Statements

Chairman Rogers Statement on FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill


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Washington, Jun 14, 2011 -

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2112, the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.

"This bill answers the call from Americans to reduce government spending while still providing for critical programs that keep American agriculture competitive in a global economy. The $125.5 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding in this bill will help our rural communities to thrive, provide daily nutrition to children and families across the country, and keep our food and drug supply safe.

"However, we can’t spend at the rate we used to. We’ve hit the debt ceiling, we’re borrowing more than 42 cents on every dollar we spend – we’re mortgaging our children’s futures. We must rein in our spending - even if it may not be the most popular thing to do.

"Accordingly, Chairman Kingston and his Subcommittee did not provide the agencies and programs funded by this bill with a carte blanche. This bill trims lower priority services, eliminates duplicative and wasteful programs, and limits funding and increases oversight for agencies that have been less than transparent with taxpayer money. All in all, this bill cuts nearly $5 billion in discretionary spending from the President’s request.

"With this legislation, we are helping to put the Department of Agriculture, the FDA, and the other agencies funded by this bill back on a sustainable budget path that is accountable to the taxpayers of this country.

"In addition, more than taking the first steps to help balance our budgets, we’re taking the necessary steps to increase transparency. Not only does this legislation encourage - but it requires – each and every agency to submit spending plans for every program funded by this bill. This common-sense oversight will go a long way in demonstrating to the American public our commitment to fiscal responsibility.

"I am confident not only that Chairman Kingston and his Subcommittee have made the smart, but necessary cuts in this bill to help balance our budgets, but also that this bill adequately funds important government programs – including agricultural research, rural health and economic development, and safety-net food and nutrition services.  

"I commend the Chairman, the Ranking Member, the Subcommittee and the staff for their dedicated and thoughtful work on this bill, and I urge my colleagues to support it in its final passage."

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