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  President Trump Signs Farm Bill  CSPAN  December 20, 2018 6:48pm-7:16pm EST

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consultation. they don't call us and say what do you think of this perp, what do you think of that person. and most of the nominations have been so below par in their ethical standards, in their ability to govern, in their ideology which is so far over, and i hoped there'd be a change, but given the past group of nominees, i don't. so they're going to get very, very thorough examinations. they're going to get serious, serious questions. and in the past, almost all of them have not passed muster. thank you. >> thank you, all. [inaudible conversations] >> read the letter. [inaudible conversations] >> in the eisenhower executive office building across the street from the white house, president trump talked about government funding and the need
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for funding a border wall during a ceremony where he signed the agriculture improvement act of 2018, commonly referred to as the farm bill. this is about 30 minutes. ms. . >> thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much. please. that was from the emmys. [laughter] i sang "green acres" and received a very nice award that night. [laughter] that was really great. so weed that, somebody had it, i said, put it on. not too much of it, but put it on. congratulations. [laughter] well, it's great to be here. we have a lot of big things happening, and i want to thank our great vice president, mike pence, for joining us. terrific job. loves our farmers line i do. [applause]
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and zippy duval. where's zippy? hi, zippy, what a good name. [laughter] good job too. [applause] john heisdorfer. john -- thank you, john. jimmy music, i love that name. should be a singer with that name. probably is. kevin kester, chuck conner. chuck? any relation to chuck conner, the great actor? [laughter] no? he was pretty good. randy mooney and jim. thank you all for being here. that's a great group of people. that's a great group. [applause] and some of our, some of our great political geniuses we have with us today. do you think this was an easy one, you know? they think it was easy, but we have to take care of our farmers and ranchers, and we will take care of them. not only is it a bill, it's a
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great bill for them, so we're honored by it. and instrumental people, leader mitch mcconnell -- who may have the easiest job in the united states, especially around the border -- [laughter] [applause] good man. john bozeman. john? john, thank you. john hoeven. thank you, john. great. spent a lot of time together. [applause] senator cindy hyde-smith, she had a very easy race, right? [laughter] she ended up winning by a lot. debbie stabenow, and she's tough, i can tell you. we competed with her. she's tough and she's smart and does a great job. thank you very much. really great job. ralph abraham? ralph, thank you.
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rick allen? jodi arrington, andy barr. ing where's andy barr? where's andy? oh, did i do a good job for you? [laughter] did i do a good job? you're one of the only congressional congressmen that i could have, i'll tell you, you i went to specifically. congratulations. that's a great victory you had. mitch was there with rand paul. we were all there for you, right? great. great, andy, good. good job. [applause] james colmar. kevin kramer. that's another one we worked hard on together, right? great job, kevin. senator. senator-elect, very shortly senator. proud of you, kevin. rick crawford, rodney davis. rick -- well, you know who this is, greg gianforte, great guy. we worked hard. you did a great job out this. thank you, greg, fantastic job. neil dunn, ron estes, bob
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goodlatte -- is he around here? he's with comey, i think. [laughter] that should be exciting. trying to see how much he's lying today. [laughter] frank lucas. roger marshall. great people. dan neuhaus. thank you, fellas, thank you all. great people. collin peterson. hi, collin. good job. [applause] very nice. david rosen. you know how you pronounce it rabble-rouser, you go david rouzer. where is he, is he around? that's the way to do it, right? because phonetically it's very tough, but i know your name for other reasons. thank you very much, david. appreciate it. austin scott. adrienne smith. where's austin? thank you, thank you.
