Alabamians also recognize that this bill needs to contain the kind of reforms that show Congress is serious about changing the culture of spending and government dependence.

Our country needs agricultural policy that makes sense.

We need regional equity that allows the same opportunity and protections for all types of commodities, not just those in certain areas. 

We need an EPA that helps farmers comply with necessary regulations, not an aggressive, police-like agency bent on punishing those who are just trying to yield a crop.

It is time to end the practice of direct payments to farmers, and transition to an insurance system that allows for planting flexibility.

And it is time to consolidate duplicative programs administered by the USDA.

Our country also needs nutrition policy that makes sense. Food stamps have played and will continue to play an important role in taking care of our most needy Americans. But the program exists to help lift up those who have hit bottom, not to keep them there.

Like President Reagan said, the success of our welfare programs should be measured not by how many the government can enroll, but by how many families can get off assistance and become self-reliant.

Mr. Chairman, I know there are a number of differences between the House and Senate bills, but I am confident we can find common ground.

We have a unique opportunity in this conference committee to prove Congress has not lost its ability to solve problems and make life work for Americans.

By working together, we can be an example to the rest of Congress. Let’s show the nation that its elected leaders can deliver on behalf of the American people.

Thank you Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

Watch a video of Rep. Roby’s address to the committee here.