobs because that's why i support restoring the secretary of agriculture's ability to keep sugar prices at a reasonable level year round, not just during the arbitrary six-month period dictated by the 2008 farm bill. between 1997 and 2011, nearly 127,000 jobs were lost in segments of the food and beverage industry that use sugar in the products they make. while employment actually rose in food industry segments that don't use sugar. today there is an estimated 600,000 consumers directly employed in the industry. the u.s. department of commerce says that for every one sugar
production job saved, our current sugar program eliminates three jobs in food manufacturing. that's a loss of manufacturing jobs at a rate of 100,000 per year. and the fiscal impacts of our sugar policies are just as disturbing. since this issue was debated on the house floor only six weeks ago, the sugar program has cost the taxpayer $90 million. i'm informed that the total cost of the taxpayer alone will exceed $150 million. the congressional budget office projects another $239 million in the outyears of the bill. we don't need to be hitting up the taxpayer for this money. we can make modest reforms to u.s. sugar policy while still leaving a safety place in -- safety net in place. this motion strikes the right balance. it's modest and commonsense policy. it's scaled back to include just one of the reforms that the house considered two months ago. so, madam speaker, i think this should be supported. it's a modest, important
reform. i think it's appropriate in light of the context of our farm policy. we are making reforms in other areas. and this is one area that we really do need to reform. on behalf of the american consumer and on behalf of the need for more manufacturing jobs in the united states of america. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. diaz-balart. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. diaz-balart: thank you, madam speaker. we heard a lot today. we heard that it's been efficient, that it hasn't cost the taxpayers for the last 10 years. we've heard a lot from the other side that it's not. we've heard conflicting job numbers. what is not debatable are the jobs that are created by the sugar industry, including 142,000 nationally and 12,000 jobs in florida alone. we'll continue to hear
conflicting sides here. let me tell you what's not really debatable. this is an industry that is subsidized. and what we're talking about here is that unilateral disarmament of the u.s. industry that creates again 142,000 jobs. i keep hearing also the fact that, well, the consumers here are struggling. wait a second. sugar here tore consumers is -- for consumers is the lowest on the planet. then i heard it's affecting the food manufacturing industry. by the way, now we're getting to the real substance of the issue. but let's ask the question. prices of sugar have dropped dramatically this year. have you seen a dramatic shift lowering of prices of -- in the food manufacturing industry? by the way, let me not get that dramatic. have you seen a dramatic lowering of prices of diet
sodas versus ones that contain sugar? no. look, if that was the case, if the price reductions were going to be passed onto the consumers and then you would see obviously products that don't contain sugar would be a lot less expensive than the ones that do contain sugar. again, we're going to hear a lot of conflicting issues. but let's not forget the basic principle here. we have thousands of jobs that depend on this industry, including in florida. we have again some large manufacturers that want lower prices. and i don't blame them. but please don't say they're going to pass them onto the consumer, because they never have, and if not, just look at the price of diet coke versus regular coke. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: madam speaker, at this time i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from tennessee, mr.