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glenn thompson. hi, glenn. bruce westerman and ted yoho. thank you, fellas. thank you very much. so we're here to celebrate a really tremendous victory for the american farmer. ranchers, agriculture, incredible people. by the signing of the 2018 farm bill, very important, we've been working long and hard on this one. we were hearing it might not be able to pass this year. but i didn't want to talk to pat about that, so so we passed it. we also just achieved another very historic landmark, a big, additional victory as the house and senate have both passed landmark criminal justice reform and sent it to my desk for signature. that's a big, that's a big
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thing. [applause] and ivanka, i want to thank ivanka and jared for working so hard on that. it was incredible how you did it, but it's -- so many people have called and thanked me for that. and i thank mitch and everybody for the job you've done. that was an incredible achievement. i think that'll go down as one of the great, the great moments. this legislation will help thousands of former inmates and nonviolent offenders get a second chance at life. but before going any further, i want to address a matter of vital national importance. you've all been seeing it, reading it, hearing it, border security. every nation has not only the right, but the absolute duty to protect its borders and its citizens. a nation without borders is a nation not at all. without borders we have the reign of chaos, crime, cartels. and believe it or not, coyotes. i will not surrender this nation to the whims of criminal
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organizations who prey on the vulnerable, who hurt women and children and who spread human misery and suffering. human trafficking and massive truck inflow must also be stopped. it's at a tremendous level. what we're doing and the incredible job being done by border security, i.c.e., border patrol, local police and the military, the military has been incredible. and we're stopping them. it's a process you wouldn't believe how tough, but we're stopping them in record numbers. at this moment there's a debate over funding border security and the wall also called, so that i give them a little bit of an out, steel flats. we don't use the word "wall" necessarily, but it has to be something special to do the job. steel flats. i've made my position very clear. any measure that funds the
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government must include border security. has to. not for political purposes, but for our country, for the safety of our community. s this is not merely my campaign promise, this is the promise every lawmaker made. it is the solemn promise to protect and defend the united states of america, and it is our sacred obligation. we have no choice. for decades washington abandoned this commitment and allowed millions and millions of people to enter our country illegally is and over the objections of the american people. no one voiced or voted for a policy, no one endorsed this policy, and no one ratified this policy. it was a total assault on our democracy itself. illegal immigration costs our nation $275 billion a year.
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you hear many different numbers. you can say billions and billions, but the number i hear most accurate is $275 billion a year at least. millions of jobs and thousands of innocent lives. more than 90% of heroin comes across our southern border. heroin deaths have tripled since 2002. every week this illegal heroin kills at least 300 americans and costs our nation over $230-$289 billion or nearly $5 billion a week. i spoke with president xi of china, and he's agreed to make fentanyl -- another one of the big, big problems and probably i think it's just gone to number one, kills 80,000 people a year in our country -- he's going to make that a major crime in
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china. and if you get caught, you pay a major penalty, it's called the death penalty. and it wasn't listed as a crime until i spoke to him, so i appreciate president xi for doing that. that's a tremendous -- that's going to have a tremendous impact. ms. -- [applause] every day ten known or suspected terrorists try to gain entry into our cup. every day -- into our country. every day 2,000 illegal aliens try to cross our borders. they try. we get most of them. it's hard without a wall. every year 50,000 illegal children are smuggled coyotes and criminals into our country, and the that's two years alone i.c.e. officers arrested criminal aliens charged with or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 murders. that's rough stuff. finish yet the democrats continue to oppose border
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security to matter how many innocent people get hurt or die. ridiculously and dangerously, certain people want open borders which allow potentially massive crime. our nation has spent trillions of dollars and sacrificed thousands of brave young lives defending the borders of foreign nations. i am asking congress to defend the border of our nation for a tiny fraction, tiny fraction of the cost. .. prime minister, two days ago, we were talking about it. he said it's 99.9. i mean, he came up, i didn't ask. i said 99.9% successful.
