Washington Week Ahead: Will House pass one-year farm bill extension?
By Sara Wyant
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, July 29 - Unable to garner enough GOP votes to pass a new five-year food and farm bill before the August recess, House Republicans are now focusing on what seems to be “the art of the possible.” GOP leaders hope to pass a one-year extension that includes much-requested disaster programs for livestock and nursery losses in 2012 and 2013, and a few other changes. But finding enough votes may not be a “slam dunk.”
The House Rules Committee plans to consider the yet-to-be numbered legislation on Tuesday afternoon, but opposition is building from a variety of sources, including conservation groups who are now looking at over $760 million in cuts from many key programs. Those cuts would be used to fund two years of disaster assistance for livestock and tree disaster assistance.
“We recognize farmers need aid in this emergency drought situation; however, sacrificing the very programs that help mitigate the impacts of drought and other disasters is extremely shortsighted. While we can't control the weather, long-term conservation planning is our best defense in protecting and preserving our natural resource base for the future,” noted National Association of Conservation Districts President Gene Schmidt regarding the House's proposed cuts to conservation programs.
The National Sustainable Action Coalition was far less kind in their reaction.
“NSAC vehemently opposes the dirty extension bill filed today by House majority leadership,” the group said in a statement Friday. “Passage of this bill would ensure there is no action this year on the 2012 Farm Bill. It prevents agricultural reform from happening. It spends another $5 billion on direct payments that both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees agreed to terminate. It kills innovative job-creating programs. It proposes to slash farm conservation spending by three-quarters of a billion dollars at a time when pressure on the natural resource base is intense, which would serve only to make the magnitude and cost of future disasters even higher. Under a closed rule, it denies Representatives the ability to amend the bill on the floor. In our view the choice for Representatives next week is clear - vote down this dirty extension bill and demand a clean vote on disaster assistance for livestock and specialty crop growers.”
NSAC's Policy Director Ferd Hoefner put together a chart to show how the one-year extension would trim or terminate several programs. See below:
· Farm Bill, but not under the pending House leadership one-year extension bill.
During a trip to North Dakota Saturday, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., spoke to the Red River Farm Network's Mike Hergert about the farm bill negotiations.
“The only thing that will go to the (House) floor is this one-year extension,” Stabenow said during a weekend trip to support fellow Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in her U.S. Senate race against GOP Rep. Rick Berg. “We will not accept that, but it will give us an opportunity to spend August negotiating between the House and the Senate.”
“I've never seen anything like it,” Stabenow added. She called it “really quite shocking” that the House leadership is unwilling to bring a bill that came out of the committee on a bipartisan vote.
For floor schedules and other events this week:
MONDAY, JULY 30TH
The U.S. Senate convenes at 2:00pm and at 4:30pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider Executive Calendar #759, the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach, of Oklahoma, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit with one hour equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley or their designees. Upon the use or yielding back of time (at approximately 5:30pm), there will be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Bacharach nomination.
After that vote, the Senate is expected to adopt a motion to proceed to the Cybersecurity Act, S. 3414, and spend much of the rest of the week on this bill.
On Monday, the House will meet in Pro Forma session at 2:00 p.m.
TUESDAY, JULY 31ST
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.
Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 828 - Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2011, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
2) S. 679 - Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
3) H.R. 4365 - To amend title 5, United States Code, to make clear that accounts in the Thrift Savings Funds are subject to certain Federal tax levies (Sponsored by Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
4) S. 300 - Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2011, as amended
(Sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
5) Concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1627 - Honoring American Veterans Act of 2011
(Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans' Affairs Committee)
6) H.R. 4073 - To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to accept the quitclaim, disclaimer, and relinquishment of a railroad right of way within and adjacent to Pike National Forest in El Paso County, Colorado, originally granted to the Mt. Manitou Park and Incline Railway Company pursuant to the Act of March 3, 1875 (Sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn / Natural Resources Committee)
7) H.R. 4606 - To authorize the issuance of right-of-way permits for natural gas pipelines in Glacier National Park, and for other purpose (Sponsored by Rep. Denny Rehberg / Natural Resources Committee)
8) H.R. 3641 - Pinnacles National Park Act (Sponsored by Rep. Sam Farr / Natural Resources Committee)
9) H.R. 3706 - To create the Office of Chief Financial Officer of the Government of the Virgin Islands, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Del. Donna Christensen / Natural Resources Committee)
10) S. 270 - La Pine Land Conveyance Act (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden / Natural Resources Committee)
11) S. 271 - Wallowa Forest Service Compound Conveyance Act (Sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden / Natural Resources Committee)
12) H.R. 3803 - District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks / Judiciary Committee)
13) H.R. 1950 - To enact title 54, United States Code, “National Park System,” as positive law, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Judiciary Committee)
14) H.R. 3120 - Student Visa Reform Act (Sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren / Judiciary Committee)
15) H.R. 6029 - Foreign and Economic Espionage Penalty Enhancement Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Judiciary Committee)
16) H.R. 6063 - Child Protection Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Judiciary Committee)
17) H.R. 4362 - STOP Identity Theft Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz / Judiciary Committee)
18) H.R. 3796 - Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2012, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner / Judiciary Committee)
19) H.R. 6062 - Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino / Judiciary Committee)
20) H.R. 1550 - Federal Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Act of 2011, as amended(Sponsored by Del. Pedro Pierluisi / Judiciary Committee)
10:00 a.m. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on S. 3385, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to use designated funding to pay for construction of authorized rural water projects, and for other purposes. SD-366.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1ST
9:00 a.m. Senate Agriculture Committee hearing: Examining the Futures Markets: Responding to the Failures of MF Global and Peregrine Financial Group. 328 Russell.
10:00 a.m. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: “Update on the latest climate change science and local adaptation measures” 406 Dirksen.
10:30 a.m. Senate Committee on Finance hearing, “Tax Reform: Examining the Taxation of Business Entities,” 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
2:30 p.m. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing, “Marketplace Fairness: Leveling the Playing Field for Small Business” to examine the rule that allows many online retailers to be exempt from state sales tax laws, 253 Russell.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. On Friday, the House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. Last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.
Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.Con.Res. 127 - Expressing the sense of Congress regarding actions to preserve and advance the multistakeholder governance model under which the Internet has thrived(Sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono Mack / Energy and Commerce Committee)
2) H.R. 4273 - Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson / Energy and Commerce Committee)
3) H.R. 897 - Residential and Commuter Toll Fairness Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Rep. Mike Grimm / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
4) H.R. 5797 - Mille Lacs Lake Freedom To Fish Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Chip Cravaack / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
5) H.R. 3158 - Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act (Sponsored by Rep. Rick Crawford / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
6) H.R. 1171 - Marine Debris Act Amendments of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Sam Farr / Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
7) H.R. 2446 - RESPA Home Warranty Clarification Act of 2011 (Sponsored by Rep. Judy Biggert / Financial Services Committee)
8) H.R. 2139 - Lions Clubs International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Pete Roskam / Financial Services Committee)
9) H.R. 3187 - March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2011, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Robert Dold / Financial Services Committee)
10) H.R. 4104 - Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Renacci / Financial Services Committee)
11) S. 3363 - To provide for the use of National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center Commemorative Coin surcharges, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Sen. Saxby Chambliss / Financial Services Committee)
H.R. __ - To provide a one-year extension of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, with certain modifications and exceptions, to make supplemental agricultural disaster assistance available for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and for other purposes (Subject to a Rule)
(Sponsored by Rep. Frank Lucas / Agriculture Committee)
H.R. 8 - Job Protection and Recession Prevent Act of 2012 (Subject to a Rule)
(Sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp / Ways and Means Committee / Budget Committee)
H.R. 6169 - Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. David Dreier / Rules Committee)
This story was updated 7-30-12 at 7 a.m.
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