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Public Statements

Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act Of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, I encourage my colleagues to join with me to oppose the amendment.

The amendment would provide government loans for brick-and-mortar projects, including food refrigeration capacity. We are talking about refrigerators--big refrigerators. At a time when we are working to streamline current programs and reduce the size of government, I am concerned we would be expanding the size to serve a new pool of applicants competing for very limited resources at the Department of Agriculture. In this regard, the gleaners would be taken to the cleaners.

I encourage my colleagues to oppose the amendment.

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Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, I rise to speak in opposition to the amendment of my friend and colleague.

The battle cry for conservation compliance requirements to be attached to crop insurance seems, strangely, to assume that conservation compliance is somehow eliminated in commodity programs in this new bill. This is not true. Conservation compliance is attached to the new farm revenue program in title I of the bill. Conservation compliance is also attached to the marketing loan program.

To duplicate the same requirements in crop insurance is wasteful of government resources, taxpayer dollars, and will cause a lot more paperwork. When your farmers find out you are wasting taxpayer dollars and are in charge of a duplicative effort and making them fill out more paperwork, you will have to hide in your office for 4 weeks. Do not hide in your office for 4 weeks. Vote no.

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Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, on behalf of Chairwoman Stabenow, myself, Senator Thune, and every farm organization and commodity group in America, I rise in opposition to this amendment. It will impact every single producer in the program, not those that exceed this arbitrary limit or ``rich producers.'' The rest will pay higher premiums when they are out of the program because that is what happens with an insurance pool.

I have no doubt, just as sure as I am standing here and the Senator from Oklahoma is sitting there and contemplating this, that under this amendment we will soon return to the days of low crop insurance participation, multibillion-dollar ad hoc disaster programs, just as in the 1990s--$36 billion over 10 years, $11 billion in 1 year. These are a disaster to plan, to legislate, and to implement.

If you are for these ad hoc disaster programs, you better hide for at least 6 weeks in your office. We just passed two where you are hiding for 2 and 4. Now you are going to have to hide in your office for 6 weeks. Don't hide in your office for 6 weeks. Vote no.

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