Enzi, Booker, Kennedy

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Senator Enzi: (12:16 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the budget process.
    • "Today I rise to share some of my thoughts and experiences on this subject having led bipartisan efforts in the Senate Budget Committee to explore and reform the budget process. As my colleagues know, the Senate Budget Committee set, -- sets the top line spending levels cha the committee divides under various departments and accounts. The Appropriations Committee does the specific spending. While there are many potential improvements we could make in this process, I'll focus my remarks at this time on just three points. First, the annual spending process will never truly improve so long as we're willing to hold hostage to larger ideological or political battles. Both sides have been guilty of this in the past and until we're willing to say no more, no process reform will succeed."


Senator Booker: (12:27 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "I live in a community in Newark for the last two decades plus that most folks would not associate with the farm bill. But the truth is, the issues we are grappling with in this bill affect all of our American communities. Suburban, urban, rural alike. Folks in my community have borne the burden of horrific environmental injustices for decades. From toxins that have poisoned our river, to lead in our soil, to pollutants in the air. Families in my city cannot plant crops in their soil because huge swaths of my city and many areas are toxic. We also have food deserts that exist in communities like mine where people don't have healthy foods."


Senator Kennedy: (12:52 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Each and every year, the federal government spends more than $68 billion. Not million. $68 billion to make sure that no American has to wonder where his or her next meal is going to come from, and it's the generosity of the American people that pays for those meals. If the food stamp program is going to continue to provide food to the 42.2 million Americans who use their benefits every month - and I want you to think about that. 42.2 million Americans out of a country of 320 million, including one in five Louisianans, and we have got to do our part to ensure the programs are intact. Right now, this is also a natural fact. The food stamp program is rife with fraud and criminal activity."