Boehner/Goodlatte Defeat Peterson in Altering Dairy Policy Language

12:10PM Jun 20, 2013
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Via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

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In lopsided vote, House nixes supply management language from dairy policy.

In a major victory for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and amendment proponent Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the House overwhelmingly, 291-135, 1 present and 8 members not voting, supported their favored amendment that would nix supply management from proposed dairy policy reform. It is a major defeat for Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member of the House Ag Committee.

Details: The proposed Dairy Producer Margin Protection and Dairy Market Stabilization Programs, via the approved amendment, would be replaced with a new "Dairy Producer Margin Insurance Program". The amendment provides dairy producers with the option to annually enroll in a new margin insurance program at levels of $4.00 and up to $8.00 in increments of fifty cents. Based on the highest annual of three previous calendar years of their milk marketings, dairy producers are allowed to elect their coverage level and the percentage of coverage up to 80% at the start of the program and annually thereafter. Dairy producers are also allowed to update their production history annually. The Secretary is required to make payments to dairy producers enrolled in the program whenever the actual dairy producer margin drops below $4.00 (or below a higher level of coverage up to $8.00). The amendment leaves the rest of the underlying dairy title intact, including the removal of the Dairy Product Price Support Program, the MILC Program, and the Dairy Export Assistance Program and the reauthorization of the 1996 FMMO additional order provision.

PERSPECTIVE: While Peterson in the past has said even if he lost the vote, he would still win in conference, that is far from being the conclusion when conferees deal with the issue. Reason: House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), as conference chairman, will or at least should follow the clear will of the House - and his party leader, Boehner, and push for the amendment being in the final farm bill conference report.