On Saturday, United States Senator Claire McCaskill brought her “Fighting for our Farmers” barnstorming tour to Brookfield with a stop at the Cattleman’s Steakhouse. This was one of McCaskill’s last stops in the tour, which had also been to Palmyra, St. Joseph, Brunswick, and would be heading to Kirksville.
From a press release announcing the Senator’s visit: “A daughter of rural Missouri, Claire was born in Rolla and hasn’t forgotten the importance of Missouri’s rural communities. Claire has led the fight on burdensome regulations that out-of-touch Washington bureaucrats have tried to impose on our farmers to ensure that Missouri producers are still able to produce the safest most affordable food supply in the world.”
The focus of her tour, and this visit, was intended to be the differences between herself and her opponent in the November general election, Todd Akin. The differences highlighted on the tour involved the treatment of farmers, and farm-related issues.
“It is important we get the Farm Bill passed,” said McCaskill. “We passed it bi-partisanly in the Senate, cut Food Stamps, but the House won’t even vote on it. The ‘Tea Party’ is blocking it. A number of Congressmen sent a letter to [Speaker] Boehner to get the vote taken, and [Todd] Akin was the only legislator from Missouri who didn’t sign it.”
McCaskill continued: “I don’t think [Akin] understands that the Farm Bill is not a bailout. It provides certainty to both producers and consumers.”
The Farm Bill that Sen. McCaskill spoke of, according to the Senator, would: extend disaster relief for cattlemen and dairy, and if passed by September will assure strong crop insurance for next year. “We either have to pass the Farm Bill or pass a stand-alone for livestock,” said McCaskill.
The floor was then opened to the crowd, and the first question was about the slow nature of the release of CRP funds this year. McCaskill answered that some of the delay was a part of the nature of a drought and the hope for rain to come.
“I had talked to [the Department of] Ag [Agriculture] about it [the CRP],” said McCaskill. “They got behind the eight-ball to get it released. I will see about getting some of the restrictions removed next year to get those funds out sooner.”
McCaskill also noted that Missouri had one of the “fattest” CRP’s in the nation, due to an established tax that funds the Missouri Department of Conservation.