WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the United States Senate preparing to vote on legislation to extend the nation’s farm and agricultural programs, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement on the upcoming debate on such legislation in the House:

“The Majority Leader has announced that the House will consider the Farm Bill this month.  The Leader and I will encourage the Rules Committee to provide a fair process that will allow for a vigorous and open debate – the kind of process I pledged we would have more of in the House when I became speaker.  I commend Chairman Lucas for including a number of positive reforms in this bill, especially provisions ending direct payments and making changes to the Food Stamp program that both parties know are necessary.  These reforms account for billions of dollars in mandatory program spending cuts.

“As a longtime proponent of top-to-bottom reform, my concerns about our country’s farm programs are well known.  But as I said on the day I became speaker, my job isn’t to impose my personal will on this institution or its members.  Rather, it’s to ensure we have a fair process and an open debate, leading to a product that reflects the will of our majority, the will of our members, and the will of those we represent.  That’s the commitment I intend to keep as this process proceeds. 

“I had concerns about some of the dairy provisions of the Farm Bill last year, and those concerns remain this year.  I oppose those provisions and will support efforts on the House floor to change them appropriately.  And I encourage other members of the House to approach this process in the same spirit.  If you have ideas on how to make the bill better, bring them forward.  Let’s have the debate, and let’s vote on them.”