fleischmann. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for two minutes. mr. fleischmann: madam speaker, i spoke earlier on the floor today, and i think it's wonderful that we're having this great debate in this great chamber. obviously this is a bipartisan issue, and i'm so glad that some of my colleagues from the other side of the aisle have joined me in this great debate for sugar reform. i represent the great third district of tennessee, and i've spent a lot of time in my district, in manufacturing plants where i believe and i would argue that we manufacture the best baked goods in the country. some of the finest candies in the country, and we distribute these goods all over our great nation. we use sugar. we use a lot of sugar. but as we have been involved in this great debate, since the last time on the farm bill, i noticed a couple of things. it's just not working. since we had that last vote, it
has cost the american taxpayer over $250 million. in addition to that, i've made a commitment to the workers in these plants that i'm going to fight hard to keep their jobs in the united states of america. in particular, in the great third district of tennessee. in order to do that, we have to stop this madness. all this does -- this is not a radical change to sugar reform. it's a modest proposal that allows the secretary of agriculture the discretion to help the american consumer against skyrocketing costs and potential skyrocketing costs in the price of sugar. let's face it, sugar is a commodity. plain and simple. and if you use it and the price goes up and if it's kept artificially high, it drives the price up and you become uncompetitive. i believe in the free market. i fervently argue for the free market. but the pitts-goodlatte amendment protects american consumers, it protects american jobs and it's the right side of
the argument for good, free market americans. with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from oregon, mr. schrader, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: 2 1/2 minutes? two minutes. the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. schrader: thank you, madam speaker. i think it's important to put all this in perspective. u.s. sugar policy from the 2008 farm bill has been very, very successful. as a matter of fact, the committees of jurisdiction, both on the house and senate side, decided not to alter the sugar provisions in the 2013 farm bill passed by both the house and senate. as a matter of fact, this has been argued over again and again. an amente similar to this -- an amendment similar to this has been rejected each time. this would be a very damaging amendment at a time when american farmers are already
hurting. this is exactly the inappropriate time to go after american jobs. these guys would end up going bankrupt. and i don't want think you want to sacrifice existing american jobs for the hope that some new jobs might be created. the other thing that's missing here is the acknowledgment that the secretary of agriculture already has the authority, already has the authority increase sugar imports if there is an emergency. if there is an emergency. why do we need this instruction? i don't get it. the other point, if we want to get back to some semblance order in the conference process, this should not even been conferenceable at the end of the day. i think it's out of order and inappropriate. right now mexico, as has been stated, that is well subsidized, 20% of their production is outright subsidized, owned by their government, is driving sugar prices in the tank for americans. that's not right.
in should be w.t.o. conferenceable at the end of the day. this is the wrong time to go about trying to end a policy that has worked great for the last 12 years and finally, finally is paying off for those sugar producers, sugar farmers and all the sugar growers in my district that need a little help in this tough, tough time. i think if you're in favor of support and a good balance of trade, supporting the american agriculture, supporting the american taxpayer at the end of the day, you do not want to vote in favor of the pitts amendment. i urge its defeat and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: madam speaker, at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. meeks: i stand in strong support of the pitts' amendment on the house resolution on the farm bill. this sugar program included in
2008 farm bill that became permanent in 2013, house farm bill contained a harmful restraint on trade in sugar between the six months between october and april and makes it so the secretary of agriculture can't allow an increase in sugar imports even if the marketplace needs them. this restriction led to record-high prices to the sugar producers and consumers alike. many manufacturing companies, many located in my district, struggling or even having to shut down because they can't sustain these high costs killing good manufacturing jobs in the process. this resolution ensures that the u.s. would not be forced to face higher sugar prices that are two times the world price because of the restriction in the current law. these high sugar prices have unfairly cost consumers $3.
billion. the u.s. should be able to adjust accordingly so we don't impose unjust costs on our consumers during these trying times sm the bottom line is this. the problem is not mexico but an outdated anti-taxpayer, anti-consumer, anti-business sugar reform program and the pitts re-resolution will restore ome balance to the program and remove artificial pressure by the government into the marketplace. it will help fix our sugar program by allowing them to retain the commodity program and taxpayers will less likely pick up the tab for this program. and three, helping to ensure hundreds of thousands of good manufacturing jobs and sugar user industries that will be less threatened.
of pitts' ge resolution. mr. peterson: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. yoho. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. yoho: i thank my colleague from minnesota, i oppose the gentleman from pennsylvania's resolution. sugar is the only commodity where u.s. is a net importer and puts u.s. producers at a disadvantage. our sugar farmers have compete with countries that heavily subsidize their farmers' production. this program did cost our government, but it's because mexico is allowed to dump sugar on our market because of nafta. this is a trade issue we need to look at deeper. u.s. farmers would gladly give up their safety net as long as every other country discontinued
their heavily subsidized programs. u.s. sugar farmer can compete, but can't compete against a foreign government and subsidies. at the end of the day, this is a jobs issue. there is 142,000 jobs in the domestic sugar industry with 12,000 in florida alone and many of these jobs have moved to brazil or mexico if this becomes law and another industry would be weakened by our government policies. we in government should work to keep america stronger and more competitive. and i urge my colleagues to vote against this resolution. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. latta. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. latta: i thank the gentleman
for yielding. madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.res. 378, the current u.s. sugar program is uncompetitive, outdated, harms .s. manufacturers and forces higher prices on products made with sugar. without reform, it puts 600,000 jobs at risk. i'm too aware of these economic impacts during a recent visit to a leading manufacturer in my district. spanningler candy company is a family-owned company that has canes and over 400 u.s. employees but if it could purchase at world market prices, that number would be 600.
