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Senate Proceeding on Jun 16th, 2011 :: 2:56:45 to 3:30:05
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Chuck Grassley

2:56:41 to 2:57:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i compliment senator klobuchar on her leadership in trying to find, first of all, leadership in supporting biofuels and alternative energy, but also working real hard the last few weeks to find a compromise here

Chuck Grassley

2:56:45 to 3:30:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

2:57:04 to 2:57:25( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: on this issue that is a very difficult issue and very divisive here within the united states senate. so we're voting at 2:00 today on these amendments that senator klobuchar has already referred to. the first is an amendment by senators feinstein and coburn repealing the incentive for domestically produced ethanol.

Chuck Grassley

2:57:26 to 2:57:47( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i emphasize domestically produced because we don't have to worry about oil sheikhs robbing us of all of our resources when you burn ethanol like you do when you burn imported gasoline. the second amendment is offered by senator mccain, prohibiting the u.s. department of agriculture from using funds for the installation of blender

Chuck Grassley

2:57:48 to 2:58:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: pumps. these amendments won't lower the price of gasoline at the pump. that's what people today are concerned about: the price of gas at the pump. these amendments won't lessen our dependence upon foreign oil. we spend $835 million every day importing oil.

Chuck Grassley

2:58:09 to 2:58:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and these amendments won't create a single job in the united states. in fact, they'll do just the opposite. they'll raise the price of gasoline and make us more dependent on foreign oil, and it won't create a single job. most importantly, these amendments also won't save the

Chuck Grassley

2:58:30 to 2:58:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: taxpayers any money, because they stand little chance of being enacted. even if the amendments were to pass today, they won't get out of this chamber because of our constitution that says that revenue measures must originate in the house of representatives.

Chuck Grassley

2:58:51 to 2:59:11( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: so, when this bill, if it passes the senate and goes to the house, they're going to reject it. or they use the term "blue slip this bill" and it's going to come back to the senate. so this bill with these amendments is dead on arrival in the other body. it's also dead on arrival at the white house.

Chuck Grassley

2:59:12 to 2:59:32( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we've had indications in a statement that president obama opposes repealing the incentives and is open to new approaches that meets today's challenges and to save taxpayers money. and i rember one of the first policy discussions that i had

Chuck Grassley

2:59:33 to 2:59:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: with then-new senator obama. i was chairman of the finance committee. he came up, and we talked about what we could do working together to promote ethanol as an alternative energy. and his idea was incorporated in a piece of legislation that became law. and i was glad to work with him on that. so i thank president obama for

Chuck Grassley

2:59:57 to 3:00:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the statement that he recently gave again now as president of the united states supporting alternative energy, biofuels; and in this case specifically ethanol. the votes at 2:00 then are a fruitless exercise. so to a sense, you are in political theater here as we debate these issues.

Chuck Grassley

3:00:19 to 3:00:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we've already had this vote and it was defeated 40-59. now, everybody knows that oil is now hovering around $100 a barrel, and everybody knows, as you hear once a month or maybe reminds every day, that unemployment is 9.1%. so why is the senate taking a

Chuck Grassley

3:00:42 to 3:01:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: full week and voting twice on the same amendment that will increase prices at the pump, increase dependence upon foreign oil, and lead to job loss? or at least do nothing about the unemployment rate. we should be having this debate in the context of a comprehensive energy plan.

Chuck Grassley

3:01:03 to 3:01:24( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: this debate should include a review of the subsidies for all energy production, not just singling out ethanol. nearly every time -- nearly every type of energy gets some market distorting subsidy from the federal government. an honest energy debate should

Chuck Grassley

3:01:25 to 3:01:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: include ethanol, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower, wind, biomass and probably a lot of other alternative energies that i can't think of right now. by discussion it in the context of an overall energy policy instead of singling out ethanol right now, you would be able to

Chuck Grassley

3:01:46 to 3:02:06( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: then make sure that you have a level playing field for all forms of energy, because the government shouldn't be choosing between petroleum and alternative energy, as an example. when the oil and gas subsidies were targeted, as the ethanol subsidy is being targeted right

Chuck Grassley

3:02:07 to 3:02:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: now, and oil and gas subsidies were targeted last month, the president of the national petrochemical and refiners association had this to say. quote -- "targeting a specific industry, or even a segment of that industry, is what we would

Chuck Grassley

3:02:30 to 3:02:52( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: consider punitive and unfair tax policy. it is not going to get us increased energy security, increased employment, and it's certainly not going to lower the price of gasoline." well, those very same words could be said about the ethanol debate we're having right now.

