May 24, 2013
This week the Senate continued its work on
the Farm Bill. One amendment that was offered by Senator Dianne
Feinstein would have been devastating to North Carolina�s farmers. If
passed, the Feinstein amendment would have singled
out tobacco farmers, and only tobacco farmers, from being
eligible to purchase federal crop insurance. This was just
another thinly veiled attempt to end the production of a legal product in
this country. Tobacco is also the leading tax generating
commodity in the agriculture community and one that we export.
If the amendment had passed, all we would have done is shipped those
jobs overseas and increased imports of foreign
tobacco. Fortunately, many of my colleagues agreed with me and the Senate
rejected the amendment by a vote of 44-52. Click below to
watch my remarks.
This week I also had
the opportunity to question former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman,
Deputy IRS Commissioner Steven Miller and Treasury Inspector General J.
Russell George during an investigative hearing before
the Senate Finance Committee. I was disappointed with the lack
of transparency and cooperation on the part of Mr. Miller and Mr.
Shulman. The First Amendment rights of thousands of
Americans were violated by the IRS and the public deserves
answers. This is a story that is still developing, and you can be sure that I
will continue to press for answers in the Senate�s
investigation. To watch the full hearing, .
This weekend marks the unofficial beginning of
summer to millions of Americans. As you spend Memorial Day weekend
with your family and friends, I ask you to reflect on the service and
sacrifice of our nation�s service-members and veterans. These
individuals selflessly give themselves to defend our freedoms and we are
constantly humbled by their strength and courage. While we may
never repay the debt borne by those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,
we must never waiver in our commitment to honor their memory by caring
for those who continue the fight.