FOOD, CONSERVATION, AND ENERGY ACT OF 2008--VETO -- (Senate - June 18, 2008)
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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I think Senator Harkin has said it all. It seems like we vote on the farm bill once a week as of late, and this is our weekly vote on the farm bill again. I do hope this is our last vote because this is such a serious piece of legislation.
I did a talk radio show a little earlier today, and we were talking about gas prices, and I talked about what we did in the farm bill relative to energy. The talk show host said: Wait a minute. All you are doing is getting criticized in the press over this farm bill. He said: This has some good stuff in it relative to gas prices.
I said: Yes, it really does.
So we did an awful lot in this bill relative to energy. We did an awful lot relative to nutrition, as the chairman said. And, finally, I think, hopefully, that message is going to get out across America.
The Chairman did a magnificent job leading us down this road, and I commend him and thank him for his great work. And to my good friend, Senator Conrad, without him this would not have gotten done. I appreciate his great leadership and great support.
I want to tell particularly the chairman, as we had our meeting today with the Secretary, we were talking about implementing, Mr. President, this farm bill, and we were reminded in that meeting about what is going on in Iowa today, as we speak. The banks of the Mississippi and a couple of other rivers out there are overflowing onto farmland and destroying crops and creating havoc. In this farm bill we have a disaster package that is not going to require emergency spending for the 2008 crop. And it was criticized very much as we went through the process, yet folks in Iowa are going to be hurting, and folks in Missouri, as that water comes downstream, are going to be hurting, and I think this farm bill is going to turn out to be the best product we have put out, from a farm bill perspective.
It will continue to be criticized, and it is not perfect by any means, but under the leadership of the chairman, I think it has been a great product, and I thank him and I thank Senator Conrad for his great leadership and friendship that we have as a result of this farm bill.
To our staffs, thanks for great work. I look forward to this 5:30 vote, and I certainly hope this is the last one on the farm bill.
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