News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Local & Bistate

January 21, 2014

VIDEO: Sen. Donnelly updates T-S editorial board

Says Farm Bill nearing passage

TERRE HAUTE — Passage of a long overdue U.S. farm bill could be completed by the end of this month, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Tuesday.

“I think we will have a farm bill within the next few weeks. I have expectations of that,” Donnelly said in an interview at the Tribune-Star. The U.S. senator spoke to the newspaper’s editorial board.

“I think the farm bill could have been done months and months ago. I think when the farm bill is finally done, it’s going to be very close to the form we passed in the Senate many, many months ago,” Donnelley said.

One key to its passage is an agreement that will cut about $9 billion over 10 years, Donnelly said, in funding to the food stamp program, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. That program provides money to about 47 million low-income people to pay for food.

Democrats, who hold a majority in the U.S. Senate, offered $4.5 billion in cuts to food stamps over 10 years, while the Republican-run House proposed $39 billion in cuts.

Donnelly said he thinks such a large cut “would have been devastating to that program.”

“There will be cuts to the nutrition program, but cuts that still enable us to be able to provide a meal to a child and do the basics of nutrition, while at the same time having a farm program that makes sense,” Donnelly said.

“It reduces the deficit by more than any other part of the budget, by $30 billion. Overall, the final bill will be a successful bill,” Donnelly said. “I think the SNAP program is a pretty efficient and effective program right now.”

The five-year farm bill covers domestic crop subsidies as well as exports and global food aid. Federal lawmakers are more than a year late in replacing the 2008 farm law, which expired in the fall of 2012 but was extended until Sept. 30, 2013.

On another issue, Donnelly said training and work skills are more important than business tax cuts, as he specifically targeted an Indiana General Assembly idea of eliminating or reducing a business personal property tax.

“When businesses come to see me at the Senate office and before, they didn’t line up to tell me, ‘Well, look, if you lower our business personal property tax, we’ll come to Indiana,’” Donnelly said.

“I understand that we want to try to have the best business tax environment that we can,” the senator said. However, Donnelly said businesses “have repeatedly said if you have the trained and skilled people, we’ll be there.”

Increasing job skill sets is the key to business development, Donnelly said.

“We need to increase our level, not only of high school graduates, but when they finish high school that they receive some form of additional training, whether it is vocational training, whether it is community college or whether it is a four-year college. Those extra steps are what create the increased wages, and would also create the attraction for employers to come here,” he said.

“We are in a good place logistically, we are in a good place climate wise, in terms of business climate. And, so, by increasing our skills level, we will increase our jobs. And you will see more jobs filled,” the U.S. senator said.

“I think our employment rate would drop significantly again if jobs that are available here in Indiana, that are available today, had the people to fill them that had the skills.”

Donnelly said that is why he sponsored the America Works Act while in the U.S. House and is a co-sponsor of it in the U.S. Senate.

“What it does is to make sure to target federal dollars, that are directed at work training programs, directly to those areas that are producing jobs,” Donnelly said.

“This is something that is burned into my soul that a family works best when mom or dad have a job [and] have a chance to take care of the family,” he said. “Great things flow out of job opportunities, and we want to see  more of them here.”


Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Obama Signs Workforce Training Law UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010