6:09 PM EDT

Earl Pomeroy, D-ND

Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, back in North Dakota this afternoon there are a number of farmers I represent wondering whether they will even be able to get through until next fall. We have had an unprecedented level of rain. It has destroyed the planting season, on top of the hardship they already faced because prices are below the cost of production, at a time when they have not been able to get for their crop what it costs them to grow the crop, and then on top of it production difficulties that have utterly

disrupted their ability to get the crop in the ground.

This is a time of crisis in North Dakota. I would think it is a time of crisis well beyond a provincial concern as a North Dakota Congressman, because I am talking constantly with many Members representing farmers around the country. While your production dimensions may be different than ours, the fundamental is the same: Prices have not covered the cost of production, and that is irrespective of commodity and irrespective of region, and it has given us a crisis in agriculture.

I believe the floor consideration of the agriculture appropriations bill has been an utter travesty. At one point we had more than 100 amendments filed against it. Fortunately, we have worked that out. But now I cannot tell you how dispiriting it is to be an advocate for farmers in this country and have the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations bring forward a $100-plus million cut.

Let me just tell you where $10 million of that would fall: Research and extension. Now, when this body, under a Republican majority, passed the freedom to farm law, you told farmers things were going to be different and they were going to be wonderful. They were going to have freedom to do new things, freedom to plant, freedom to do all kinds of things based upon the marketplace.

We know what has happened. Prices have collapsed and farmers are unprotected and farmers are going broke all over the country.

The agriculture research and extension component of this budget is what we need to deliver on the promise you [Page: H3819]

made to rural America, research to develop the new crop alternatives for people that cannot make money based on what they have been growing; new production methods that are more cost efficient, that will help keep these people in the game. It is part of the promise you made. Then extension, because it is extension that gets the research out of

the universities and the land grant universities and out to the farmers so they can put it to work.

6:11 PM EDT

Earl Pomeroy, D-ND

Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, back in North Dakota this afternoon there are a number of farmers I represent wondering whether they will even be able to get through until next fall. We have had an unprecedented level of rain. It has destroyed the planting season, on top of the hardship they already faced because prices are below the cost of production, at a time when they have not been able to get for their crop what it costs them to grow the crop, and then on top of it production difficulties that have utterly

disrupted their ability to get the crop in the ground.

This is a time of crisis in North Dakota. I would think it is a time of crisis well beyond a provincial concern as a North Dakota Congressman, because I am talking constantly with many Members representing farmers around the country. While your production dimensions may be different than ours, the fundamental is the same: Prices have not covered the cost of production, and that is irrespective of commodity and irrespective of region, and it has given us a crisis in agriculture.

I believe the floor consideration of the agriculture appropriations bill has been an utter travesty. At one point we had more than 100 amendments filed against it. Fortunately, we have worked that out. But now I cannot tell you how dispiriting it is to be an advocate for farmers in this country and have the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations bring forward a $100-plus million cut.

Let me just tell you where $10 million of that would fall: Research and extension. Now, when this body, under a Republican majority, passed the freedom to farm law, you told farmers things were going to be different and they were going to be wonderful. They were going to have freedom to do new things, freedom to plant, freedom to do all kinds of things based upon the marketplace.

We know what has happened. Prices have collapsed and farmers are unprotected and farmers are going broke all over the country.

The agriculture research and extension component of this budget is what we need to deliver on the promise you [Page: H3819]

made to rural America, research to develop the new crop alternatives for people that cannot make money based on what they have been growing; new production methods that are more cost efficient, that will help keep these people in the game. It is part of the promise you made. Then extension, because it is extension that gets the research out of

the universities and the land grant universities and out to the farmers so they can put it to work.

6:13 PM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. A question: Is the gentleman aware that just a month ago in the supplemental we did add an additional $600 million over and above all the budgetary figures? So we are not ignoring the plight of the farmer. We are trying to expedite this bill to get this amendment considered, whether it goes up or down, and get the bill into conference, so this additional money can get into the hands of the farmer. We did just a month ago add another $600 million over and above every budget

figure.

6:13 PM EDT

Earl Pomeroy, D-ND

Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, that was relative to a disaster, an emergency disaster occurring in agriculture. The Farm Bureau, another supporter of the freedom to farm bill, said you should have passed $6 billion, not $600 million.

I do not lay this on the chairman's shoulders. I have an enormous amount of respect for the chairman. But the fact of the matter is that that $600 million did not deal with extension and research, the $10 million I am talking about, and I cite that as an example.

Just a few months earlier than that, you set a 302(b) allocation for the Subcommittee on Agriculture of the Committee on Appropriations. The gentleman from New Mexico (Chairman SKEEN) went to work, working with the ranking member, the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. KAPTUR) and all of the Members. They came up with a bill within the allocation. They did everything right, and it is not right that agriculture should be bushwhacked on the floor of the House in this dark hour of despair

by a $100 million cut.

I urge Members, put party aside, put urban-rural aside, think about what is right and think about what is fair and reject this amendment.

[Time: 18:15]