two00 highly skilled manufacturing jobs in a small midwestern town. imagine the positive economic growth that would result from sugar reform nationwide. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution. reforming the program will restore sugar in the market and encourage u.s. investment and spur job creation in our local communities. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio yields back. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. nolan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for two minutes. mr. nolan: mr. speaker, members of the house, listening to the debate here this afternoon, i'm reminded of a statement from an old university of minnesota law professor who once said all political decisions revolve around who you are for and i have heard both of this issue
for one side or the other and becomes rather clear as you listen to this debate that the supporters of this resolution are in support of those multinational corporations and foreign corporations and foreign governments that stand to benefit from the change in our u.s. sugar policy and on the other side and this is the side --tand with, contain growers and the ucers and beet consumers and the consumers who benefit from a stable supply of reasonably-priced sugars to satisfy our food needs here in this country. mr. speaker, i strongly urge that we defeat this resolution and stick with the sugar program that has worked so well in this country for so long.
in minnesota alone, we have 32,000 500 people. there is 142,000 people working throughout the country in this industry. mr. speaker, this is a jobs bill, an american manufacturing resolution. let's support the farmers, the workers, the consumers and defeat this amendment. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: i yield one minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. snyder. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. schneider: i'm in support of making a simple correction. the 2008 farm bill overreached to limiting the u.s.d.a.'s ability to limit sugar imports but there is a shortage. this misguided policy resulted
in extreme shortages and surpluses and adding unnecessary volatility to the marketplace and uncertainty to our manufacturers. we have been losing jobs at a rate of 10,000 per year. we cannot afford these job losses. the district i represent in illinois is home to a number of food manufacturers including jelly belly, true sweets, cornfield long gum. these companies employ hundreds of people and support hundreds of families in the 10th district. these are economic drivers of our community. in addition to costing our manufacturers and workers, this policy is costing taxpayers. since july, it estimate todd have cost taxpayers $250 million. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one more minute. mr. schneider: this policy has cost more than $250 million.
we were told this program would operate at zero costs. the reform called for by this resolution would make a modest change to u.s. sugar policy while maintaining a safety net for u.s. sugar farmers and processors. join me in supporting this commonsense resolution, express support for this reasonable reform. thank you, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: i yield to my good friend and cleanup hitter on our minutes. wo >> this supports the sullingar farmers of the red river valley in the north and there is plenty members to ll our
attend. how many federal programs cost money every 10 to 12 years. this program has cost $250 million since july of 2002. but i want to speak less perhaps to the merits of the program because they have been already illustrated and speak to the issue of houston ti. some of our colleagues have chosen to attempt to dismantle one of the very few successful achievements on this congress. the work on the farm bill began many years ago. anti-sugar amendment was thoughtfully debated on this floor, including the provisions in this amendment and the house killed it. at that time, a sense of the house was reached and a farm
bill was passed and the senate passed the exact same language pertaining to the sugar program making today's action divisive and a total waste of time as house rules prohibit the conferees from considering the language. this maneuver undermines the very integrity of this great institution. it ignores the unifying achievement of this farm bill by dismantling the support system for sugar farmers who are facing a 57% collapse in prices. we don't need more division, we need accomplishments. let's not impose division where there is unity and vote no on this amendment and bring back a report that a majority of us can vote for and farm bill that the senate can agree to and president can sign and demonstrate our functionality once again. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
mr. pitts: may i inquire on the time remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania has 6 1/2 minutes remaining and the gentleman from minnesota has seven minutes remaining. mr. pitts: i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. collins: i rise today in strong support of house joint resolution 378. the current sugar policy in this country is outdated and will cost american task pairs millions of dollars. time for us to recognize there is a global supply of sugar that global manufacturers need to be able to access and world price trades lower than domestic futures. if it weren't bad enough that our policy causes food prices to be high, this year's taxpayers will pick up the bill to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars when they purchase the supply. we will be converting our excess sugar into ethanol which doesn't
need more taxpayer health. that is a discussion for another day. at a time we are looking at every dollar we spend, we need to look at this sugar program. every member of congress should ask, is this the best way we can use limited taxpayer dollars. taxpayers are paying for the sugar program and paying for it at the grocery store. we need to support this resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. peterson: madam speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. mr. pitts: i yield one minute to the gentleman from washington. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise to talk about the importance of this resolution. i spent a decade in working in
