O'Halleran Fights for AZ Ag Producers during Farm Bill Conference Committee Hearing

September 5, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, during the first Farm Bill Conference Committee’s public hearing, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) urged House and Senate members to draft a bipartisan Farm Bill that supports Arizona farmers and ranchers, working families, and rural communities.

“The next Farm Bill will impact every single community in our state, and I am pleased that Arizonans have a voice at the table as we discuss the final legislation. We have a responsibility to support our agriculture producers and promote economic development in our most rural communities,” said Rep. O’Halleran following the public hearing. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on this conference committee to prioritize solutions to the issues impacting, and I am confident that we can come together to draft a bill that embodies the long history of bipartisanship and cooperation of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.”

O’Halleran, a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva are the only members of the Arizona delegation on the Farm Bill Conference Committee.

The Committee, which is made up of 56 members of the House of Representatives and Senate, will reconcile the differences between the Farm Bills that passed both chambers earlier this year.

Watch Rep. O'Halleran's testimony from earlier today here.

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Transcript of Rep. O’Halleran’s Remarks:

Thank you Chairman,

Today, at this conference, we must put partisanship aside and work together to get results. We must aid our farmers and ranchers, help strengthen our rural communities, feed families and veterans who have fallen on hard times, and recognize tribal sovereignty.

For Arizona’s agricultural producers – our farmers and ranchers - we must have a reliable and meaningful safety net. Producers across the country deserve certainty that will back them up in times of low crop prices, just as families and veterans should have a safety net that help them when they are struggling to make ends meet.

For Arizona’s rural communities, we must help them build the broadband and other infrastructure they need to access markets, health care, and education. We must also protect rural development programs that help rural Americans grow or start their businesses.

For Indian Country, we must promote tribal self-determination and sovereignty in forestry, nutrition, and education. We must also ensure that tribes are heard at USDA by the continued presence of the Office of Tribal Relations in the Office of the Secretary.

For Arizona’s forests, we must create a restoration economy that will grow jobs and provide value to rural communities, while reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires. 

For Arizona’s future, we must promote conservation practices that allow our farmers and ranchers to conserve water in a way that is fair and equitable, by ensuring there is necessary funding. 

This Farm Bill is a tremendous opportunity to do good for rural Arizona and rural America.

I urge my colleagues to work together and develop a conference report that benefits all of rural America.

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