Having decided the South Dakota Farmers Union really isn't a liberal cabal out to get her, Rep. Kristi Noem spoke at a forum sponsored by SDFU and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association a couple weekends ago at the Black Hills Stock Show. Among her key statements was this assessment of her failure to pass a real Farm Bill for South Dakota:
Rather than the standard five-year farm bill, Congress passed an extension of the 2008 farm-support legislation as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal early in 2013.
“It’s a short-term extension and it didn’t have any of the reforms in it that we needed and that we worked so hard on in committee,” Noem said. “It was the current farm bill extended for one more year while we hopefully come up with a new farm bill that works better for South Dakotans” ["Rep. Kristi Noem Discusses Farm Bill at Black Hills Stock Show Event," South Dakota Farmers Union, 2013.01.27].
Rep. Noem says she "talked a lot... and worked very hard" to pass a Farm Bill. Apparently, she's expecting to be graded on effort... which is probably the only way she got a college degree from SDSU. Noem got none of what she says South Dakota needs in the Farm Bill; therefore, we must conclude that she recognizes she failed.
We can only hope Rep. Noem also recognizes her rank hypocrisy on disaster assistance:
Noem says her priority is to let other lawmakers in Washington know that disaster programs are vital to South Dakota farmers and ranchers because of the state’s extreme weather conditions.
“We have droughts, sometimes we get a lot of snow and a lot of cold weather that can wipe out a calf crop pretty quick and those disaster programs protect us through those hard years and that’s why it’s so important that we not only get them authorized but we get them funded,” she said [SDFU, 2013.01.27].
Ah, yes. Disaster assistance is vital for South Dakota businesspeople. But for folks suffering hurricane damage on the East Coast, disaster assistance is an opportunity for budget hawkery and political grandstanding.
Carry on, Rep. Noem. Carry on.