Murkowski, Sullivan, Heitkamp, Lee

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Senator Murkowski: (3:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Tara Sweeney to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
    • "It is my very strong hope that Ms. Sweeney can be confirmed to this position before we leave for the 4th of July Recess. I see no reason why this body should delay the confirmation. I want to give just a little bit of background and share with my colleague, Senator Sullivan, some of the attributes that we're talking about here. Ms. Sweeney, truly a noncontroversial nominee. She's got support across the political spectrum. She was reported out of the Committee on Indian Affairs by a voice vote. There was no dissent. She is endorsed by the National Congress of American Indians. She enjoys strong support across Indian country, not only from Alaska natives up in our state but truly across Indian country."


Senator Sullivan: (3:19 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Tara Sweeney to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
    • "She is a leader. You can read her resume. You can see all the things that this young woman, relatively young woman has accomplished. Senator Murkowski mentioned some. She was, for example, the co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives. That's an elective position in Alaska. Almost 20% of our population are Alaska natives. She was one of the youngest co-chairs ever in that incredibly important organization. She was the chair of the Arctic Economic Conference. She has also served in leadership positions at her Alaska Native Regional Corporation, the National Congress of American Indians, and she is ready to lead an organization that needs to be led, needs leadership."


Senator Heitkamp: (3:28 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "I think it's critically important that we understand there are very, very few people in America who are abusers of this program. There are very, very few people in America who would take a handout unless they absolutely needed it. They need a hand up. They need job training. They need sympathy for disabilities, and they need to know that we live in a country that cares for the hungry around us. And so as we consider the farm bill, it's important to remind ourselves about those who are not as fortunate as we are, those who struggle to put food on the table for their families or who might not be able to put food on the table because we're laid off or their hours were reduced at their minimum wage jobs."


Senator Lee: (4:48 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Mr. President, most people in America are probably familiar with the advertising slogans pork, the other white meat, and beef, it's what's for dinner, but what they might not know, what they might not be as aware of is the underbelly of slogans like these. The U.S. Department of Agriculture checkoff programs like these slogans and others like them get compulsory fees from producers of milk, eggs, beef, and other agricultural products. These funds have been used to promote and do research on those particular commodities. Unfortunately, these programs have been rife with opportunities for abuse."