On Tuesday, the Daily News printed the first half of an interview with Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill. What follows is the second half and conclusion of the interview. Many thanks to the Senator for giving both the paper and our readers some of her time.
Daily News: What are you hoping to convey to voters by coming to Boonville?
Senator McCaskill: (continued) I've been willing to tell the President no. I've been willing to tell Harry Reid no, along with telling Mitch McConnell and John Boehner no – so, I'm not afraid to differ with the President. In fact, I have on a number of occasions. If the President came to Missouri, he would tell Missourians I could be a real pain because I yelled at the White House about not supporting my cap on Federal spending. I called the White House and said "You need to pass Keystone right away." It's that independence I think Missourians want, and I think they're going to work really hard to make it look like I'm a hand-maiden of President Obama – and I'm hoping Missourians get passed that and look at the facts.
Daily News: Can you give readers your general view on the Farm Bill legislation?
Senator McCaskill: I think it's one of the best pieces of work that have been done in a while in terms of a bipartisan bill with bipartisan support in the Senate. It got a lot of Republican and Democratic votes in the Senate and we cut the budget. We cut the deficit by $23 billion in the Farm Bill and took away farm direct-payments and changed the program so it's there for farmers when they need it, but it's not whip cream and cherry on top when they don't – because, frankly, we can't afford that. I'm really proud the way the commodity groups came together and supported the Senate bill. All of the farm groups support it. It allows our farmers to plan with certainty for the next year. I find it beyond irritating that the House won't take it up. I know Jo Ann Emerson agrees with me – a Republican Congresswoman from the bootheel. I think even Roy Blunt agrees with me that the House needs to take it up and pass it. If they don't by September, we're going to have to do something extraordinary to get help to our livestock and cattle farmers because of this drought. We can't get them help unless we pass the Farm Bill. A temporary measure just to help them may have to be done if we can't get the whole Farm Bill done. I think we're holding out the hope that we can get the whole bill done, because that's what the farmers and producers in Missouri are telling me what they want. The Tea Party doesn't want to pass it at all because they don't think we've cut food stamps enough.
Page 2 of 2 - Daily News: At what point do you foresee drones being weaponized, domestically speaking?
Senator McCaskill: Never. Domestic use of drones that is authorized is along the border, where we have used them for photography to try to discern where the drug-runners – what paths they're taking into our country, and what paths illegal immigrants are taking into our country. To the extent that they're flying anywhere else in the country, it is strictly training. Whiteman [Air Force Base] is nearby and the drones are – in fact I was on the base at Whiteman not too long ago. General Vander Hamm were driving around the base and he said "There are the pilots that are going to fly a mission." They were walking into buildings – and they were pilots with their gear and their backpacks going into these buildings and they were flying the drones over Turkey that day. We have training going on because of Whiteman, but we have made it very clear that the drones could never be used for surveilling our citizens or to be weaponized.