Chuck Grassley

3:02:53 to 3:03:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: because it would surely increase our energy insecurity. it would increase unemployment, and it's certainly not going to lower the price of gasoline. so it seems to me that what, you know, the old saying about what's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander, what's good for a subsidy for petroleum and the people that

Chuck Grassley

3:03:15 to 3:03:35( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: defend that, why would you want the inconsistency that we're demonstrating here, because this gets back to how i voted on that provision about a month ago? i voted that you ought to deal with oil and gas and ethanol and all of those things in the same context and make sure that they

Chuck Grassley

3:03:36 to 3:03:59( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: fit into an overall national energy policy. now, in december of 2010, congress enacted this one-year extension of the -- of vtec, the

Chuck Grassley

3:04:00 to 3:04:20( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: volume umetric energy tax credit. we extended that for one year. that's what's being repealed in the coburn amendment. this one-year extension has allowed congress and the domestic biofuels industry to determine the best path forward for federal support of biofuels

Chuck Grassley

3:04:21 to 3:04:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and for the phasing out of that subsidy. as a result of these discussions, senator conrad and i introduced bipartisan legislation on may 4 that is a serious, responsible first step to reducing and redirecting federal tax incentives for ethanol. our bill will reduce and phase out vtec over a period of a few

Chuck Grassley

3:04:42 to 3:05:04( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: years. it also would extend through 2016 the alternative fuel refueling property credit, the cellulosic producers tax credit -- that deals with the second generation of ethanol from things other than grain -- and the special depreciation

Chuck Grassley

3:05:05 to 3:05:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant products. earlier this week, i joined senator thune and senator klobuchar in introducing another bipartisan bill to immediately reduce and reform the ethanol tax incentive. it includes many of the same features as in the bill i introduced last month with senator conrad, but it enacts

Chuck Grassley

3:05:27 to 3:05:47( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: these reforms this year, right now, not phased out over a period of five years, as my original bill did. senator thune's approach also leads to significant deficit reduction. the legislation we've introduced is a responsible approach that will reduce the existing

Chuck Grassley

3:05:48 to 3:06:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: blenders' credit and put those valuable resources into investing in alternative fuel infrastructure, including alternative fuel pumps or senator klobuchar used the term blender pumps. it would also make significant investments in advance in cellulosic ethanol, that's the

Chuck Grassley

3:06:09 to 3:06:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: second generation of ethanol. that's where we want to go so we're not using grain for fuel. it's a forward-looking bill that deserves widespread support. the thune-klobuchar bill, of which i am a cosponsor, will responsibly and predictably reduce the existing tax incentive and help get

Chuck Grassley

3:06:30 to 3:06:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: alternative fuel infrastructure in place so consumers can decide which fuels they prefer. we shouldn't pull the rug out from under this industry that has made these emore must investments -- these enormous investments. we need to provide transition. i know that when american

Chuck Grassley

3:06:51 to 3:07:12( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: consumers have the choice, they'll choose domestically produced, clean, affordable renewable fuel. they'll choose fuel from america's farmers and ranchers rather than from oil sheikhs and foreign dictators. both of the ethanol reform bills

Chuck Grassley

3:07:13 to 3:07:35( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i mentioned are supported by the ethanol advocacy groups. in an almost unprecedented move, the ethanol industry is advocating for a reduction in their federal incentives. no other energy industry has come to the table to reduce or eliminate subsidies.

