Washington Week Ahead: Farm bill debate set to resume in Senate

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 3, 2013 - The Senate will kick off the week today by continuing consideration of its five-year farm bill (S.954) with an array of amendments.

The Senate is expected to vote on two amendments later Monday, including one from Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., which would require the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to carry out research and development regarding a crop insurance program for alfalfa.

The other amendment, from Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., seeks to modify a provision relating to funding of local and regional food aid procurement projects. The amendment would increase the authorization for the program from $40 million to $60 million annually.

Timing for final passage of the bill remains unclear as Senate leaders have not agreed upon a total list of amendments. More than 100 hundred amendments have been filed.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies is scheduled to hold a markup Wednesday of the FY 2014 agriculture appropriations bill in 2362-A Rayburn.

Lets Talk Food

In addition, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to hold a summit in California on Friday and Saturday.

Monday, June 3.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will speak at Share Our Strength's Conference of Leaders in Washington.

2:00 p.m. The Senate will convene for a period of morning business.

2:00 p.m. The House will meet for legislative business, with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m.

4:00 p.m. The Senate will resume consideration of the farm bill (S. 954).

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Cost of Production Forecast

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Crop Progress

5:30 p.m. The Senate will vote on two amendments: One from Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., to require the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to carry out research and development regarding a crop insurance program for alfalfa; and the other from Sen. Christopher Coons, D-Del., to modify a provision relating to funding of local and regional food aid procurement projects. 

Tuesday, June 4.

Vilsack and EPA acting Administrator Bod Perciasepe will launch the U.S. Food Waste Challenge at the Whitten Patio.

10:00 a.m. The House will meet for morning hour debate.

10:00 a.m. The House Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing on “Defining Species Conservation Success: Tribal, State and Local Stewardship vs. Federal Courtroom Battles and Sue-and-Settle Practices” in 1324 Longworth.

10:00 a.m. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to explore ways to improve federal wildland fire management in 366 Dirksen. Scheduled witnesses include Thomas Tidwell, chief of USDA's U.S. Forest Service.

12:00 p.m. The House will meet for legislative business.

2:30 p.m. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Subcommittee on Communication, Technology, and the Internet will hold a hearing on the “State of Wireless Communications” in 253 Russell.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Dairy Products

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB)

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data

Wednesday, June 5.

Acting United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro will host a meeting of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee and the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees.

Vilsack will speak at the National Press Club on environmental challenges.

9:30 a.m. The House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies will hold a markup of the FY 2014 agriculture appropriations bill in 2362-A Rayburn.

10:00 a.m. The House will meet for morning hour debate.

10:00 a.m. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will hold a hearing on “A Review of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief's Report” in 2167 Rayburn. Michael J. Walsh, deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is the scheduled witness.

10:00 a.m. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements will hold a hearing on “Up Against the Blend Wall: Examining EPA's Role in the Renewable Fuel Standard” in 2154 Rayburn.

10:00 a.m. The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology's Subcommittee on Research and Subcommittee on Technology will hold a joint hearing on “Federal Efforts to Reduce the Impacts of Windstorms” in 2318 Rayburn.

10:00 a.m. USDA Report: Livestock & Meat Trade Data

12:00 p.m. The House will meet for legislative business.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: National Dairy Products Sales Report

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Announcement of Advance Class and Component Prices

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Broiler Hatchery

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update

Thursday, June 6.

8:30 a.m. USDA Report: U.S. Export Sales

9:00 a.m. The House will meet for legislative business, with last votes expected no later than 3:00 p.m.

9:30 a.m. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing to review the programs and activities of the Interior Department in 366 Dirksen.

10:00 a.m. The House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation will hold a legislative hearing on H.R. 2166 and other bills in 1334 Longworth. H.R. 2166 would direct the interior secretary and the agriculture secretary to expedite access to certain federal lands under the administrative jurisdiction of each secretary for good Samaritan search-and-recovery missions.

10:00 a.m. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Mike Froman to serve as U.S. trade representative in 215 Dirksen.

Friday, June 7.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with President Obama in California.

Vilsack will meet with Domtar Corporation executives, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., and other officials to mark the inauguration of a commercial-scale lignin separation plant in Plymouth, N.C.

Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse and Agricultural Market Service Administrator Anne Alonzo will open the USDA's 2013 Outdoor Farmers Market.

#30

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