June 6, 2012
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for yielding.
We have before us today the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill for Agriculture, Rural Development, the FDA and Related Agencies, which is funded at the discretionary 302(b) allocation of $19.405 billion. This is a 1.85 percent decrease compared to the fiscal year 2012 enacted level. I would like to thank Chairman Kingston, Ranking Member Farr and staff on both sides for their bipartisan efforts to prepare for this markup today, as well as my good friend from Washington, Mr. Dicks, for his role in getting this bill to the subcommittee. I look forward to continuing the regular order under which we have moved our appropriations bills this year.
I am pleased with the savings we have been able to find in this bill, but the fact remains that while the discretionary spending that is controlled by this committee continues to go down, mandatory spending – which we do not control – continues to rise at a wholly unsustainable rate. For every dollar we spend, 42 cents has to be borrowed. Mandatory spending cannot continue to grow unchecked.
The funding in this bill allows the USDA, FDA, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other agencies fulfill their core duties. I am proud that we have provided responsible funding for programs and services vital to our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, and have helped to promote development and economic growth across the country. At the same time, after holding 11 hearings covering all of these agencies, subcommittee members have provided substantive guidance for how to further reduce discretionary spending by streamlining programs and rooting out fraud and waste.
A balance is struck between fiscal restraint and the necessity to provide an abundant and safe food and drug supply, promote trade in our global economy, and ensure economically vibrant rural communities.
This is a good bill, and it deserves the support of each subcommittee member. Thank you, and I yield back.