Chuck Grassley

3:07:36 to 3:07:57( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: no other energy lobby has come to me with a plan to reduce their federal support. and, for sure, big oil hasn't come forward with any suggestions. -- on reducing their subsidies. the best way to get deficit reduction that gets to the president's desk with a

Chuck Grassley

3:07:58 to 3:08:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: presidential signature is a responsible transition like the one offered by senator thune and cloab collar. otherwise, this -- and klobuchar. otherwise, this exercise today and these two votes today is a waste of time. this vote will simply put many members of this body on r

Chuck Grassley

3:08:19 to 3:08:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: in support of a $2.4 billion tax increase. i would encourage those to want to reduce incentives and save taxpayers' money to work with senator thune and klobuchar and the rest of us on a responsible transition that has a chance of being enacted and, most importantly, signed by the president.

Chuck Grassley

3:08:40 to 3:09:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i, therefore, urge my colleagues to oppose these two amendments. i've always s shouldn't be singled out, that it ought to be talked about in the context of an overall energy policy. but one of the reasons it's been able to be separated from all the rest of the alternative

Chuck Grassley

3:09:03 to 3:09:24( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: energy, as well as from all the rest of our energy policies that we have for this country, is because there's a great deal of ignorance about ethanol, and you can tell that in this town when you hear a lot of people pronounce the word ethanol "eethanol." i'm going to use statements from

Chuck Grassley

3:09:25 to 3:09:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the sponsor of the bill and refute some of these things that i think are really wrong. the first one is we can save $3 billion if we eliminate the vtec's blending subsidy. well, there are a lot of numbers thrown around about how much this incentive costs, and how much senator coburn's amendment would save.

Chuck Grassley

3:09:46 to 3:10:06( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i have a letter from the joint committee on taxation with a score of senator coburn's amendment. t -- the fact is the amendment would increase revenue to the federal treasury by $2.4 billion, not $3 billion as the authors state.

Chuck Grassley

3:10:07 to 3:10:27( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: again, the coburn amendment, if enacted, would be saving $2.4 billion, not -- and that's from not my estimation. that's the estimation of the people that score for the congress of the united states what impact various tax bills have. another statement -- quote --

Chuck Grassley

3:10:28 to 3:10:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: "all the blenders of gasoline in the united states -- all of them -- have called and written and said we do not want the $3 billion for the rest of the year." well, i have a letter from the society of independent gasoline marketers of america, and they

Chuck Grassley

3:10:51 to 3:11:11( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: go by the acronym, sigma, to senate majority and minority leaders to abruptly eliminate the blenders credit, contrary to the statement that i just read that all the blenders want to do away with this. the letter states -- quote -- "as a leading marketers of ethanol-blended fuels at the

Chuck Grassley

3:11:12 to 3:11:33( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: retail level, sigma members and customers are the beneficiaries of veetc. simply put, sigma opposes recent moves to prematurely or abruptly end the subsidies without any consideration for future fuel or fuel delivery costs. to end this incentive

Chuck Grassley

3:11:34 to 3:11:55( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: immediately would no doubt result in an immediate spike in consumer fuel costs." end of quote from the gasoline marketers of america, the independent gasoline marketers. so i hope somebody will put that in their pipe and smoke it, because the fact that all of

Chuck Grassley

3:11:56 to 3:12:19( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: these people, we've been told here on the floor of the senate, don't want this, well, that's an incorrect statement. another statement is -- quote -- "according to the u.s. department of agriculture, 40% of last year's corn crop was utilized, converted to ethanol. now it is true that almost 40%

Chuck Grassley

3:12:20 to 3:12:40( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of the corn crop went into the ethanol plant to produce -- to produce ethanol. but what it doesn't tell you is that out of a 56-pound tkurbl of corn, there -- 56-pound bushel of corn, there's 18 pounds of animal feed left over that is

Chuck Grassley

3:12:41 to 3:13:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: more efficient in fattening animals than even the original corn. and that's called dried distillers grain. so i want people of this body not to come to me in their ignorance and tell me that you shouldn't use -- that you're using too much corn for feed and saying it's 40% of the corn crop

Chuck Grassley

3:13:03 to 3:13:24( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: when 18 pounds out of every 56-pound bushel of corn is for very efficient animal feed. and so i'm going to take credit for that 18 pounds and refute this statement that 40% of last year's corn crop was utilized and converted to ethanol. one bushel of corn produces

Chuck Grassley

3:13:25 to 3:13:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: nearly three gallons of ethanol, and 18 pounds of high-value animal feed. in 2010, 4.65 billion bushels of corn were used to produce 13 billion gallons of ethanol. but ethanol production uses only the starch from the corn kernel.

