• An amendment on the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Funds for the program have been increased from $55 million to $70 million annually in the proposed farm bill.

“There’s nothing wrong with the program,” said Coburn, who claimed $75 million could be saved over the next five years by adopting his amendment. This would be done by capping the funds at $55 million per year and clarifying, “the food safety and access to affordable food for schoolchildren and low-income families. One third of the projects funded by the (program in 2012) went to marketing. They weren’t for kids. They weren’t for seniors.”

The money was spent, among other things, “to promote the emotional benefits of real flowers and plants in the home,” said Coburn. “That’s got to be a priority right now, doesn’t it? ... How about grant funds for a float that travels to fairs and festivals to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables? That’s got to be a priority. We’re paying for a float. … Couldn’t we spend that dollar in a better way?”

  • An amendment to require the USDA’s Rural Utility Service to ensure grants and loans made to provide broadband in rural areas go to “rural areas that don’t already have access to broadband.”

Well over an hour after first being recognized, Coburn wrapped up. “I believe farmers ought to farm and I don’t believe they ought to farm the government. … I believe food security is an important part of what Americans can do for our country and our world. I also know that our farmers are some of our hardest-working people.

“Having said all that, there are a ton of programs (in the new farm bill) that don’t directly benefit food security in this country or the American public.”