Statement of Chairman Larry Combest in response to the President's Budget Blueprint for New Beginnings
(February 28, 2001)
The priorities that President Bush outlined last evening in his address to the Congress show a keen understanding of the needs of all Americans. This budget plan will protect social security, improve education for our children and allow us to pay down our national debt. America's agriculture community will also benefit from the priorities that the President has identified. In fact, President Bush said "we may need additional money for our farmers."
We are fortunate to be working hand in hand with an administration that recognizes the critical problems facing American agriculture today. President Bush has indicated his desire to work in a bipartisan manner to address these critical problems and his budget provides a reserve to address those problems. Here in the Agriculture Committee we are working very hard to identify the scope of the problems so that we can implement the best possible solution for our nations producers.
No one is more aware of the harm that the death tax reaps than the family farmer. Eliminating this tax will allow many of our family farmers to ensure that a lifetime's labor can remain in their family.
Further, we now have an administration that supports FARRM accounts. Our producers will now have the opportunity to build savings so that they are prepared to deal with the ups and downs of the farm economy. And like all other Americans, our producers will benefit from rate reductions that will allow them to keep more of their hard earned money. The combination of these benefits will help strengthen our nation's farm families as agriculture returns to profitability.
I appreciate the president's desire to help our farm economy and I look forward to working with the Administration to bring about real results for our nation's farmers.