economic development in washington. mr. kilmer: it was my job to meet with employers and find out how to keep and grow jobs in our area. i was working with brown and aley that has been producing almond rockya since 1923. in discussing the issues, the number one issue they raised is the competitive disadvantage from the high cost of sugar. we are a northern border state. from where i grew up, you can see canada. for a region that is struggling to grow jobs and keep jobs, the threat of businesses moving across the border isn't a theoretical policy consideration but a real threat. the current program puts 600,000 american manufacturing jobs at risk in all 50 states. since the 2008 farm bill, u.s. cost of sugar has skyrocketed to
two times the world price. that price is passed on to our that price increased directly to our confectioners who have to make tough operating adjustments to sustain our business. our neighbors realize that. mr. pitts: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one additional minute. mr. kilmer: thank you, madam speaker. our neighbors realize how expensive u.s. sugar is and how high the prices are. and in the case of my district, those north of the border have already explicitly approached and advertised the sugar prices across the border. this current sugar program doesn't just affect large corporations, it impacts small, family-owned businesses like those in my community that has been there for generations. i ask support for this resolution to help american small businesses and help american manufacturing jobs and i yield back.
thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. pitts: madam speaker, at this time i yield two minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. stutzman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for two minutes. mr. stutzman: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i call on my colleagues this afternoon to support this resolution, to further reform a harmful and unnecessary sugar program that puts 600,000 american manufacturing jobs at risk. back home in indiana's third congressional district, companies like aunt millie's, small candy makers, edie's ice cream in fort wayne, are forced to pay artificially inflated prices due to washington's topdown controls. this kind of price fixing should be a bye gone relic of the soviet area and has no place in free market policies. today we have an opportunity to make commonsense reforms to help protect these jobs.
and i ask colleagues to protect limited government when the house split the farm bill and end the unholy alliance between food stamps and agriculture policy. these policies are completely different and must be considered separately, just like we're doing now, in debating sugar policy. for the first time in 40 years, we gave taxpayers an honest look at how washington spends their money. we took a commonsense approach and considered food stamp policy and traditional ag policy separately. today, the house sent to conference a bill that keeps these policies separate. we can make sure that the -- that going forward we keep our commitment to transparents and limited government. i urge the conference committee to adopt this resolution, protect these jobs and keep food and farm policy separate. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota continues to reserve. mr. peterson: i'd inquire the gentleman from pennsylvania if you have additional speakers.
mr. pitts: i'm prepared to close. mr. peterson: madam speaker, i'd reiterate that, you know, we in sugar producing areas, we that are in the sugar production business would happily give up this sugar program if if everybody else in the program gave up their sugar program. that's the problem. and as i said in my opening statement, as president reagan said, you know, when you unilaterally disarm, you know, you're asking for trouble. and so, you know, this is not -- you know, we're bringing in 15% of our market in imports we don't need to do. we can easily produce that in the united states. so i'd say to these countries, you give up all your support for your sugar industry, you bring in 15% in brazil and thailand and these other big sugar-producing areas and we'd
be happy to compete because we'll run them out of business. the problem is that's not the real world. and so if you want to maintain these jobs in this industry and in the country, the way to do it is with this current program. that's why it was put in in 2008, why it was supported on both sides, in both the house and it te in 2013 works. and one of the speakers that said we have these high consumer prices in the united states, that is not true. we have the cheapest, most affordable, most abundant and safest food supply in the world in the united states, including sugar. and it's reason -- one of the reasons is because of the policies we have in place. one of those policies is the sugar policy. i'd encourage my colleagues to oppose this resolution. as was stated, it's unnecessary. it's not something that's going to be considered by the conference committee anyway. i don't know why we're doing
it, but, you know, it should be defeated in spite of that. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: thank you, madam speaker. in conclusion, again, this is reform. it is not repeal of the sugar program. it is very modest reform, simply going back to what the secretary had before 2008 with the ability, the flexibility to allow sugar imports when necessary to meet domestic demand. it allows sugar farmers to retain their price supports. it helps save american taxpayers and consumers money. about $3.5 billion per year. it helps protect hundreds of thousands of good american manufacturing jobs. it does not require the import of a single additional pound of sugar, and it reduces market manipulation. madam speaker, i urge the members on both sides of the
