tv U.S. Senate Sens. Roberts Stabenow on Farm Bill CSPAN June 26, 2018 6:16pm-6:36pm EDT
oversight hearing. that will be live tomorrow morning starting at ten eastern on c-span three. coming up in the afternoon at 230 eastern, president trump picked to lead the veterans affairs department. robert wilkie will sit before the committee with his confirmation hearing. that is also live on c-span three. coverage of both hearings is also online if you can.org and you can listen with the free c-span radio app. earlier today senate agriculture committee chair pat roberts and the committee's ranking member debbie spoke about the farm bill that was approved by the senate agriculture committee which they both support. this is about 20 minutes. >> madam president, i rise c today as the senate considers legislation on an issue that is critically important to our nation. the agriculture improvement act of 2018, the farm bill. the goal, the responsility,
the absoluteme requirement is to provide our farmers and ranchers and growers and everyone within america's agriculture and food chain certainty and predict ability. especially during these very difficult times. this is paramount. absolutely paramount to many other issues or any other issues and concerns. it's not an exaggeration to say our nations food and fiber capability with regards to production hang in the balance with what we do here on this legislation. simply put, let's get this done. many of my colleagues have introduced legislation over the last year that address priorities and stakeholders in eir states. the bill that passed the
agriculture committee with the help of partnership of my distinguished ranking member passed with a strong bipartisan vote of1 20 - 1. earlier this month. that bill addresses many of these concerns. in fact the ag committee bill includes this bill we are considering today. portions of 65 standalone bills and an additional 73 amendments were adopted in the committee. that's called working together. that's called regular order. needless to say we have worked to include as many priorities for members both on and off the ag committee. we want to continue working with members to address their concerns. prepare your amendments and come work with senator
stepanov and myself. we are endeavoring to craft a farm bill that meets the needs of producers across all regions, all of agriculture todaygl at struggling not just one or two commodities, we are indeed going to a very difficult time, what we call in farm country a a rough patch. we must have bl that works all across our great nation and we must ensure that are voluntary conservation programs areio keeping farmland in operation while protecting her agricultural landsth and forest and other natural resources. let us not forget that in a few short decades the global population will top 9 billion people. some are saying even ten.
agriculture production then will need to doun the near future to meet that demand. accomplishing this task requires efficiency not just on the farmls and ranch it also in our government. we must focus on program integrity. we have done that. common sense investments to strengthen our nutrition programs and ensure the long-term health and success of those in need of assistance. we have done that in this bill with efficiencies reform and priority with regard to program integrity. with trade and market uncertainty, to say the least we must provide certaintyty for our trade promotion and research programs. today we are losing our markets.
kansas wheat is not going to mexico. mexico is buying its wheat from argentina. same thing for corn. our calling is not going down to mexico. mexico is buying the corn from brazil. i think you could really say that when you impose a tariff to try to gethings done on trade deficits, you also run the risk, and we've seen it happen, or retaliation. retaliation comes back directly on our producers in agriculture. that's why we i have to have this bill passed. it's not simply an agriculture challenge, it's a national security challenge. show me a country that cannot feed itself and i'll show you nation in chaos. this means we need to grow more, raise more with fewer resources. that will take investments in
research, new technology, lines of credit and proper risk management. it takes the government providing tools and getting out of the producers way. in this bill we have made, and we must make tough choices and be judicious with the scarce resources we have. through an open and deliberate hearing process over the past 18 months, members of the senate agriculture committee have asked tough questions, re-examine programs to determine their effectiveness and tried to ensure programs that accomplish their fundamental purposes. agriculture and specifically the farm bill has consistently answered the call to do more with less. to those who say passing a farm bill in this environment is a daunting task,nd y it is, i say together we can get this done. i think about the folks back home right now, i would like
to point out that the wheat harvest is still growing across kansas and headed for south dakota and north dakota. these farmers in the midst of harvest are facing mother natur nature, the unknown of a thunderstorm or hailstorm back and hit as they try to harvest their grain. we have a drought in kansas but we are still hopeful we can harvest a crop could we must adopt here the attitude of our producers. optimism and ingenuity. a farmer doesn't put a seed in the ground without the faith and optimism of harvesting the crop. that's what weat should do. that means with bipartisan support we must do our job. we must pass a bill that provides those same men and women the much-needed certainty and predictability they deserve and that's the paramount issue. members have
concerned.ave many havefi amendments that want to address a specific problem and they feel very strongly about it. we are here to help them. we want to help them address that in this bill but we also have to understand the tough challenges we face, farmers and ranchers and growers are in a very difficult time. we must whisper onto that. we are the agriculture committee. we must accept that challenge. we must be champions and we need a bill. that's the number one issue. certainty and predictability during a very difficult time for our farmers and ranchers and growers. this is not the best possible bill, but it is the best bill possible under the circumstances. i look forward to working with my colleagues on continuing to move this process forward into
my partner in this process tor stepanov, thank you so much for your help and cooperation and working together. i will look forward to working with you toward that goal in the days ahead. let's get this bill done. i yield thee. floor. >> madam president. will the senator suspend. will. morning businesses) will resume consideration to proceed to a chart to which the clerk will report. >> permission to proceed and act for theon reforming continuation of agriculture and other program through 2023 and for the purposes. >> madam president. >> the senator from michigan. >> thank you madam predator them. first i ask unanimous consent that they be granted for
privileges for the duration of this congress. without objection. thank you so much to the majority leader and democratic leader for their support in bringing this bill to the senate floor for consideration as quickly as they have done. i appreciate all of the agriculture committee members on both sides of the aisle to write this important legislation, and most importantly, many thanks to my friend and partner, the chairman pat roberts for his work and leadership and his commitment to our farmers and growers throughout this process. it's a great pleasure to work with you. from the very beginning of this process german robertson i made a commitment that we would deliver a strong bipartisan farm bill. despite the long road we faced we stayed true to our word. i ame proud to say we wrote a bill that will provide certainty to our farmers, our families and rural communities.