Chuck Grassley

3:13:47 to 3:14:07( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: more than one-third or 1.4 billion bushes of dried distillers grain is left over, available as a high-value livestock feed. on a net bays, ethanol -- basis ethanol production used 23 of the u.s. corn crop, far less

Chuck Grassley

3:14:08 to 3:14:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: than the 40% that senator coburn claims, according to the u.s. department of agriculture feed use consumed 37% of the u.s. corn supply, much more than the 23% consumed by the ethanol production. the next statement that's incorrect: the american people

Chuck Grassley

3:14:30 to 3:14:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: ought to take into consideration when they go buy a gallon of fuel today, you you already have $1.72 worth of subsidy in there. it does not have anything to do with oil and gas drilling. i believe senator coburn is

Chuck Grassley

3:14:51 to 3:15:12( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: referring to a report from the congressional budget office. for the record, that report relied on a questionable assumption that only a tiny fraction of ethanol skruplgs -- consumptio the ethanol tax credit. regardless, i'm glad he raised this point about subsidies and oil and gas drilling.

Chuck Grassley

3:15:13 to 3:15:35( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: our colleagues may be interested to learn of the hidden cost of our dependence upon foreign oil. and these are not my estimates. i'm going to give you references for you to look up. a peer-review paper published in "environmental" magazine in july

Chuck Grassley

3:15:36 to 3:15:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: 2010 concluded that -- quote -- "27 to $138 billion is spent annually by the u.s. military for oil infrastructure with an average of $84 billion every year. " isn't it convenient to forget

Chuck Grassley

3:15:57 to 3:16:19( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: those costs of our national defense that's keeping oil lanes open so that we can get oil to the united states that we spend $835 million every day to import oil? i'd like to refer to another one.

Chuck Grassley

3:16:20 to 3:16:40( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: milton copulus, an advisor to president ronald reagan, a veteran of the heritage foundation, head of the national defense council foundation, testified before congress in a recent year on -- quote -- "the hidden costs" of imported oil. mr. copulus stated that by

Chuck Grassley

3:16:41 to 3:17:01( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: calculating oil supply disruptions and military expenditures, the hidden cost of u.s. dependence on petroleum would total up to $825 billion per year. the military expenditure is equivalent to adding $8.35 to the price of a gallon of gasoline refined from the

Chuck Grassley

3:17:02 to 3:17:22( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: persian gulf oil. there is no hidden -- this is important about ethanol because there is no hidden u.s. military cost attributable to homegrown renewable environmentally good ethanol. here's another statement i'd like to refute -- quote --

Chuck Grassley

3:17:23 to 3:17:43( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: "there is a big difference between a subsidy that is a tax credit and allowing someone to advance depreciation because they are going to write it off any how. the net effect to the federal government revenue if you take all those away is still zero." now, that statement wants you to

Chuck Grassley

3:17:44 to 3:18:04( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: believe that all the tax benefits that the oil industry gets are just tax benefits. they're not a subsidy. well, my response is that i have to refer to september 2000 report by the government accountability office.