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we have proposed a steel slat barrier to halt the deadly flow of these illegal traffickers, smugglers and terrorists. every day that we deprive our border patrol and i.c.e. officers the resources they need, we put many innocent lives in harm's way. should be bipartisan. i think it will end up being bipartisan, i really do. illegal immigration also strains public services that americans depend on and illegal immigration drives down wages for the neediest americans. no one who calls themselves a progressive should support illegal immigration. open borders hurts poor americans more than anyone else in our society. in life, there are certain principles worth fighting for, principles that are more important than politics, party or personal convenience. the safety and security and sovereignty of the united states is the most important principle of all. if we don't stand strong for our national borders, then we cease
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to be a nation and we betray our commitment to the loyal citizens of our great country. i look forward to signing a bill that fulfills our fundamental duty to the american people. it is all about, and i say this in any way they want to hear it, it's all about america first. we have to put our country first. we have to put our people first. and we have to put safety first. so thank you all very much, and we'll be working on that, mitch and paul and kevin and everybody, and we'll see what we can do. but hopefully that will all come together. now to the farm bill. we are proudly joined today by so many members of congress, republicans, democrats, who work very, very hard on this bill. this was really an effort of everybody. it was a bipartisan success, something you don't hear too much about, but i think you will
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be. i actually believe we maybe will be over the coming period of time. i hope so. i think so. so good for the country. i want to thank all of the people here, including the many democrats who have really worked hard on this bill. they really have. i probably have to deny that i ever said that some day, but i won't do that because you really did. you worked very, very hard. and mike, thank you, by the way. that was some job you did, i'll tell you. i watched you day and night work on this one, so that was really incredible. thank you. thank you very much. [ applause ] and the chairman of the house and senate agricultural committees, mike conaway, and senator pat roberts, who's another one i was really, was very inspiring to work very hard to get it done for these two guys because it meant so much to them. i want to thank them.
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[ applause ] great job. great job. we're honored to be with state, local and tribal leaders of the american agriculture along with zippy and all of the people, some of whom i introduced, one i have to introduce that has done such an incredible job, truly loves agriculture and perhaps more importantly, loves the farmers and the ranchers. it is our secretary of agriculture, sonny perdue. special, special man. [ applause ] and you know, he planned sort of everything out. he sometimes can be a little bit deceiving, this one is smart. and today happens to be his birthday, right? so you planned that out, probably like you do everything else. happy birthday.
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this is the best birthday present you could have, i think, knowing you with how much you love the farmers, this is the best. that's fantastic. by signing this bill, we are protecting our crop insurance programs and funding that producers rely on in times of disaster and i've told sonny that where we had some pretty big problems in alabama and georgia with the hurricanes, believe it or not. normally doesn't hit but these were big and they hit. we're going to work it out so we can help those farmers, right? they got hit very hard. we're going to work it out, those two states in particular, and some others, but those two states, those two states got hit very, very hard, and certain parts of florida but we knew about that, and they're being taken care of, right? so worked on that one, sonny. that will be great. through fires, floods and freezing weather, we will always stand with the american farmers. the farm bill doubles the amount of farmers that they can borrow
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to expand and improve their far farms, it expands and goes all over rural broadband, we are doing broadband, everyone wanted it so badly. it's amazing how sophisticated the whole farm industry has become. but it expands rural broadband and dedicates additional resources to fight the opioid crisis. tremendous crisis that we have it down about 18% but it's just not acceptable. it's an incredible problem for our country. it opens new markets for american agriculture all over the world. in addition to signing this critical legislation today, i am directing my administration to take immediate action on welfare reform. thanks to our thriving economy, we have already lifted more than 4.6 million americans off the food stamp rolls since the election and more work remains to be done.
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lot more work remains to be done, but it's been incredible, the strides that we've made and i will say it's really because of the fact that the economy is doing so well, and the farms now are being lifted and again, go back to president xi of china at our meeting two weeks ago, he's agreed to start purchasing tremendous amounts of farm products. nou th you know that. you know that. you're the first one i called, actually. in particular, soybeans. they're starting that already and i think you have already seen the signs of that but they're starting that already. millions of able-bodied working age adults continue to collect food stamps without working or even looking for work. our goal is to move these americans from dependence to independence and into a good paying job and rewarding career. therefore, i have directed secretary perdue to use his authority under the law to close work requirement loopholes in the food stamp program.