we focus on strengthening our nation's diverse agriculture economy. the 16 million jobs it supports. madam president, this is a job skill for america. a lot of those jobs are in my home state of michigan. or proven agriculturaly economy supports one out of four jobs in michigan. p people look at us as in all the urgent auto state. we are, we make things but we make things that we grow things and i don't think you have an economy or middle-class, somebody makes things and gross things. that's what we do in this bill is critical to both of those things. things and grow things andke it's critical to our michigan economy and the economy of the country. even though agriculture supports the livelihood of so many family, the rest of us
may take for granted the work they do and how much we depend on them to be successful. after all, we all have to eat and the food on our plate comes from a farm or a rancher. you may find dietrich orchards which produce the apple slices your kids might eat as a snack and the men and women who own and operate so many more farms in michigan and across the country. they are the reason our grocery shelves are stocked with the safest, most affordable food in the world. the food we eat depends on the hard work they put in day in and day out. they dore this work knowing the great rest they face. for our farmer, a year of work can be lost in a single day and i saw an example of that in the upper parents love michigan just yesterday where severe flooding and mudslides
has caused unimaginable losses in michigan and hancock and the surrounding small towns. a numberal of farms experienced heavy damage. the loss of hate alone will hurt dairy and cattlend operations for weeks and months to come. on top of the uncertainty farmers face from mother nature they also contend with unpredictable markets and certainly unpredictable situations today. the farm economy is struggling with low prices. many farm families are struggling to make ends meet. the time has come to provide a strong safety net, to accept and strengthen these management tools and help the
farmers ofir all type protecting their businesses from unexpected losses, all types of farms large and small. we create that risk management safety net for them. we also made a number of important changes for our dairy farmers. : : : expected. leaving many families, many dairy farms, without a reliable safety net. in addition to the $1.1 billion we secured in the bipartisan budget act, we replaced the margin protection program with new, affordable coverage for dairy farmers when the market dips. thanks to the support and the leadership of senator gillibrand and senator baldwin, senator klobuchar, we also refund premiums for dairy farms who did not see returns under the old safety net. from commodities in dairy to
specialty crops in urban farming, the strength of american agriculture is rooted in the diversity of what we grow and how we grow it. this is certainly true in michigan where we grow more crops than every other state but one, that little state called california. and we're working on that one. our farm bill continues to support the wide variety of farms all across america, big and small, urban and rural. we invest in the bright future of agriculture by helping new and beginning farmers, including young people and returning veterans. and we expand agricultural market opportunities so our farmers are make a living. historical investments in organic farming have helped producers tap into one of the fastest-growing sectors of agriculture. new and permanent investments in international trade will help
international trade will help minute support for farmers market and local food processing and help our farmers sell to their neighbors. just as the farm bill provides a safety net to farmers, it also provides a safetypr net for our families. we know nutrition assistance provides a critical lifeline for families struggling to make ends meet. the good news is, according to the congressional budget office, nutrition programs are saving $80 billion more than expected because the economynd is getting better and fewer people need temporary help. we hop focus on strengthening nutrition assistance the right way by working on a bipartisan basis. we improve the integrity of snap and created new job training opportunities and public-private partnerships while preserving critical food
access. we are reducing paperwork for senior citizens on fixed income. we are improving the quality of life in small-town communities. access to high-speed internet is one of the top concerns we hear about in rural america. in 2018, having internet access is not a luxury. it's a necessity. high school students need to do their homework. we need to use telemedicine and reach those in their home.
we are continuing to create jobs, strong investments in rural small businesses promote entrepreneurial advancements. : : : al and urban jobs, taking cobs like corn and soybeans, turning them into products we can use every day from laundry detergent to seats in automobiles -- yes, you may be sitting on soybeans, madam president. -- in your car, to biofuels. all of these things create opportunities for young people to stay in their hometowns and raise their families. we want children to feel they can stay at home in their small
town and have the quality of life that they want for life that they want for in their small town he the quality of life that they want and have the opportunity to raise their children there. >> the farm bureau continues to be one of the largest investments in the conservation of our land and the great lakes which are so important to us in michigan. contrary to the house bill we have made no cuts to the conservation title which helped our farmers be more productive and m more profitable. in fact by focusing on successful conservation partnerships we will grow funding by referencing an additional $1 billion in private investments. clean water, healthy wildlife habitat are not only good for our farmers and ouro environment are they also support hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation. we enjoy hunting and fishing in
the great news that accounts for over 7 million jobs. there's no doubt that this farms bill is a jobs bill and is as the chairman said it's a national security bill. the conservation bill. the food security bill. it's also a bipartisan bill. with the strong support of the members of the agriculture attrition and forestry committees. i'm proud to be here with my friend and colleague of our committee chairman roberts and i would urge our colleagues to join us and swiftly passing this bill. thank you madam presint. >> the defense reporter rusty chua called the house considering the defense department spending bill. where the main priorities of the house verses what the presidents request help? >> guest: thanks for having me. the house bill in many