Need for President Bush to Support the Farm Bill

May 15, 2008

By: Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)

Excerpt from Congressional Record May 15, 2008:

In an age of skyrocketing energy prices, economic uncertainty, and now a global food crisis, there is at least one thing we should be able to be certain of: our Nation’s food security. We cannot take for granted our ability to feed ourselves, lest we become dependent on other countries for our food in addition to our oil.

How do we achieve food security? Here are a few key principles.

First and foremost, we enact policy designed to keep our food producers productive and profitable, and ensure access to those foods for all Americans. This includes things such as a safety net to protect farmers from volatile price swings; and nutrition programs that give access to fresh fruits and vegetables in schools.

We enact policy that incentivizes state-of-the-art conservation practices to encourage the best possible stewardship of our agricultural lands…And we enact policy that helps American agriculture continue to diversify–including becoming a larger player not only in our food security, but also in our energy security…

[This bill] sets a strong and secure direction for our food, conservation and energy future…

It is not often that I so strongly disagree with our Commander in Chief, but on this I must. There are too many great things in this bill to deny its passage over a few areas of disagreement, too many important things for my State of Idaho, and for the Nation…

Let me say in closing, to the White House and to our President: Mr. President, you and your people have been at the table working on this program with us for well over a year. It is time you recognize the value of this program, what has been put into new agricultural policy, and support us in that effort.

(Sen. Larry Craig. Congressional Record. 5/15/08. p. S4213-S4214).