aisle to support this resolution. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 380, the previous question is ordered on the resolution. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the resolution is agreed to. mr. peterson: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition? mr. ryan: madam speaker, pursuant to house resolution 380, i call up house resolution 379 and i ask for
its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 379, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives regarding certain provisions of the senate amendment to h.r. 2642, relating to crop insurance. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 380, the resolution is considered as read. the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. ryan, and the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. lucas, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. ryan: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on house resolution 379. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. ryan: madam speaker, with
this i'll yield such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ryan: first of all, i'd like to thank chairman lucas for his work on passing a farm bill through the house. it
was not an easy task. and the farm bill got a lot right in my judgment. it eliminated direct payments. it made reforms to the food stamp program, which are in desperate need of reforming. it consolidated duplicative programs and the agriculture committee has started to implement very needed reforms of these programs. unfortunately, i don't think it went far enough, which is why i'm offering this sense of the house. i think that we should accept what the senate did and they did it in a bipartisan fashion to impose limits on premium subsidies going toward the wealthiest of farmers. what this sense of the house does, it simply says, let's agree to the coburn-durbin amendment, which said for those making above $750,000, the sense of the congress is that their premiums for crop insurance should not be as generous as everybody else's. in fact, their premiums should
be subsidized by 15 percentage points. this is hardly draconian. in fact, i would support going much farther than this as i voted consistently in the past. but what this says is, if you're a farmer and you make re than $750,000, all you -- you won't get is a crop insurance subsidy that's not as wealthy or generous as everybody else's. it's 15 percentage points less. let me give you an example. if you have protection for 15% of your yield, right now the federal government will subsidize 67% of that. under this, if you make over $750,000, you would be subsidized by 52% of your crop insurance. hardly draconian. so what we're simply saying is, we had a vote that was 59-33 in the senate to limit the subsidy for crop insurance for very wealthy farmers. it was 1% of all of our agriculture producers in the
country. and what we should do is concede to that. we should agree with that in conference, and that's what this sense of this house resolution encourages. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: thank you, madam speaker. first, i would note, again, to my colleagues, this is one of the final stages of this long challenging process of putting a comprehensive farm bill together. with the conclusion of this debate on this sense of the congress resolution and the votes that i suspect will come sometime later today or tomorrow, we'll begin then with the appointment of conferees, the formal process of working out the differences between house and senate bill. that's no small accomplishment considering how many years that ranking member peterson and i and the members of the house
agriculture committee have put into this effort. as a matter of fact, when we started the process of gathering information and putting the hearing record together, i was the ranking member and mr. peterson was the chairman. so this has been a long, long process. ow, i must say that i am obligated to rise in opposition to the resolution. i think the world of the author of this amendment. and in his role as chairman of the house budget committee, not only is he well-intended in this amendment and his many other efforts, let's be honest. our friend has a tremendous amount of work on his plate. addressing everything from the issues about how we work our way out of this deficit ceiling matter, how we address funding the federal government, how we finally put a budget resolution together.
i know he's a busy, busy man, but i must say the committee focused very hard for literally ears on all of these issues. i won't pretend that with all of the things going on right now, not that many weeks after some very intense debate on the floor of this house, the goodly number of our members are not focused on particular nuances of the farm bill but on everything else going on. but i would remind my good friends, the perspective of the house ag committee and a perspective of the majority, yes, maybe i've had too much fun with farm bills in recent years, of this process led us to believe that it was important that we encourage participation in crop insurance. that crop insurance is like other insurance.
it's about creating a pool of risk and spreading it out as far as you possibly can. having as many participants as you possibly can to share the adversity, to contribute more premiums into that pool so that when you have that inevitable loss somewhere you're better able to address it. and that's the perspective the committee took and i believe the house as a whole took, get as many people involved in and utilizing and expanding the insurance pool as is possible. now, this sense of the congress language in many ways similar to the senate language would restrict the number of people based on a.g.i. that would be able to participate, taking people out of the pool, shrinking the pool. these are in all fairness some of the most efficient farmers.