Chuck Grassley

3:18:05 to 3:18:25( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: that report concluded that the federal government has granted tax incentives, direct subsidies and other support to the petroleum industry. they describe tax incentives as a federal tax provision that grants special tax relief designed to encourage certain kinds of behavior by taxpayers

Chuck Grassley

3:18:26 to 3:18:48( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: or to aid taxpayers in special circumstances. according to the government accountability office, the tax break allowing for the expensing of intangible drilling costs began in 1960. the percentage depletion allowance was enacted in 1926. the government accountability office estimated that these two

Chuck Grassley

3:18:49 to 3:19:09( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: tax incentives led to a revenue loss of as much as $144 billion between the time studied by the government accountability office kh-rbgs goes from 19 -- office which goes from 1968 to when the report was given in the year 2000. now, i would say to my colleagues that those figures i

Chuck Grassley

3:19:10 to 3:19:31( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: just gave you are a far cry from the zero revenue effect that senator coburn claims for the oil industry. these are government accountability office words and figures. they refer to them as tax incentives that resulted in loss

Chuck Grassley

3:19:32 to 3:19:52( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of revenue more than $100 billion to the federal treasury over a 32-year period. i've heard senator coburn on the floor on many occasions talking about the dire fiscal situation our country's in. i find myself voting with senator coburn most of the time, but on this issue i disagree.

Chuck Grassley

3:19:53 to 3:20:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: yet, on this issue it sounds like he's arguing about semantics. one is a subsidy. yet, the other is a legitimate business expense. in other words, in the case of ethanol, it's a subsidy. in the case of big oil and their taxes, it's a legitimate business expense.

Chuck Grassley

3:20:15 to 3:20:35( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i'm not sure that this argument over terminology will give our children and grandchildren much comfort when they're picking up a $1 trillion tab over the next couple of decades. the last to refute is this -- quote --

Chuck Grassley

3:20:36 to 3:20:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: "corn prices are $7.65." that had to be a couple days ago because i get a report every day on corn prices at my local elevator in new hartford, iowa, they were $7.10 yesterday. let me quote again -- quote -- "corn prices are $7.65 a bushel. they are two and a half times what they were three and a half

Chuck Grassley

3:20:57 to 3:21:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: years ago. ethanol has been this last year the significant driver." let me suggest here, first of all, that he's right. two and a half years ago, or three and a half years ago corn was about $7. but six months later it was $3.58. so anybody that thinks corn's

Chuck Grassley

3:21:19 to 3:21:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: going to stay at this historically high price isn't very smart, and the farmers are spending money according to that, they better slow up because they're going to be caught off guard and out of business like they were in the 1980's. so this is my response tphoeugs what i just said -- my response

Chuck Grassley

3:21:40 to 3:22:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: in addition to what i said about corn going down to $3.58. grain used for ethanol accounts for approximately 3% of the world's course grain -- coarse grain. let me reflect on that statement for a minute because you get the opinion when they say 40% of u.s. corn is used in ethanol,

Chuck Grassley

3:22:03 to 3:22:28( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: you get the opinion that ye gods, what are people going to eat? but worldwide, and the grain market is worldwide, the global marketplace decides the price of grain. and worldwide, only 3% of the coarse grain, and one of the

Chuck Grassley

3:22:31 to 3:22:52( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: coarse grains is used and because of the increased corn production, the amount of grain available for nonethanol use is growing. in the year 2000, there was a 2.4 billion metric tons of grain available for use, uses other than ethanol. even with the growth of the

Chuck Grassley

3:22:53 to 3:23:15( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: ethanol industry, last year there was 2.6 billion metric tons of grain available for uses other than it's also important to review the cost of corn in retail food prices. corn priced today, the corn

Chuck Grassley

3:23:16 to 3:23:36( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: costs and a gallon of milk is about 46 cents. the cost of corn in a pound of chicken is 34 cents. one pound of beef takes 92 cents worth of corn. one pound of pork requires 39 cents. so, you have all this excuse coming from the food

Chuck Grassley

3:23:37 to 3:23:58( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: manufacturers of the united states that ethanol is the cause of food prices rising. but you can see in the figures i just gave you that what the

Chuck Grassley

3:23:59 to 3:24:19( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: farmer gets out of $1 worth of retail food is about 21 cents. and you could cut this in half, and it will be cut in half like it was three and a half years ago, but when the price of corn goes down, you aren't going to see big food reducing their cost of food by 20%, because they

Chuck Grassley

3:24:20 to 3:24:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: need ethanol as a scapegoat to raise the price of food. that's all i have to say about ethanol, but i do have an amendment that i'm introducing to this bill that's before us that's unrelated, unrelated to ethanol. but it also brings up the same point that there's a lot of

Chuck Grassley

3:24:42 to 3:25:05( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: places in this budget we can save money. and senator johnson of south dakota and i are introducing this amendment that pertains to setting limits that any one farmer, including this farmer, can get from farm program payments. i've been pushing for reform of farm program payments for many years.

