Chairman Goodlatte's Statement Concerning Final Omnibus Spending Bill and Drought Assistance Provision

Feb 13, 2003

CHAIRMAN GOODLATTE'S STATEMENT CONCERNING THE FINAL OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL AND THE DROUGHT ASSISTANCE PROVISION

"We are pleased that the final drought assistance provision provides targeted disaster relief to those farmers who need it the most. It is my hope that this approach will help countless American farmers avoid devastating financial circumstances. I am also pleased that it is paid for.

However, the Committee is greatly concerned that it is paid for out of a carefully negotiated Farm Bill, and would have preferred that the funds had been found elsewhere. Breaking open the Farm Bill, before it has even been implemented, is a very serious matter. This is a dangerous precedent, which we strongly opposed throughout the course of these negotiations.

This is a warning to farm legislators and the farm community at large to be vigilant. It will be a constant effort to ensure that the Farm Bill remains a valuable asset to America's farmers and ranchers. While this legislation will help farmers who are hurting right now, we must make certain that in providing this assistance, we don't harm American agriculture in the long term."

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