i would just simply ask my colleagues, remember the work of the committee and work of this body. help us keep this program as viable as possible. help us make sure that all farmers have the tools to mitigate their risk. there's one other perspective here, and we've talked about this many times. and it is the perspective of what is a farm bill about? is it about raising food and fiber? is it about meeting the nutritional needs of our citizens in this country and having our surplus available to consumers around the rest of the world? or is it about deciding who a farmer should be and using policy decisions within the farm bill to pick people who we want to farm and deny resources to people we don't happen to like?
who want to farm also. meeting the needs. i would ask again, honor the decisions of the full house, not all that long ago. resolution. ense remember that you are helping us build on something that is kind of amazing in this session of congress, a bill that came out of committee with $40 billion in mandatory spending reform with a bipartisan vote. a bill that left the united states house with a total of $60 billion in mandatory spending reforms. i can think of no other committee in this session of
congress that can lay claim to that. $60 billion in mandatory reform. let us go to conference. let us have as much flexibility as possible. let us finish our work. let's finish our good work and we'll bring a product back to you from conference that you can judge on its merits. with that, madam speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: i yield three minutes to the the gentleman from georgia, mr. price. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. price: i thank chairman ryan for his leadership on this issue and others and allowing me to join on this resolution. under our current system every farmer buying crop insurance gets a subsidy. the question is, how big should
that subsidy be? should all farmers receive a 62% farm insurance crop subsidy or more or should 1% of the most successful folks in agriculture receive a 47% or 48% subsidy, which is exactly what this resolution would do. while i support many of the reforms found in the house versions of our farm bill, unfortunately no provision has been included which would limit crop insurance subsidies and this rectifies that glaring oversight. this commonsense resolution will save the taxpayer nearly $1 billion instructing conferees to have an economic test with those farmers with adjusted gross income over $750,000. those with incomes over that, will see their crop insurance subsidy premium reduced by 15 percentage points. we recognize the need for having
a safety net in place for our nation's farmers. this resolution does nothing, nothing to undermine that safety net. we all know the need for serious reforms to our crop insurance programs. last year, it cost more than $14 billion and without reforms it's projected to be twice as expensive as the conventional commodity programs over the next decade. agreeing to this resolution would put into place the same provision that was in the senate. that passed the senate with significant bipartisan support earlier this past summer. currently, 4% of farmers receive 33% of the benefits of crop insurance, a stunning 73% of subsidy dollars goes to the top 20% of agri businesses. that just doesn't make sense. in a time of fiscal challenge, programs need serious modification and this is a step in the right direction, though a
small one. it is a step in the right direction. also in a time when there is little bipartisan agreement in this town, this is such an opportunity to enhance bipartisan cooperation. most folks on our side of the aisle have been strongly supportive of an economic test for most taxpayers' subsidized programs. more actions like this are necessary in order to avoid this nation's fiscal ruin. i urge support of the resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia neeleds back. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: i yield to the gentleman who is chairman of our rimary subcommittee, mr. conaway for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. conaway: i thank the chairman and the speaker. it is surreal. one to be speaking from this
side of the chamber and two to be speaking against two of my coletion against it is rare in my term in congress that i'm on a different side. on this one i stand in strong opposition to the ryan-price amendment. i want to tell you how weird this feels to talk against my colleagues from wisconsin and georgia. one point that was just made was there is a $14 billion payout last year in disaster -- in insurance losses to farmers in america. that is a cherry-picked year. 2012 had historic droughts for ag production in america and last year was a much higher year. $4 billion.
i would remind our colleagues we fought this fight in july and like the senate went in one direction, we had a 208-217 vote on this floor. we have had these conversations already and won this argument already. this effort will punish success, will punish efficiency. it is hard to farm using $300,000 tractors. it takes 3,000 acres to implement efficiently. you are punishing the folks who are the best at what they do. i would argue that this is a risk tool. this is not an income-support tool. income-support tools are being means tested and wed those in place but this is a risk management. risks at big farms are no different than risks on small farms.