Chuck Grassley

3:25:06 to 3:25:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: some folks from outside of iowa unfamiliar with this issue may be surprised that i am the member who keeps pushing these reforms. they may think that iowa's economy relies heavily on agriculture. why would a senator from a farm state like iowa want a hard cap on farm stphaeuplts but iowa --

Chuck Grassley

3:25:27 to 3:25:49( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: payments? but iowa's farms understand why i continue pushing for a hard cap. this is to make sure farm programs provide what they're supposed to provide: a safety net for those who need it. basically farmers that have the economic capability of overcoming natural disasters and

Chuck Grassley

3:25:50 to 3:26:11( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: political issues and international politics, that they have no control over that affects the impact of farm income. those are small and medium-sized farmers. they aren't these megafarmers that are 10% of the farmers getting 70% of the benefits out

Chuck Grassley

3:26:12 to 3:26:33( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of the farm program. these small and medium-size farmers, as of course bigger farmers do, play a vital role in supplying our nations and world with food. however, they're continually as small farmers faced with the challenges of rising land prices.

Chuck Grassley

3:26:34 to 3:26:59( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: many times young and beginning farmers can't compete because of high land prices and rent. there is no doubt the rise in commodity prices is part of the reason for higher land prices and cash rents. but currently farm program payments are also placing upward pressure on land prices. this is not how it's supposed to

Chuck Grassley

3:27:00 to 3:27:20( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: work, because what -- i just said means that we're subsidizing big farmers to get bigger. now, there's nothing wrong with big farmers getting bigger. i don't argue with that in any segment of our economy. but we shouldn't be subsidizing big farmers to get bigger. the farm program was put in place to provide a safety net

Chuck Grassley

3:27:21 to 3:27:42( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: for farmers. it's meant to help them get through tough times. the farm program was not created to help big farmers get bigger. let me repeat for you because it can't get enough emphasis. 10% of this nation's largest farmers receive 70% of the farm program payments.

Chuck Grassley

3:27:43 to 3:28:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: these large farms do not need these program payments to get through tough times. small or medium-size farmers don't need market factors driving up cash rent. this bill is a commonsense solution to this problem. reform the farm program so it

Chuck Grassley

3:28:04 to 3:28:25( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: works as a true safety net for those it was intended for. we can do that by placing limits on how much a single farm operation can receive in program payments. the government should stay out of subsidizing the growth of large farms. in addition, this amendment tightens the requirement for

Chuck Grassley

3:28:26 to 3:28:48( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: people to be considered an actively engaged farmer. for too long people have gamed the system and received farm payments that the law did not intend. there have been a number of amendments introduced to the e.d.a. bill before us in the name of saving taxpayers' dollars. and the ethanol amendment,

Chuck Grassley

3:28:49 to 3:29:09( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: supposedly that's one of the motives behind it. by setting hard payment caps and making these reforms, we will save the u.s. treasury approximately $1.5 billion over ten years. the headlines around here are dominated by the problems of the budget. many of my colleagues have come to this floor in recent weeks and discovered, or discussed

Chuck Grassley

3:29:10 to 3:29:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: that government spending and the big debt. if this body is going to be serious about cutting spending, then this amendment that i'm laying before you has a limitation on farming, farm payments is a continuation of that effort. instead of spending time debating the merits of programs

Chuck Grassley

3:29:31 to 3:29:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: that assist the renewable energy industry, an industry that, by the way, helps us wean ourselves off of our need for foreign oil, why don't we agree to make cuts in areas we should be able to have an agreement to? this is a simple and commonsense way for us to save money while at the same time making sure the

Chuck Grassley

3:29:52 to 3:30:10( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: farm program accomplishes what it's supposed to. i yield

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