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Senate Proceeding on Nov 15th, 2007 :: 3:10:59 to 3:24:14
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Kent Conrad

2:42:52 to 3:10:59( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Kent Conrad

Kent Conrad

3:10:34 to 3:10:59( Edit History Discussion )

Kent Conrad: a -- without a single dissenting vote? i hope we can prove we are better than this when we return. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i

Bill Nelson

3:10:59 to 3:11:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: just want do say to my colleague from north dakota what an absolute delight he is to speak with such passion as he does about things that he knows so much about. and how he can explain it understandable

Bill Nelson

3:10:59 to 3:24:14( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson

3:11:15 to 3:11:31( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: terms. farm bills are one of the most complicated things in the world because of the balancing of all the different interests. these elaborate farm support programs that you have to have a ph.d. in

Bill Nelson

3:11:31 to 3:11:51( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: mathematics, sometimes, to understand. senator conrad is someone who speaks so eloquently and yet so simply in plaining it. he come -- in explaining it. he comes from the land. he represents a lot

Bill Nelson

3:11:51 to 3:12:12( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: of those who earn their living from the land, as does this senator from florida. most people think of florida as disney world and high-tech and the space center and so so fort. people woulde amazed that

Bill Nelson

3:12:12 to 3:12:32( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: florida agriculture is next to the service industry -- which is tourism -- just about equal to any other industry as the second largest economic impact interest on our state. our beef cattle industry

Bill Nelson

3:12:32 to 3:12:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: is huge. our citrus industry is huge. so it is with a good deal of passion like senator conrad that i take the floor to articulate, to try to articulate the importance of a farm bill to the people

Bill Nelson

3:12:47 to 3:13:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: in our state as well as has been articulated by the senator from north dakota. now, i want to talk not just about the farm bill. i want to talk about a major amendment that is pending. that is

Bill Nelson

3:13:08 to 3:13:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the lugar-lautenberg amendment in taking a complete fresh look at how we protect the nation's agriculture. i'm very happy to be an original cosponsor of this amendment. no doubt farmers are facing

Bill Nelson

3:13:29 to 3:13:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: difficulties. we rely on them for our food. senator conrad said it best: in this time of thanksgiving as we sit around a table of bounty, we should be grateful that we live in a land where our

Bill Nelson

3:13:50 to 3:14:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: basic food and nutrition is met for most americans. and i say "most" americans because some do not. because we have an effective farming industry, it demands that we continue to be good stewards of the

Bill Nelson

3:14:09 to 3:14:25( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: land and the water. we rely on those farmers to persevere during times of natural disaster. and the uncertainty that comes with major natural disasters like hurricanes that completely eliminate the

Bill Nelson

3:14:25 to 3:14:41( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: citrus crop in florida. that threatens their very solvency. and then, at the same time, we're asking them not to give in to the pressures, the financial pressures to sell their land for development.

Bill Nelson

3:14:41 to 3:14:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: this is particularly acute in a state like florida where the land value has risen so much that it almost doesn't make economic sense for the farmers to continue to farm their land. these farmers are

Bill Nelson

3:14:58 to 3:15:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: providing our food to our citizens not -- not only to america, but to the world. and we must provide farmers a safety net in the man programs that we do here in the farm bill, in other natural

Bill Nelson

3:15:21 to 3:15:42( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: disaster bills, a safety net for their times of uncertainty.~ we have a system that works for many but this system in a state like florida doesn't work for all. in fact, a majority of our florida

Bill Nelson

3:15:42 to 3:15:54( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: farmers are not eligible to participate in a lot of these farm programs that receive the lion's share of the payments in the bill that we're going to vote on. this system, as i said, is so complicated, it's

Bill Nelson

3:15:54 to 3:16:12( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: nuanced, and many of the programs in the farm bill were started as a temporary fix on the immediate problem that the country was facing at the time but then they get extended time and time again.

Bill Nelson

3:16:12 to 3:16:24( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and then contrary to their original intent, they become permanent and some of them have become corrupted, some of those programs, by people who exploit them. okay, mr. president. it's time for to

Bill Nelson

3:16:24 to 3:16:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: us step back, take a fresh look at this and determine how question best support our farmers -- determine how we can best support our farmers. and i believe that the lugar lugar-lautenberg approach

Bill Nelson

3:16:48 to 3:17:11( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: that i have joined is an amendment that does that. the amendment is going to throw out the normal farm program and it would provide every farmer in this country who chooses to participate with farm

Bill Nelson

3:17:11 to 3:17:27( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: insurance, that that will be provided at no cost. farmers then would have a guarantee that their revenue would reach a certain threshold based on local conditions instead of national standards. this is

