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Senate Proceeding on Jun 9th, 2011 :: 0:16:25 to 0:26:15
Total video length: 10 hours 8 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Chuck Grassley

0:16:21 to 0:16:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: piece of legislation that i have introduced many times in past congresses, make some progress on the goals that i seek but not getting 100% finality of the policies that i want. and i am always able to do this with a bipartisan piece of

Chuck Grassley

0:16:25 to 0:26:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

0:16:42 to 0:17:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: legislation. today i do it with senator johnson of south dakota. i'll let senator johnson speak for himself. i want to give the reasons that i'm introducing this bill in my remarks for today. i want people to know that on most farm policy -- and this

Chuck Grassley

0:17:03 to 0:17:23( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: deals with farm policy -- that the senator from south dakota, mr. johnson, and i agree on most everything on farm policy. and this is a piece of legislation that's probably going to come up not so much stand-alone as when we discuss the reauthorization of the farm

Chuck Grassley

0:17:24 to 0:17:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: bill, which generally could start this year and probably go into next year. but i want my colleagues to know that this is an effort that i'm not giving up on. it deals with the issue of how much one individual farmer should get from the farm program. and so my approach is to put

Chuck Grassley

0:17:46 to 0:18:07( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: what you call a hard cap on the amount of money that one farmer can get. my remarks will explain why. also, though, in a time when we have great budget deficits, people might think that i'm introducing this bill just because i'm concerned about the budget deficit, because this

Chuck Grassley

0:18:08 to 0:18:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: bill, if enacted, will save about $1.5 billion. but that's not my main purpose for doing it. my main purpose is to have the historical basis for a safety net for farmers to -- the principle that our safety net

Chuck Grassley

0:18:30 to 0:18:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: ought to be targeted towards small and medium-size farmers. so today senator johnson and i are introducing the rural american preservation act. america's farmers produce the food that feeds our families. the bill helps ensure that our

Chuck Grassley

0:18:51 to 0:19:13( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: farmers are able to provide a safe, abundant and inexpensive food supply for consumers around the world while maintaining the safety net that allows small and medium-size farmers to get through tough times. everybody sees tough times that are out of their control, but the importance of the farm

Chuck Grassley

0:19:14 to 0:19:34( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: safety net can be seen no farther than the dinner table that each of us sit around as recently as last night. stop to think, if you were unable to feed your children for three days -- because there is an old adage that says something like this, that you're only nine

Chuck Grassley

0:19:35 to 0:19:55( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: meals away from a revolution. maybe in those circumstances, if you love your children, maybe you won't think this happens to you because we have the abundance of food so much in america. but you're aware of the fact that in a lot of countries they do have food riots when there is

Chuck Grassley

0:19:56 to 0:20:16( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: a shortage of food. so you might do just about anything: stealing, rioting, whatever it takes, to give those children the food that you want them to have to keep them alive after maybe not having food for three straight days. so, the cohesion within our

Chuck Grassley

0:20:17 to 0:20:37( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: society, social cohesion that is, is one of the reasons it's vitally important that we maintain a farm program that will make sure that there's readily available food supply. another reason i'm not going to go into in these remarks is that food is very essential to the national security of our country.

Chuck Grassley

0:20:38 to 0:20:58( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: in other words, the defense of our country. and all you have to do is rely upon an old adage that napoleon used to say is that an army marches on its belly. also more recently, you can look at the farm praepls in germ -- farm programs in germany and japan where they have in their

Chuck Grassley

0:20:59 to 0:21:19( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: mind the mistakes that were made for their war effort in world war ii -- thank god they didn't succeed, but anyway they did not have enough food for their military people. so i also want to think of short supply of food not only for social cohesion, but also for

Chuck Grassley

0:21:20 to 0:21:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: national security purposes. to ensure that the family farmer remains able to produce a food supply for this cohesive and stable society that i've talked about, we need to get the farm safety net back to its original intent to help small and medium-size farmers get over the

Chuck Grassley

0:21:42 to 0:22:04( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: ups and downs of farming that are out of their control. and that could be natural disaster. it could be grain embargoes put on by the president of the united states. it could be, in the case of nixon, freezing prices of beef and ruining the beef industry of the midwest, as an example.

Chuck Grassley

0:22:05 to 0:22:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: you've got to remember, the original intent of federal farm programs was not to help farmers get bigger and bigger, but the safety net has veered sharply off course. and that's why i talk about the necessity for a hard cap on any one farmer getting help from the

Chuck Grassley

0:22:27 to 0:22:48( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: farm program, because we're now seeing only 10% -- only 10% of the largest farmers actually getting nearly 70% of the total farm program coming out of the treasury of the united states. there's no problem with a farmer growing larger in his operation. so let me make that clear, if

Chuck Grassley

0:22:49 to 0:23:10( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: you want to get bigger and bigger in america, that's an american right to do it. but the taxpayer should not have to subsidize that effort. and that's what's happening today. there comes a point where some farms reach levels that allow them to weather the tough financial times on their own.

Chuck Grassley

0:23:11 to 0:23:31( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: smaller farmers do not have that same luxury. but these same small farmers play a pivotal role in producing the nation's food. i've been approached time and time again by farmers concerned about where's the next generation of tpaerplgs

Chuck Grassley

0:23:32 to 0:23:53( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: farmers coming from when the price of farmland is shooting up, particularly when the federal taxpayers are subsidizing that effort. it's important that we keep young people on the farm so that they can take the lead in producing our food when the older generation of farmers is ready to turn over the reins.

Chuck Grassley

0:23:54 to 0:24:15( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: but, the current policies that allow 10% of the largest farmers to receive nearly 70% of the total farm program payments creates a real barrier for beginning farmers. the current system puts upward pressure on land prices, making it more difficult for small and

Chuck Grassley

0:24:16 to 0:24:36( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: beginning farmers to buy a farm or to pay cash rent. this allows then the big farmers to get even bigger. and this is not unique to my state of iowa. i'm sure it's not unique to the state of south dakota, where my cosponsor friend, senator johnson, comes from. this upward pressure on land

Chuck Grassley

0:24:37 to 0:24:58( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: prices is occurring in many states. it is simply good policy to have a hard cap on the amount a single farmer can receive in the farm program payments. we will keep in place a much-needed safety net for the farmers who need it the most. and it will help reduce the

Chuck Grassley

0:24:59 to 0:25:21( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: negative impact farm payments have on land prices and cash rent. our bill sets the overall cap at $250,000 for married couples. now people listening here in the senate or people listening back home on television probably thinks that's outrageous to have a figure that high and call it a

Chuck Grassley

0:25:22 to 0:25:43( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: hard cap. but -- but, this that is national policy and may not be applicable just to my state, and it's necessary to reach some sort of common ground here in the congress. but i recognize that agriculture can look different around the country, so this is a compromise.

Chuck Grassley

0:25:44 to 0:26:05( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: just as important as setting the payment limits is the tightening of the meaning of actively engaged. and since i've used my time up, i'm not going to go into what actively engaged is about. but it means if you're a farmer, you ought to be a farmer and not a city slicker from new york city benefitting from the farm program.

Chuck Grassley

0:26:06 to 0:26:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i'll put the rest of my statement in the record, mr. president, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: and i yield the

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