Thune, Portman, Smith

The farm bill (H.R. 2)

Senator Thune: (4:38 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the farm bill.
    • "Mr. President, I rise today in support of my amendment number 3134. Mr. President, by providing haying and grazing flexibility, this amendment would offer common sense and effective land management options for land enrolled in the land conservation control program or what we refer to as C.R.P. Today there are C.R.P. contracts that are 10 to 15 years in duration. As it stands, some C.R.P. contracts only allow for vegetative cover to be removed once or twice during the life of the contract, a practice referred to as mid-contract management. Even in areas that have experienced a drought or feed shortage, C.R.P. mid-contract management rules have required vegetative cover on C.R.P. land to be destroyed, a practice I have never understood and one that I get a lot of feedback from farmers across South Dakota who don't understand it either."


Senator Portman: (4:52 p.m.)

  • Spoke on tax reform.
    • "First the international part. Second is what you're doing in how it affects people. Ed third one is direct tax relief to individuals because that's part of this one, too. And if you hear people talk about this bill sometimes on the other side of the aisle, you would think that's not in there. But it's very much in there T people are able to keep more of their hard-earned money and it goes directly to the middle-class constituents that I represent. They're the once ones that get the biggest bang for the buck. Why? Because we double the standard deduction, taking it from $12,000 to $24,000 for a family. Because we doubled the child tax credit, including increasing the part that's refundable, even if you don't have income tax liability, you get it."
  • Spoke on the opioid epidemic.
    • "It's actually getting worse. In most areas of the rate you see now higher rates of addiction and more overdoses almost all due to one thing. The increase is almost due to one thing and that's fentanyl, the synthetic form of opioid coming in and taking over, pushing out heroin, prescription drugs, other drugs. Fentanyl incredibly powerful, 50 times more powerful than heroin. Incredibly inexpensive. Most of it's coming we're told by the experts from China. Not Overland from Mexico but from China through our united States mail system. Unbelievable." 


Senator Smith: (5:23 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
    • "The court found that this fundamental right cannot be unduly burdened with regulatory restrictions and requirements by the state or federal governments. This was just one in a long line of Supreme Court decisions that affirm a woman's right to make personal private decisions about her health care and family planning. Whole women's health recognized that in order to protect women's constitutional rights, it is not enough that abortion services are theoretically available. They must also be practically accessible. It is especially important to recognize the anniversary of this important decision today because just yesterday the Supreme Court issued another decision, one that unfortunately threatens to make it harder for women to receive reliable and accurate information about the full range of their reproductive health care options."