Mr. President, I rise to first thank my staff for their wonderful work on the farm bill. Hilary Bolea in particular, a smart young woman working with us in Washington, DC., and then, Dave Frederickson. He was the former head of the National Farmers Union who came out of retirement to join my staff in Minnesota. They are quite a pair. My favorite thing this summer is when Dave Frederickson took Hilary to a tractor pull at the Farm Fest.

I'm happy the farm bill passed today with their forward-looking provisions on cellulosic ethanol, disaster relief that we worked so hard to get, and strong safety net for our farmers.

I would have liked to see a little more reform in this bill. I would have liked to see some income eligibility limits as well as the subsidy limit laid out in the Dorgan-Grassley bill. We will continue to push for that reform. We will work with Representative Peterson from Minnesota, the head of the ag committee in the House and our great leader, Senator Harkin with ranking member Senator Chambliss as the bill goes to conference committee.

I'm hopeful there will be discussion with the White House about the reform in the bill. I think we have a very good start here, and I think we need to continue that discussion in the months to come.

The other thing, Mr. President, I'd like to commend the Senate for passing the energy bill yesterday.  We're seeing a $10 miles per hour increase, not only good for the environment, but good for the American consumer. They can save money by having less costs for gas. This energy bill is just the beginning to start focusing on not just spending money on the oil are cartels in the Mideast but to focus on our own energy independence in this country.

Finally, the FHA re-authorization and the work that's being done on the subprime issue. I had a roundtable with a number of people involved in this in Minnesota. Minnesota is fourth in the country for subprime mortgage foreclosures, I believe the chickens are coming home to roost in terms of predatory lending. We're working on this issue here in Washington and seeing the problems it's causing for the individual home buyers, but also for entire neighborhoods and communities. All in all, Mr. president, I believe we got some things done at the end of the week.

The one last thing I want to commend the Senate for is the work on the pool safety bill. This is something that I have spoken on the floor a few times. Something, maybe of little note when you look at the larger scheme and some of the issues that we're grappling with, but important to the Taylor family of Edina, Minnesota, their daughter was injured this summer. She may never eat again. She is sick, but so strong in spirit. Her family called literally every two weeks to check on the progress of this bill.

Because of Abby, we're able to strengthen the bill named after former Secretary of State Jim Baker's granddaughter when she was so tragically killed in a similar accident. This puts in a standard for public pools, including apartment pools, any pool used by the public, includes stronger drain covers and vacuum suction system. It is a very, very good bill and the House bill is similar. I have every intention that we will get this done.  I want to thank Senator Pryor for his work on this bill. We were able to work with Senator Stevens and others to get this through on a bipartisan base.

In this the United States Senate one of the proudest moments I had in my time here, was being able to call Scott Taylor last night to let him know that the bill passed. It is a Christmas present for their family, they worked so hard to make sure this wouldn't happen to another child again so, thank you, Mr. President, and I yield the floor.