[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[May 22, 1998]
[Page 831]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on House of Representatives Action on Agricultural Research 
May 22, 1998

    I am deeply disappointed that today the House did not approve the 
conference report on the agricultural research bill. This carefully 
crafted legislation balances a broad range of agricultural and nutrition 
concerns including: crop insurance, agriculture research, rural 
development, and food stamps for legal immigrants in need. It provides 
critical funding to ensure the viability of the crop insurance program 
as the basis of the farm income safety net; to improve food safety and 
the competitiveness of our farmers through better research; to restore 
needed food stamps to children, the elderly, and disabled, and refugees 
among our legal immigrants; and to improve the quality of life in rural 
    I am grateful that the House today overwhelmingly defeated a rule 
that would have stripped the food stamp immigrant provisions from the 
bill and destroyed the delicate compromise in the conference report. 
Support across the country for these programs and this bill is wide and 
deep. Today's vote in the House and the Senate's overwhelming vote of 
92-8 in passing the conference report is a reflection of the strong 
backing by farm groups, universities, church organizations, and 
advocates for the poor.
    The House leadership today let down farmers, let down consumers, and 
let down the children, elderly, and disabled who need the food 
assistance contained in this bill. I urge the House of Representatives 
to complete its work and move expeditiously to pass the conference 
report without change, upon return from the Memorial Day recess.