July 29, 2013 — Congressman David Valadao (R-CA), a dairyman from Hanford, CA said Sunday that he was very disappointed that the Farm Bill as a whole was not passed by the House. He supports the provisions he terms “reforms” that would eliminate the MILC program.
He also supports the two-part program of margin insurance and production management. He opposes the Goodlatte-Scott Amendment, saying that without that production management aspect, margin insurance will create more cheap milk which he said processors favor. He said that Rep. Colin Peterson, minority leader on the House Ag Committee, had told him that he thinks the dairy security program will emerge from conference. He added that he hopes that is the case but is not optimistic himself.
He said that negotiations are beginning to resolve the differences in the food stamp (SNAP) program between the Senate and House bills and between Democratic and Republican budget versions. He concluded his comments on the Farm Bill by saying he does believe a Farm Bill will be passed and signed by the White House by the Sept. 30 deadline.
On the subject of immigration reform, he spoke at some length about the longstanding need for reform of the visa process which allow business, industry and agriculture to access qualified immigrants. He gave an example that in his district, a new business did not make a significant investment in a start-up operation because it could not obtain visas for qualified highly skilled workers. In response to questions he said he supported controlling the border but returned to his theme that it’s a broken visa process that is at the core of the problem. He did not directly address the issue of undocumented people who are already in the U.S.
Valadao was elected seven months ago to his first term in the House and has been active on the Farm Bill, and has been termed by his House colleagues as the only one in the whole Congress who really understands the dairy provisions. He made these comments at a meeting with constituents on July 27 in Sanger, CA.