Video: Congresswoman Cheri Bustos Continues Call For Farm Bill Passage On House Floor

Video Of Bustos Speaking On House Floor Urging Passage Of Five-Year Farm Bill HERE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, continued her call for passage of a five-year Farm Bill in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives.  Bustos’ speech can be watched HERE and can be downloaded HERE.   The House began debate on a five-year Farm Bill today with a possible vote on the bill expected later this week.

Bustos’ prepared remarks are below.

I rise today to talk about an issue of critical importance to my district in Illinois, and that is passing a five-year Farm Bill.

As anyone can tell as they drive across our district, from Rockford to the Quad-Cities to Peoria and everywhere in between, agriculture is our number one industry.

My district is home to thousands of farmers and millions of acres of some of the best farmland in the world.

It is also home to Caterpillar and Deere & Company, among the best farm implement manufacturers in the world.  

The entire western border of my Congressional District is met by the Mississippi River, on which the barge transportation of agricultural products is absolutely vital to commerce in the region, in the state, and yes, in the world.

Whenever I talk with farmers or those employed in agriculture, what I hear more than anything else is that they want and need certainty.
Unfortunately, last year, Congress failed to pass a five-year Farm Bill and instead, resorted to a short-term extension, which expires at the end of September.

As a member of the Agriculture Committee, it was an honor to be part of the Farm Bill markup last month.

Unlike so much else in Washington, the markup was an exercise in bipartisanship.

The entire committee was civil and accommodating toward one another.

While the bill we passed is not perfect, it contains many worthwhile provisions.

Illinois farmers have endured some of the most extreme weather conditions in recent years, including record floods and the worst drought in a generation. 

That is why we need to keep in place a strong and stable crop insurance program, so farmers, always at the mercy of Mother Nature, can continue to provide the food, our nation, and world, depend on.

The bill also contains an amendment that I sponsored that would help aid improvements to river transportation infrastructure, flood prevention, and drought relief, including the aging locks and dams along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. 

The family farmers I talk with back home in Illinois want the security and stability that comes with a five-year Farm Bill.

That is how they can plan for future growth and investments and continue to provide us with a stable food supply.

Let’s give them this certainty by passing a five-year Farm Bill this week.

Thank you.