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Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 - Conference Report

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


FOOD, CONSERVATION, AND ENERGY ACT OF 2008--CONFERENCE REPORT -- (Senate - May 15, 2008)

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Mr. CHAMBLISS. If anybody in this body can tell me today what the price of corn, cotton or soybeans is going to be 5 or 10 years from now, then we would not have to worry about projecting exactly what the expenditure, from a budget standpoint, in this farm bill is going to be. The fact is, we can't even project what the price of corn and soybeans and other commodities is going to be tomorrow, much less what we can predict it will be 5 years from now. In fact, the 2002 farm bill, which is currently in place, had the same budget point of order made against it in 2002, when it was passed. The fact is, in that farm bill, not only did we not spend what was projected to be spent, but we spent between $15 and $18 billion less than what was projected to be spent. The reason is that commodity prices have been high; therefore, payments coming out of Washington have been either nonexistent or very low. That is where the $15 to $18 billion in savings has come from. In this bill, as long as commodity prices remain high, again, farmers are going to have what they want, which is their stream of income coming from the marketplace versus Washington. Washington is going to have what we want, which is a reduction and limitations on payments going to farmers. The budget point of order, obviously, is correct in saying we don't know exactly how much money is going to be spent under countercyclical programs. That is the nature of farm bills. But the fact is, we spent less under 2002. We are going to spend less under this farm bill, in all probability. But we cannot say that for certain. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to vote in opposition to the budget point of order and to vote in favor of the underlying bill.

I yield the floor.

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