to restrict crop insurance this way is in my view wrongheaded. i. creates several unknowns. both my colleagues from wisconsin and georgia are working diligently on the ways and means committee to the effect to have a fundamental tax reform. that fundamental tax reform will have the impact of eliminating deductions and credits and raising a.g.i. they can't tell us where that number is going to go to. so that creates one of the additional unknowns. a second one is they don't know what the impact is going to be. we heard the budget committee chairman said one percentage and mr. price said a different percentage. they aren't clear what the impact will be for folks who go above the $750,000. but their resolution says in
two, relating for the requirement of the secretary to carry out a study and the impacts that this is going to impose. all of my colleagues who are speaking in favor of this are much more rational and logical about how they want to do things. creating this new test will be ike the fellow who dove in unknown waters saying i wonder how deep and how cold it's going to be. i would argue that until we can affix a number on a.g.i. and i'm not saying anything whatsoever to do about opposition to the fundamental tax reform work that is going on. that has nothing to do with my comments. they are going to change the number. they cannot tell us yet. they are going to raise it, because you can't lower or limit deductions and not raise people's a.g.i.
they can't tell us that for a normal farmer and look at a farmer who is making $500,000 and lowering the rate, might raise him in excess of 750. that person is in the exact same position with regard to crop insurance and the tool that that is provided and will be femly impacted. it's ahead of its time. wait on the study that the senate calls for. but do not put this on crop insurance at this point in time. we have won this fight and i expect us to win it again and urge my colleagues to vote against the ryan-price amendment that would have the impact that they don't know yet on crop insurance. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. ryan: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. blumenauer plaur i appreciate the courtesy of my friend from wisconsin and i'm pleased to join him on the floor this evening debating this issue. it's something we have done over the years working with mr. kind, with now senator flake, trying to inject a little more rationality and fiscal responsibility into this debate. it is true that the house rejected a proposal during the debate on the farm bill. but 208 of our colleagues voted for a much more ambitious proposal. in fact, i believe that there ere more votes for that crop nurns reform than were able on the first farm bill itself. this is a very modest step. and i appreciate it being
brought forward. i think this is the sort of thing we ought to be doing on the floor of the house, because there are in fact areas of agreement to do a better job for the taxpayer, do a better job for more farmers and ranchers, protect the environment. the farm bill is replete with these opportunities. i find the rhetoric about somehow picking winners and losers and shutting down the richest farmers ironic. the proposal that is offered by my friend, mr. ryan, does not deny the richest 1% of the farmers crop insurance, it just say your subsidy is going to be 50%. you have a 15% reduction. that's not picking winners and losers. that's not denying them the use
of this tool. but what we should be doing is actually doing a deeper dive. so insurance right now is lucrative that it actually pays farmers to plant ground that they know is going to fail and make money off of it because of how lavishly the crop insurance program is subsidized. the premiums, the people who sell it, insure against loss, study after study from independent outside agencies suggest there's a lot we could do. in fact, it's ironic that there has been this attack on food stamps. the snap benefit, which has a lower percentage of abuse than the crop insurance program. we have -- we are on board now the next 10 years, crop insurance is likely to be
pushing up against $100 billion. $-- may i have one additional oment? mr. ryan: i yield an additional minute. mr. blumenauer: i want us to have some symmetry here, paul. this is an expensive entitlement in need of reform with more areas of identified abuse than the food stamp program, which gets whacked and we have a farm bill that's going to provide more lavish benefits for the wealthiest farmers. i appreciate this discussion this evening. i hope it's the beginning of a more ambitious effort to do what needs to be done with crop insurance. it's healthy to have it here. i'm pleased to join with my friend to agree with everything tom price has happened.
i don't think that has happened in any speech he has given on the floor, i'm sure i'm making him nervous agreeing with him, but if we take the time to work together on areas where there is bipartisan agreement and there's a clear need. i appreciate the gentleman giving me the time and bringing it forward. and i urge support. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: madam speaker, how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma has 19 minutes and the gentleman from wisconsin has 21 minutes remaining. mr. lucas: i yield to the gentleman from north dakota, mr. cramer, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. cramer: i thank the chairman for yielding the time and long and suffering persistent leadership and i rise to ask my
colleagues to please oppose efforts in this house to punish success and vote no on the ryan resolution. . . to maintain our farm base and the stable food supply it provides, proper risk mitigation is essential. though attacking the wealthy may appear to be normal, a.g.i. limits for crop insurance will drive out large-risk pool