(From the Claire McCaskill campaign)
Local leaders from across rural Missouri spoke today with reporters about Claire McCaskill’s work as a Senator on the side of Missouri’s rural towns and farm families. While Claire has successfully fought to save hundreds of rural post offices from closure and worked across the aisle to pass the Farm Bill, Todd Akin has never voted for a final Farm Bill and voted to cut crucial funding for rural economic development.
“Down here in Pemiscot County, it’s a rare thing to see our statewide elected officials any time other than campaign season, when they’re asking for our votes, but Claire McCaskill is different,” said Diane Sayre, Mayor of Caruthersville. “When a tornado demolished our high school several years back, Claire set to work helping us navigate the tangled federal bureaucracy and secure the resources we needed to rebuild. Claire is one of the few in Congress who gets what it means to be from rural America, and she’s exactly who we need fighting for us in the Senate: a Senator on our side.”
“One of the things that I like about Claire McCaskill is that nobody has worked harder than she has to cut wasteful federal spending and protect our tax dollars,” said Eva Danner-Horton, Presiding Commissioner of Livingston County. “Claire’s an Auditor. So she also knows the difference between wasteful spending and resources necessary to grow our economy. I’m here to tell you that turning out the lights on the federal government isn’t going to work for our small towns. The jobs and livelihoods of families and businesses across rural Missouri are at stake. We need to keep Claire in the Senate, so she can keep fighting for us for another six years, and so we keep expanding our jobs and business opportunities.”
“When it comes to figuring out who in this Senate race is going to fight for rural Missouri communities, it’s just no contest - Claire has already waged that fight for the past six years,” said Bonnie McCord, Presiding Commissioner of Vernon County. “From her successful fight to save our post offices, to passing a Farm Bill, we trust Claire.”
“Ranchers and farmers in Ray County were hit especially hard by the drought, and more than ever we need our U.S. Senator to fight for things like disaster assistance and the Farm Bill to give our rural families the security they deserve,” said Allen Dale, Eastern Commissioner of Ray County. “Fortunately, we already have a hardworking, moderate Senator in Claire McCaskill - someone who gets what it means to be from our rural communities, understands our challenges, and fights everyday to help us get ahead.”
After the U.S. Postal Service announced intentions to close thousands of rural post offices across the country earlier this year, Claire successfully amended and passed postal reform legislation to strengthen the Postal Services’ finances while protecting rural communities from losing their post offices. Claire also led the successful effort to pass a bipartisan Farm Bill in the Senate this year.
Both bills continue to await action in the U.S. House.
Throughout the campaign, Claire has placed a special emphasis on reaching out to voters in small towns to talk about the clear choice in this election and the negative impact Todd Akin will have on Missouri’s rural communities.
Akin Voted to Cut Grants for Rural Economic Development. In 2007, Akin voted in favor of an amendment to the fiscal year 2008 Agriculture appropriations bill that would reduce funding by $6.3 million for the Rural Community Advancement Program, which provides rural development direct loans, loan guarantees and grants. The Rural Community Advancement Program assists small communities with low per capita incomes develop strategies to spur economic development. The program provides financial and technical assistance, as well as priority for many federal and state programs. The amendment was defeated 90-337. [Rural Community Advancement Program; HR 3161,Vote 804, 8/2/07]
Akin Has Voted Against Agriculture Appropriations Bills At Least Four Times. During his time in Congress, Akin has voted against Agriculture Appropriations Bills at least four times. These bills included billions of dollars in critical funding for rural development, research and conservation programs. These important appropriations bills provide funding for Missouri’s land grant universities, including the University of Missouri and Lincoln University:
November 2011: Akin Voted Against the Conference Report of HR 2112 Which Included FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations. In November 2011, Akin voted against the conference report of HR 2112, the FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. The bill would would provide about $128.1 billion in discretionary funds for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and for science programs and other related programs in fiscal 2012. Excluding emergency funding, the bill would provide roughly $19.8 billion for Agriculture programs, $52.7 billion for Commerce, Justice and science agency programs and $55.6 billion for Transportation and HUD programs. The measure would provide approximately $2.3 billion in emergency-relief funding. It also would include provisions to make continuing appropriations for all other programs through Dec. 16, 2011. [HR 2112, Vote 857, 11/17/11]
October 2009: Akin Voted Against the Conference Report of the FY 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. In October 2009, Akin voted against the conference report of the fiscal year 2010 agriculture appropriations bill. Adoption of the conference report on the bill that would appropriate $121.2 billion in fiscal 2010 for the Agriculture Department and related agencies, including $23.4 billion in discretionary funding. The bill would provide $20.9 billion in discretionary spending for the Agriculture Department and $2.4 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, excluding user fees. It would fund the food stamp program at $58.3 billion and the child nutrition program at $17 billion. It would provide $7.3 billion for the Women, Infants and Children program and $1.7 billion for the Food for Peace program. It also would repeal a ban on Chinese poultry if the products meet U.S. safety standards. [HR 2997, Vote 761, 10/7/2009]
July 2009: Akin Voted Against Passage of the FY 2010 Agriculture Appropriations. In July 2009, Akin voted against the passage of the fiscal year 2010 agriculture appropriations bill. The bill would provide $123.8 billion in fiscal 2010 for the Agriculture Department and related agencies, including $22.9 billion in discretionary funding. The bill would provide $20.4 billion for the Agriculture Department, $2.35 billion for the Food and Drug Administration and $160.6 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It would fund the food stamp program at $61.4 billion and the child nutrition program at $16.8 billion. It would provide $7.5 billion for the Women, Infants and Children program and $1.7 billion for the Food for Peace program. As amended, it also would bar the use of funds in the bill to provide first-class travel for employees of agencies the bill funds. [HR 2997, Vote 510, 7/9/2009]
August 2007: Akin Voted Against Passage of the FY 2008 Agriculture Appropriations. In August 2007, Akin voted against passage of the fiscal year 2008 agriculture appropriations bill. The bill would provide $90.7 billion in fiscal 2008 for the Agriculture Department and related agencies including the Food and Drug Administration. The bill would fund the food stamp program at $39.8 billion and the child nutrition program at $13.9 billion. It would provide $1.8 billion for the FDA, $5.6 billion for the Women, Infants and Children program and $1.2 billion for the Food for Peace program. It also would bar the FDA from using funds to prevent the importation of FDA-approved drugs. [HR 3161, Vote 816, 8/2/2007]