Senate Leaders Praise Stabenow for Restoring Bipartisanship to the Senate
Stabenows Farm Bill Developed with Democrats and Republicans, Passed 64-35 with Strong Bipartisan Vote
The Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate made the following statements on the Senate floor in praise of Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and her work drafting the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, also known as the Farm Bill. The bill passed the Senate yesterday by a vote of 64-35 with strong bipartisan support.
The new Farm Bill represents the most significant reform of American agriculture policy in decades. The bill cuts over $23 billion dollars in spending by eliminating unnecessary direct payment subsidies, consolidating programs to end duplication, and confronting misuse in food assistance programs. These reforms allow for the strengthening of agriculture initiatives that are helping Michigan farmers and agriculture businesses grow Michigan's economy.
Sen. Harry Reid (Demoract, Nevada), Senate Majority Leader said,
"Madam President, the Republican Leader and I would - we've spoken privately, and we would be remiss if we didn't say something to the entire Senate about how we feel about this bill and the leadership that was shown by these two fine Senators, and also behind the scenes. We know how hard they worked to get where we are. We've had such good staff involvement. These staff people aren't fighting with each other, they have causes they're trying to protect for their members, but they do it in a way that's cordial and been nothing but courtesy shown for weeks. I've managed quite a few bills in my day. This is a difficult, difficult bill to have in the position we have it in now. I hope that our friends in the House see what we've done. We're working together, I know they can. I cannot say enough, although I will try, to applaud and compliment Senator Stabenow and Senator Roberts. They are both my friends. My view of them has risen appreciably in their legislative methods of getting this done. They have done this on their own. Senator McConnell and I have done what we can, but we've been bystanders while much of this has gone on, it has been the work of these two fine Senators and the cooperation of every member. I am grateful we're at the point where we are today. We're going to be able to finish this bill and its 2:00 in the afternoon, not in the morning."
Sen. Mitch McConnell (Republican, Kentucky), Senate Minority Leader said,
"Madam President, let me just echo the remarks of my good friend, the Majority Leader. This bill has been handled in a way entirely consistent with the way of the norms and traditions of the Senate. Members have had an opportunity to express themselves in a wide variety of ways both relevant to the amendment and a few not relevant to the amendment. Senator Stabenow and Senator Roberts have worked together very skillfully. This is one of the finest moments in the Senate in recent times in terms of how you pass a bill. And I think we're all feeling good about the way this has been handled. I think we're moving back in the direction of operating the Senate in a way that we sort of traditionally understood we were going to operate the Senate. I also want to thank my good friend, the Majority Leader. It's been a good cooperative effort to have a process that respects the traditions of the Senate. This is a very fine day in the recent history of the Senate. I congratulate the Chairwoman of the committee and the ranking member. They did a fabulous [job]."