Bill Nelson

3:17:27 to 3:17:49( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: a remarkable shift from the way we do business now, but it means that we eliminate the direct payments to farmers whose land hasn't been farmed in years or who are selling their crop at record high

Bill Nelson

3:17:49 to 3:18:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: prices. instead, under this amendment we're going to provide them with a safety net to fall back on suddenly if their farm revenues drop or if a bad year hits, and guess how much money it's going

Bill Nelson

3:18:09 to 3:18:24( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to save? upwards of $4 billion. even by giving the farm insurance at no cost to the farmer, it's going to save billions of dollars. the senate bill that were -- now have on the floor, it has parts

Bill Nelson

3:18:24 to 3:18:42( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: of it that is very good. it increases money for nutrition programs which are going to make a tangible difference in the lives of those on food stamps. it has a tangible increase for the conservation

Bill Nelson

3:18:42 to 3:19:02( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: programs which ll make significant strides in protecting our lands and watersheds. but this amendment that i'm talking about, the lugar-lautenberg amendment, even goes furthered. it fully funds the nutrition programs

Bill Nelson

3:19:02 to 3:19:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: across ten years, not just five in the committee bill, and it expands programs like the simplified summer food program. and it accounts for an additional $150 million each year to provide for school lunches.

Bill Nelson

3:19:21 to 3:19:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and some of those school lunches are going to children, hungry children, in the developing world. and it increases the conservation spending by a billion dollars, and at the end of the day, the amendment saves

Bill Nelson

3:19:40 to 3:19:53( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: billions of dollars by taking out the antiquated direct payments program. mr. president, my state of florida has more acres of orange and grapefruit groves than any other state, and it ranks among the

Bill Nelson

3:19:53 to 3:20:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: top five when it comes to growing vegetables. not even to speak about what i already told you about, you'd be surprised among the beef cattle industry how big we are. until this year, the needs

Bill Nelson

3:20:15 to 3:20:32( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: of specialty crops such as citrus and vegetables, were barely mentioned in farm legislation. and the committee bill that we are now debating finally addresses this part of agriculture that is so near and dear

Bill Nelson

3:20:32 to 3:20:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to our hearts and so much of a staple of us in florida by making tremendous advances in research, pest and disease mitigation, technical assistance assistance, and block grants. and i give sincere thanks

Bill Nelson

3:20:50 to 3:21:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to chairman harkin and his committee for what they've done, but guess what? the lugar-lautenberg amendment even goes further. it provides over $750 million more to the specialty crops and still

Bill Nelson

3:21:10 to 3:21:33( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: manages to save $20 billion. i said -- i said $4 billion earlier. i said billions -- that's true. we're talking about $20 billion of savings in overall support for agriculture by taking this farmer's

Bill Nelson

3:21:33 to 3:21:52( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: insurance program at no cost to the farmers. specialty crops certainly aren't just important to florida. fruits and vegetables are an absolute necessity of healthy eating everywhere. and this lugar amendment

Bill Nelson

3:21:52 to 3:22:11( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: gives an additional $200 million to the womb -- to the women, infants and children's farmer's market nutrition program which makes fresh, locally grown fruits and vej tabledz a part of the daily -- vegetables

Bill Nelson

3:22:11 to 3:22:27( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: a part of the daily diets, daily diets of women and young children who can't afford them. not only is it going to make our women and children grow up strong and healthy, but it also supports our farmers.

Bill Nelson

3:22:27 to 3:22:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: anin this amendment, there's an extra $250 million to a similar program that serves low-income senior citizens. well, i have been on this senate floor time and time again to call attention to the

Bill Nelson

3:22:48 to 3:23:03( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: plight of one of our great national, international, and natural treasures, the florida everglades, and i'm happy to tell you that there's an important step in this lugar lugar-lautenberg amendment

Bill Nelson

3:23:03 to 3:23:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: in conserving the endangered everglades, for it includes $35 million that can be used to complement efforts already undertaken by the state of florida to restore the northern part of the everglades

Bill Nelson

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

Bill Nelson: system which is the area that is so located, that pollutes so much of the rest of the everglades as the water slows south. because it is the area north of lake okeechobee that is critical to the

Bill Nelson

3:23:37 to 3:23:54( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: largery larger ecosystem further to the south. while this is a small part of what is needed to preserve the overall everglades and to restore the everglades, it's another opportunity that we

Bill Nelson

3:23:54 to 3:24:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: can do something about it in helping clean up that water that is flowing into lake okeechobee that ultimately flows south into the florida everglades. and, mr. president, this amendment is a fresh,

3:24:14 to 3:24:25( Edit History Discussion )

effective way of how we can do business in agriculture, and i urge my colleagueso support it. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. president,ive i have -- the presiding officer: the senator from

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