Proposed Amendments to Farm Bill Cover Wide Area of Topics

June 11, 2012 03:07 AM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Total nears 180

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Nearly 180 amendments or placeholder amendments were filed by late last week regarding the Senate farm bill to be debated for the next several weeks. The following are some of the potential amendments (some may be withdrawn) that caught my attention:

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.): Require a GAO report on crop insurance fraud.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.): Amendment dealing with animal welfare.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.): Encourage purchases of pulse crop products for school lunch.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.): Conservation compliance amendment to the crop insurance program.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.): Dairy reporting.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.): Prohibit federal campaign funds for use on party conventions. Another amendment would prohibit individuals with delinquent tax debt from receiving farm subsidies.

Coburn and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.): Limit amount of premium subsidy provided by FCIC on behalf of any person or legal entity with an average adjusted gross income in excess of $750,000. The amendment would to reduce the taxpayer share of the crop-insurance premium by 15 percent for farm businesses with AGI's above $750,000. The amendment would save an estimated $1.2 billion over 10 years.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) has indicated he will offer several amendments to make sure wheat and barley producers are treated fairly.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.): Amendment on tax extenders – biofuels, and an amendment dealing with a study of a poultry insurance program.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.): Amendment dealing with egg case size. Another amendment deals with crop insurance agent compensation. Other amendments include language on dairy feed costs, a food safety insurance study, and through SRA (Standard Reinsurance Agreement) utilize reference prices for covered commodities based on average prices.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.): Allow food purchasing and delivery services that provide to elderly and disabled to use the SNAP/food stamp program.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): Strike a reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and increase funding for the fresh fruit and vegetable program, with an offset that limits crop insurance reimbursements to providers.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): Replace SNAP with a block grant program.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa): Provide payment limitations for marketing loan gains and loan deficiency payments. Another amendment would remove the separate payment limitation for peanuts, and another amendment deals with packer ownership of livestock intended for slaughter.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.): Several amendments dealing with crop insurance.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa): An amendment to increase funding for beginning farmers and ranchers development program. Another amendment would permit providers of eligible food purchasing and delivery services to be approved as retail food stores and redeem supplement nutrition assistance benefits.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.): Prohibit members of Congress from participating in federal farm programs.

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.): Several amendments dealing with crop insurance, and an amendment on livestock competition.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.): Enhance the USDA fresh fruit and vegetable program to include dried, canned and frozen fruits and veggies.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): Extend eligibility under the noninusred crop disaster assitance program to commercial fishermen.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.): Amendment dealing with railroad antitrust.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): Study on sugary drinks.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.): Amendments dealing with: Food Safety Accountability Act; increase criminal penalties for certain knowing and international violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated; provide a State option for cash equivalents for the purchase of locally produced commodities.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.): Request USDA and HHS to put dietary guidelines for baby food and pregnant women.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): Require a report on the effects of the budget sequestration commending in 2013 on the Department of Defense. Another amendment would prohibit the use of federal funds to construct, fund, install, or operate certain ethanol blender bumps and ethanol storage facilities. Other amendments would: eliminate agricultural subsidies for mohair and popcorn; provide for the repeal of the sugar program; and repeal a duplicative program relating to inspection and degrading of catfish.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.): Clarify maximum distance between Farm Service Agency offices for closure.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon): Organic crop insurance.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.): Exempts service vehicle carrying fuel <3785L driven by class A commercial driver's license agriculturalist from hazardous materials endorsement.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.): Clarify definition of navigable waters. Another amendment would authorize interstate traffic of unpasteurized milk packaged for direct human consumption. Establish an average adjusted gross income limitation of $250,000 for all payments and benefits under the farm bill. Another amendment would empower States with programmatic flexibility to administer SNAP block grant program. Amendment to provide no US assistance to Pakistan until Dr. Shakil Afridi is freed.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.): Secured grain – allow farmers to extend certain marketing loans until an extreme weather event concludes. Another amendment would require USDA to take steps to ensure FSA office closures would have clear, common sense criteria.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): Amend the National Labor Relations Act to permit employers to pay higher wages to their employees.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): Amendments dealing with fair rules for organic farmers in EQIP conservation funds; genetically engineered food – farmer protection amendment and states' right to label; and cur excessive oil speculation.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.): Impose tariff-rate quotas on certain casein and milk protein concentrates.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.): Require SNAP recipients to provide proof of payment for heating and cooling to qualify for standard utility allowance. Limit categorical eligibility for SNAP to those who receive cash assistance.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.): Amendments to reform/phase out the federal sugar program. An amendment to limit the level of premium subsidy provided by the fCIC to agricultural producers – amendment would place a $40,000 cap on the amount an individual can receive in premium subsidies each year. It would save an estimated $5.2 billion over 10 years.

Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Gillibrand: Eliminate end-product price formulas for class III milk, allow amendments to milk marketing orders.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.): Increase funding for conventional breeding and removal of language referring to GMOs.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.): Repeal estate tax.


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






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