U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Texas) and Ranking Minority Member Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas) issued the following joint statement:
(July 31, 2001) -- "For the sake of our farmers, the U.S. Senate must put politics aside and realize the critical importance of passing the 2001 crop assistance bill immediately, so that the process can continue and a bill can be sent to the President for signature. The House Ag committee, anticipating this need, acted early and responsibly, passing a bill out 6 weeks ago. This bill was passed by the House on June 26, and was immediately sent to the Senate where it has languished. If payments are not made before September 30 of this year, then $5.5 billion that was fought for and budgeted for farmers will disappear. At this critical time, we must all put our agendas aside and concentrate our efforts on providing the needed assistance for farmers. It is unwise to encumber the bill with unnecessary, non-emergency items like increased conservation spending when our farmers' livelihoods hang in the balance. The process must move on, and the Senate must act."
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