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under this new rule, able-bodied adults without dependents will have to work or look for work in order to receive their food stamps. today's action will help americans transition from welfare to gainful employment, strengthening families and uplifting communities and that was a difficult thing to get done, but the farmers wanted it done. we all wanted it done. i think in the end it's going to make a lot of people very happy. it's called work rules and sonny is able under this bill to implement them through regulation. with the passage of the farm bill, we are delivering to the farmers and ranchers who are the heart and soul of america all sorts of things that they never even thought possible. we are ensuring that american agriculture will always feed our families, nourish our communities, power our commerce and inspire our nation. and i am opening up massive new markets in order to do things
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with other countries. we have opened various countries, canada is an example. canada is going to be much more open over the usmca. it's a terrific document. it replaces the horrible nafta deal. it was a horrible deal for this country. before signing, i would like to invite secretary perdue who as i said is just doing an incredible job, he loves what he does, he loves the farmers and loves what he does, and i'm going to ask sonny to say a few words. thank you, sonny. thank you very much. >> mr. president, you can tell by the temperature in this room today it's a great day for agriculture. it's a delight to have so many members of congress here with the leaders and chairmen of the committees who worked so hard, the ranking members. we have many members of usda staff here who have worked hand in hand with your committees over this working of the farm bill on both sides, and i'm very
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proud of the work they've done. i think we counted up i believe there were over 2,000 issues of technical assistance which we provided the committees, and we believe that's the way this should work. it's your job to write the laws and our job to implement and give you data and facts whenever you need it. so we're very proud of our usda people here and i want to thank them today for their hard work as well. it is a great birthday present, not only for me but for all of agriculture, to give the producers, ranchers and farmers across america the peace of mind going forward they can make their plans in 2019, make their lenders and bankers proud of what they can plan for. the underpinning of the safety net of crop insurance, those kind of things, is a big deal for agriculture, it's a big deal for the u.s. economy, the ag economy, for food security and for national security.
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i don't know if you remember this, president trump, but this is my lucky tractor tie i wore to the trump tower in november of 2016. i thought it was appropriate to wear today to celebrate again the conclusion of over a year and a half work of a farm bill and i'm just delighted to be here with you. i want to thank you for your leadership. as a businessperson, we know you to be a builder, a builder of the economy, builder of buildings, and it's amazing to me the affinity having grown up in your career in new york, the affinity and affection you have for our farmers and ranchers. i think it's because you know them to be builders as well. they take the risk every year putting that seed in the ground, their faith, optimism and hope, look at the young people in the fha jackets out here, understanding the optimism they have for the great story of american agriculture. i am proud to be u.s. department of secretary agriculture sonny perdue and i'm delighted to work on behalf of the farmers and ranchers, delighted to work for
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you, mr. president, because you understand their heart and this bill goes a long way. thank you folks for passing a great bill. we're going to do our best to implement that bill as you have intended. thank you. god bless you. [ applause ] >> thank you, sonny. so now it's my great honor to sign the 2018 farm bill. very, very special, important piece of legislation. thank you, mitch. great job. thank you. thank you all.
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>> who gets that? the old way, one letter at a time. here you go, folks. got plenty. want one? thank you all very much. [ applause ]
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[ applause ] >> thank you very much, everybody. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in the room until the president departs.
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thank you. ladies and gentlemen, please remain in the room until the president departs. thank you. [ indistinct conversation ]
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>> the house is working on a continuing resolution that would fund the government through february 8th, but that measure could include funding for a border wall which is not included in the senate version. the senate will gavel in tomorrow at noon to take up the house version of the bill. you can watch the house live on c-span, the senate live here on c-span 2. >> federal reserve chair jerome powell brushed off president trump's critical tweets and expressed confidence in his ability to effectively communicate with the market. his comments came during a news conference wednesday following the federal reserve's december meeting and a review of monetary policy actions. this is 45 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. than