In prepared remarks today, Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture encouraged members to work with all stakeholders to win approval of a new five-year farm bill.
"This is a new Congress and a new opportunity to reauthorize a five-year comprehensive farm bill," Lucas says. "And I pledge to work with the Secretary, Ranking Member Peterson, members of this Committee, my House and Senate colleagues, and all interested parties to complete our work and ensure our investment in American agriculture. It will take all of us working together to get it done."
Read on for the complete prepared remarks by Lucas:
Good morning and thank you for joining me for the first business meeting of the 113th Congress.
Before we begin the business at hand, I would first like to say I am honored to serve a second term as the Chairman of this Committee. Many of you know my background, but for those who do not let me tell you. I am a fifth generation farmer, an agricultural economics major at Oklahoma State University, and a member of this Committee since I was first elected to Congress. It is a privilege to continue in this leadership role, as a voice for production agriculture, on behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural constituents.
Second, I would like to highlight the work of our Committee in the last Congress. I am proud of our efforts and I thank every Member who played a part. We provided valuable oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that our agricultural producers are not burdened with unreasonable and costly regulations.
And, we advanced a strong, reform-minded, fiscally responsible farm bill during a Committee markup that demonstrated the true spirit of bipartisanship. We worked together to make certain policy was responsible to the taxpayer and worked for all producers in all regions of the country.
This is a new Congress and a new opportunity to reauthorize a five-year comprehensive farm bill. And, I pledge to work with the Secretary, Ranking Member Peterson, members of this Committee, my House and Senate colleagues, and all interested parties to complete our work and ensure our investment in American agriculture. It will take all of us working together to get it done.
That process begins today by formally organizing the Committee and welcoming our new members.
We will be voting on the rules of the Committee in the 113th Congress. We will maintain the enhanced transparency standards that were ushered in under the leadership and initiative of Speaker Boehner in the last Congress.
This includes placing the text of bills online for our constituents no fewer than 24 hours before a business meeting. We will also continue to provide both live and archived webcasts of our hearings and markups.