I want to ask about the 2009 disaster payments announced a couple of days ago. You were for those?

“I was very much in favor of the agriculture disaster payments and lobbied the House leadership to get on the stick and get it done.

“The concern, I think, was that (Minnesota Rep.) Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, ranking member (Oklahoma Rep.) Frank Lucas and the ranking member on the Senate (Agriculture Committee, Chambliss) just didn’t feel like the (Obama) administration had the authority, or ability, to write a check for $1.5 billion. So, that was the hanging point not (a question of) whether it was needed. It was certainly needed…”

The sticking point “was ‘you should be doing these things through the right channels.’ There’s a right way to do things and wrong way. All of us felt this was the wrong way.”

Your views on the estate tax? Many times farms are brought into the debate even though, it’s my understanding, it is hard to find a farm that fits that formula. Can you elaborate?

“My views on the estate tax are very easy: I’d like to get rid of it, zero it out. The death tax is double taxation. I’ve voted on several occasions to get rid of it completely.

“With the (Obama) administration I doubt that’ll happen. Although, again, I’m very much in favor of getting rid of it.

“Hopefully, we can reach a compromise and I’ll be working with farmers and businesspeople as to what the limit will be. Hopefully, we can get something we can all live with that’s fair.

“My key there will be visiting with the farmers and businesspeople as to what we can live with.

“Also, the thing that’s so important is to make sure it’s indexed with inflation. (That way) we don’t get into a situation in a few years with inflation where we’re back to where, whatever those dollars are, they don’t represent a situation that protects our farmers and businesspeople as they try to pass their estate on.”