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  • Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

  • She joins us now, Senator.

  • Thanks so much for talking with us.

  • The pleasure.

  • Thank you.

  • Last week we heard from a dairy farmer in your home state who's facing with so many farmers and dealing with now on excess supply.

  • Take a listen.

  • Our milk is made into cheese, as is most of the milk in Wisconsin made into cheese.

  • And a lot of that cheese is destined for food service, industry consumption, schools, pizzerias, restaurants, conferences, etcetera.

  • Since the state home orders have been issued, those markets have dried up completely.

  • We've been asked to dispose of 20% of our Mel going forward for the next six weeks.

  • Way will not be getting paid for that milk.

  • As it stands right now, you've called know the USDA to buy some of that excess supply.

  • So what are you hearing from them on on taking that action?

  • And what can Congress do to address this?

  • Well, first of all, I lead a delegation letter on this issue to Secretary Purdue on.

  • We were very concerned that number of actions needed to be taken like the situation you were just talking about with onions and, as our Wisconsin farmer was talking about in terms of the drop off of institutional large scale orders in Wisconsin, a lot of the cheeses produced in sites where they're either producing for the A retail grocery market or for larger industrial uses.

  • And so it becomes a real challenge because one set of processors is having a heightened demand and another set of processors is having a much lower demand.

  • But we asked a CZ a delegation for Secretary Purdue, too.

  • Use the power he has from The Cares Act to purchase a significant amounts of these commodities and milk and cheese, et cetera, but also to reopen a program called the Dairy Margin Protection Program, which is a sort of insurance product that farmers can buy toward against times when the price of milk drops really, really low.

  • I had a chance to talk with Secretary Purdue last week and urged him to take the many actions we called on him to take.

  • And while he thought that there would be some significant USDA purchases for food, banks and other sites, he did not show any indication of being willing to reopen the dairy march and protection program.

  • Well, these farmers say they can't pick up the additional cost of getting their products to food banks and other charitable groups.

  • So what else can be done to make sure that the food doesn't go to waste and said makes it into the hands of Americans who desperately need it right now?

  • Well, one of the things when you have warehouses filled with cheese, for example, that's Justin.

  • For a large scale purchaser, like a restaurant or school, et cetera.

  • It's not packaged appropriately for a food bank.

  • It might be a £50 wheel of cheese or £10 of shredded cheese.

  • And so we do have to figure out something to make it not goto waste and so that people can get the nutrients that they need on DSO.

  • I talked with Sonny Perdue for a fair amount of time on how we do that, but we can't just throw up our hands and say no.

  • I have to say that dairy farmers in Wisconsin had a very, very rough time for the last several years before this pandemic is having its impact.

  • Prices of milk we're low.

  • We had trade wars that resulted in retaliatory tariffs against cheese weather was not our friend.

  • And so these.

  • We've lost 2000 dairy farms in Wisconsin in the last three years.

  • I want to turn to the economy for a moment.

  • So many Americans, as you know, out of work and small businesses air certainly taking the biggest hit there.

  • You're part of the Democratic leadership team in the Senate.

  • Will Republicans and Democrats get to a deal on additional funds for small businesses before the new loan program is expected to run out of money?

  • What's the state of talks right now?

  • Well, there are negotiations that are active, and I think that one of the key issues is that not all the small businesses that ought to be getting these funds are.

  • I'll give you a key example of how the program needs to be fixed as well as expanded with a lot of infusion of additional dollars.

  • Farmers usually don't qualify for SP and loans, but under the care Zach they do.

  • The problem is, the formula is such that they can benefit very little from those loans because it's based on payroll, not other fixed costs and overhead.

  • And so we gotta fix something like that so that it could be another avenue of help for our farmers.

  • And there's many other flaws with it.

  • Right now.

  • It's a massive undertaking.

  • We knew there would be some flaws, but let's fix them at the same time we put additional dollars.

  • And let's not forget that this is both an economic crisis and a public health crisis.

  • We cannot forget about pressing on testing and personal protective equipment and a tow hospitals that are overwhelmed with the search that there see, you just talked about those flaws and the need for these fixes.

  • What do you think is the single biggest fix that should be made to the next stimulus package?

  • Um, well, the topic were talking about was, uh, largely absent from this cares act, which was our third emergency response package.

  • There was very little within the USDA to help with the situation, and we're leaving a lot of Rome Aaron behind.

  • So that's one area.

  • But there are so many things, you know.

  • I certainly want to see an OSHA standard that provides emergency temporary standards for people who are essential workers.

  • We whenever we begin to reopen sections of our economy.

  • We've gotta keep people say we gotta have the testing in the personal protection equipment and standards that people are dying while working it or getting sick while working at a grocery store.

  • I also want to talk to you about the results of last week's controversial primary voting in Wisconsin, which we're seeing Results come in for tonight.

  • ABC News is now projected.

  • Joe Biden will win the Democratic primary there.

  • But clearly not everyone who wanted to vote was able to.

  • You and your colleague, Senator Ron Johnson, have called for an investigation into why some Wisconsin residents did not receive absentee ballot votes in time.

  • So are you worried about potential chaos in November?

  • If Wisconsin and other states have to vote largely by mail, ballots or absentee well, I hope that it is a lesson for the country and that we don't make the same mistakes that were made in the state of Wisconsin.

  • We wanted a safe and fair election.

  • We got neither because of the pandemic, no one should ever have to choose between their safety and health, and they're right to cast a vote.

  • And that's what happened in the state of Wisconsin.

  • Now, I asked a Senator Johnson to join me in looking into and, uh, what happened at the U.

  • S.

  • Post office without getting timely delivery and some missing postmarks.

  • That will mean that other ballots are counted tonight on.

  • That's because I want to find out what happened.

  • So we can we build trust and vote by mail because I really think that's where we have to head.

  • We cannot afford to have this sort of chaos and risk to help life that we saw in Wisconsin last Tuesday.

  • Senator Baldwin, thank you so much for your time.

  • We appreciate you joining us tonight.

  • Thank you.

  • Hi, everyone.

  • George Stephanopoulos here.

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Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

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威斯康星州參議員就食物浪費問題發表講話 l ABC新聞。 (Wisconsin senator speaks on food waste concerns l ABC News)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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