Ag Policy Blog

Obama Cites Farm Bill as Top Economic Priority

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent

In a speech in New Orleans today, President Barack Obama listed passing a farm bill as the No. 1 way that Democrats and Republicans can increase jobs in the economy.

Helping American businesses grow; creating more jobs these are not Democratic or Republican priorities, Obama said.

"They are priorities that everybody, regardless of party, should be able to get behind. And that's why, in addition to working with Congress to grow our exports, I've put forward additional ideas where I believe Democrats and Republicans can join together to make progress right now," Obama said.

Number one, Obama said, Congress needs to pass a farm bill that helps rural communities grow and protects vulnerable Americans.

They are priorities that everybody, regardless of party, should be able to get behind. And that’s why, in

"For decades, Congress found a way to compromise and pass farm bills without fuss. For some reason, now Congress can't even get that done.," Obama said. "Now, this is not something that just benefits farmers. Ports like this one depend on all the products coming down the Mississippi. So let’s do the right thing, pass a farm bill. We can start selling more products. That's more business for this port. And that means more jobs right here."

Obama listed immigration reform and a responsible budget as his second and third priorities.

During the speech at the port, Obama pointed out the ports importance to U.S. agricultural exports and to the end of red tape that is slowing infrastructure improvements.

"In so many ways, this port is representative of what ports all around the country do: They help to keep our economy going moving products, moving people, making sure that businesses are working," Obama said.

The president also pointed to the importance of water infrastructure projects. The Water Resources Development Act is also ready for conference talks to begin as well.

"You've got corn and wheat that's coming down from my home state of Illinois down the river, ending up here, and then going all around the world. And it's part of the reason why we've been able to increase exports so rapidly, is because we've got some of the best natural resources and waterways and facilities in the world," he said.

If there's one thing that members of Congress from both parties want, its smart infrastructure projects that create good jobs in their districts, he continued.

"That's why, last year, I took the step without Congress to speed up the permitting process for big infrastructure projects like upgrading our ports. Just cut through the red tape. Get it done faster."

Obama also noted that on the trip he had learned that the Port of New Orleans handles a lot of the nation's coffee, which means you're responsible for keeping the White House awake at all times.


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11/13/2013 | 8:55 AM CST
Jay Thanks for coming back as the regular blowhard you are. Still don't have the guts to give me you city and state so I can look up how truthful you are on who you are. And again, I am Craig A. Moore living in Billings, MT. You can look me up and I am on facebook so you can also check that out. Really, who are you?
Bonnie Dukowitz
11/11/2013 | 7:00 PM CST
Get your eyes checked, Jay. Amazing how you can tell if one is poor, a farmer or a poor farmer. Must have an acute extra sense of perception.
11/11/2013 | 12:35 PM CST
I do I have read lots of Obama speeches, lots of his writings. When he was still an Il. senator I followed him and when he became a U.S. Senator his 1st and second auto biographies, why the second one I have no idea? Must have got the first one wrong. His whole up bringing was with socialist, his father, mother. his grandparents and the mentor his grandparents chose for him was Frank Marshal Davis a communist and head of the Chicago communist newspaper. He just cant help what he is. Obama just doesn't like America the way it is set up and was founded, he has just as much as said so.
Jay Mcginnis
11/11/2013 | 11:09 AM CST
hey Craig, I see more fat farmers then fat poor people. So why do you pick on the poor, do you think cutting all aid to poor people will make a balanced budget? What about corporate subsidies and military? What return are we getting from our little iraq snafu? Both you and Gordon should listen to something other then Rush and Hanity.
11/11/2013 | 10:31 AM CST
John Do you have any idea what the farm bill is all about? My bet is all you know is what you "heard." Notice how 80% of the farm program is food stamps? Notice how many fat poor people the US has? Think there is a relationship there? 20% going to so many programs doesn't leave as much as you think for the "millionaire" farmers.
11/11/2013 | 9:36 AM CST
Obama would rather talk about anything but Obama Care lies, Fast and Furious lies, IRS targeting of conservatives, NSA spying lies. He even lies about his lies and says we are to stupid to know he really means. Anyone who is the slightest bit informed has to know that the liberal left are NUTS. Socialism has failed every where it has been tried. Venezuela is just the latest example of that.
John Olson
11/8/2013 | 10:12 PM CST
Vile congressman ever pandering for votes and donations from the largest wealthiest farmers have for decades showered the largest and most profitable farmers with billions in insurance subsidies and insurance investment/profit guarantees. This despicable crony capitalism has nearly totally neutered the financial viability of smaller farmers. Congressmen voting for this corruption have stolen from generations of smaller farmers any chance of competing in the agricultural business. Billions in financial enhancements for those with the greatest net worths and go find another line of work for smaller farmers has been these congressmen's plans for too long. Not surprising at all that someone as corrupt and fraudulent as Obama would like to see this continue.