Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) delivered remarks on the House floor in favor of H.R. 1567, the Global Food Security Act of 2016. Watch the video and view the official remarks below.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1567, the Global Food Security Act of 2016.
"With the world population rapidly increasing—particularly in some of the most impoverished and food insecure regions—it is of critical importance that the United States maintain its position as the world leader in the effort to alleviate global hunger and to enhance food security.
"The agricultural community is proud to have long played a crucial role in this effort, and we are eager to continue doing our part. As Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, I have vowed to ensure that the expertise of the agriculture community is fully leveraged in global food security efforts moving forward.
"To fulfill that promise, I have worked closely with the Foreign Affairs Committee to ensure that the bill before us today capitalizes on the wealth of knowledge and expertise within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and amongst agricultural businesses, commodity groups, agricultural producers, agricultural research institutions, land-grant colleges and universities, and the agricultural extension system.
"Beyond requiring collaboration with key agricultural stakeholders, the bill will also improve the monitoring and reporting of the various programs and funds counted towards the success of the current Feed the Future Initiative. USAID has been very vocal in its efforts to reduce and or eliminate in-kind food assistance, yet lauds the use of these programs in selling the success of Feed the Future. It is my hope that the enhanced reporting accountability within the Global Food Security Strategy will ensure that all food aid programs and means of delivery are appropriately recognized for their role in the strategy’s success.
"Further, to ensure that this legislation does not provide USAID with an unintended opportunity to overhaul time-tested food aid programs, the bill contains carefully crafted language protecting the funds and authorities of those existing programs. As I have pointed out time and again, any such changes should be explored in the context of future farm bill discussions.
"I greatly appreciate Congressman Smith’s open-minded approach to achieving common ground on this legislation, as well as the cooperation and support from the various agricultural organizations, commodity groups, and non-governmental organizations such as the ONE Campaign, who have been engaged in this process. I look forward to maintaining and building upon those positive relations as we move forward and carefully monitor the implementation of this strategy.
"With that, I yield back."