President's Farm Budget Commitment Solid
Ag Chairman Combest hails Bush support for ten-year $73.5 billion funding
December 21, 2001 – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest issued the following statement after releasing a letter Friday from the President's Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels:
"President Bush has made an unquestionable commitment for producers, and the Senate must act to deliver a farm bill as soon as senators return in January."
The text of the December 21 letter to Agriculture Chairman Combest from OMB Director Mitch Daniels follows: (see a copy of the signed letter)
Dear Representative Combest:
Thank you very much for coming by the White House to talk to Secretary Card, Secretary Veneman, and me about the best way to proceed in producing a good, bipartisan farm bill that the President can sign into law early next year. The Administration appreciates your efforts this session on getting a strong, bipartisan farm bill through the Congress. As we discussed, the Administration shares your commitment to our nation's farmers and ranchers, and to generous funding for the farm bill.
The President has been very clear about the policy we need to build long-term prosperity for America's farmers and ranchers. A sound, bipartisan farm policy will provide a solid safety net for all farmers and ranchers, expand markets abroad for American agricultural products, and increase resource conservation in ways that enhance our environment. The President has also been clear about the need for a generous farm bill in order to help farmers and ranchers through this difficult period. As a result, you have our commitment that the Administration will continue to support additional ten-year program funding of $73.5 billion in accordance with the Congressional Budget Resolution.
It was regrettable that the Senate failed to reach the kind of bipartisan agreement that characterized the House action. We look forward to working with Congress early next year to produce a bipartisan final farm bill.
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
Office of Management and Budget
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