House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued the following statement concerning the exclusion of critical help for cotton and dairy farmers from the omnibus appropriations bill.
“It is no secret that times are extremely difficult in farm and ranch country right now, with net farm income down 50 percent from where it stood just four years ago. It is also no secret that the safety net for cotton and dairy is failing our producers. To its credit, the entire cotton industry came together on a plan to fix what is broken with respect to the safety net for cotton farmers. It was thoroughly vetted, strongly supported, and entirely paid for.
“The dairy industry, too, has been working hard to restore the safety net for our nation’s dairy farmers. Unfortunately, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Pat Leahy (D-VT) insisted on an $800 million plan that was cobbled together last minute, unvetted, and totally unpaid for, and when they did not get their way, they blocked critical relief for both cotton and dairy farmers.
“I am extremely disappointed in the recklessness and heartlessness of such an approach. For the sake of both America’s cotton and dairy farmers, I hope that all lawmakers will come together on policies broadly supported by those they are designed to help, thoroughly vetted, and fully paid for. Senators Stabenow and Leahy should not be playing games with the livelihoods of those who work hard to put food on our tables and clothes on our backs. I want to reassure the nation’s farmers and ranchers that I and many of my colleagues are fully committed to correcting this wrong and seeing them through their current economic challenges.
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