House Leadership Names Farm Bill Conferees

October 12, 2013 07:49 AM

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House votes on some farm bill nonbinding resolutions

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

The House leadership Oct. 12 named its conferees for the farm bill (HR 2642). The House’s delegation includes 17 Republicans and 12 Democrats; they join the Senate’s seven Democrats and five Republicans.

The conferees by committee include:

Agriculture Committee: Chairman Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga), Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.); Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Rep. Jim Costa Calif.), Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash), Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Calif.), and Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas).

Foreign Affairs Committee: Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).

Ways and Means Committee: Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), and Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.).

The conferees also include Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), who authored some of the House bill’s provisions on food stamps, and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), both representing the leadership.

Not on the list is Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), a foe of dairy provisions that have been proposed, and who voted against the initial House farm bill.

Some nonbinding resolutions rejected.

Before naming conferees, the House held two votes on positions the House should take in the talks — and rejected both.

Sugar policy language defeated. The House voted 192-212 to reject HRes 378, which would have put the House on record as urging its conferees to support the repeal of sugar tariff language that Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.) said has resulted in higher prices for consumers and large profits for big sugar producers. One member, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), responded present.

The resolution said that House conferees should work to "restore the secretary of Agriculture’s authority to manage supplies of sugar throughout the marketing year to meet domestic demand at reasonable prices."

SNAP instruction rejected. The House also rejected, 195-204 with 2 voting present, a motion from Peterson to instruct conferees to accept the Senate provisions calling for a five-year reauthorization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other nutrition programs.

The House approach is a three-year rewrite of SNAP and a five-year reauthorization for other programs.

One nonbinding resolution accepted.

Level of federal subsidies for crop insurance premiums – means testing.  The House on Friday approved on a voice vote a nonbinding resolution pushed by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (D-Wis.) that calls for means-testing for federal subsidies of crop insurance premiums for farmers. Ryan's proposal is similar to Senate farm bill language that would reduce the federal share of crop insurance premiums by 15 percentage points for farmers with adjusted gross income of more than $750,000. The Senate language would require USDA to determine if such action would undermine the crop insurance program before any reduction could occur. Lucas told the House Rules Committee on Friday that he continues to oppose such restrictions because it could drive larger farmers out of the program, shrinking the pool of participants who share the risks. Ryan, however, said the federal government should not be in the business of aiding wealthy farm operations. "We need these AGI limitations to maintain a safety net for small farmers and to ensure that large agribusinesses do not continue to receive taxpayer support," Ryan said.


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.






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