Washington Week Ahead: Farm bill debate to hit Senate floor today

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, May 20, 2013 - Topping this week's action, debate on the Senate version of the farm bill (S.954) is set to begin today on the floor with stakeholders closely watching the anticipated battles over nutrition funding, dairy policy, and crop insurance.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) said he will bring up the five-year bill today to begin what will likely be a multiple week process. The Senate will be in recess during the week of May 27.

This comes after the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee approved the bill on May 14 with a 15-5 vote. The House Agriculture Committee, for its part, approved a largely different farm policy package on May 15 with a 36-10 vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled today to continue its markup of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that contains several changes to the farm worker visa program. There has been speculation that the Senate may turn from the farm bill in favor of considering the immigration bill.

In addition, the House is scheduled to vote on legislation (H.R. 3) that would declare a presidential permit shall not be required for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Further, this week, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold nomination hearings for Penny Pritzker to serve as commerce secretary and Anthony Foxx to serve as transportation secretary.

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Monday, May 20.

10:00 a.m. The Senate Judiciary Committee will resume its markup of comprehensive immigration reform in 216 Hart.

12:00 p.m. The House will meet for morning hour debate.

2:00 p.m. The House will meet for legislative business.

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

3:00 p.m. The Senate will proceed to consideration of the farm bill (S. 954).

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Milk Production

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Catfish Processing

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Catfish Feed Deliveries

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

5:00 p.m. The Senate will proceed to an executive session to consider judicial nominations.

Tuesday, May 21.

9:30 a.m. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will hold a hearing on “Maritime Transportation: The Role of U.S. Ships and Mariners” in 2167 Rayburn.

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

10:00 a.m. The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the “Future of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission: Market Perspectives” in 1300 Longworth.

10:30 a.m. The House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs will hold an oversight hearing on “Data collection issues in relation to the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act' in 1334 Longworth.

10:30 a.m. The House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation will hold an oversight hearing on “Perspectives on the Management of Federal and State Land” in 1324 Longworth. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, R, is the scheduled witness.

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

2:00 p.m. The House Financial Committee's Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade will hold a hearing on “The Unintended Consequences of Dodd-Frank's Conflict Minerals Provision” in 2128 Rayburn.

3:00 p.m. The House Rules Committee will meet to set the rules for floor consideration of H.R. 3, which deals the Keystone XL pipeline project, in H-313 of the Capitol.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Farm Labor

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Chicken and Eggs

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Wheat Data

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

Wednesday, May 22.

9:30 a.m. The Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the Interior will hold a hearing on the administration's FY 2014 budget request for the U.S. Forest Service in 124 Dirksen.

10:00 a.m. The House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing in 1324 Longworth. The panel will discuss the following bills: H.R. 1964, to direct the interior secretary to expedite competitive leasing of oil and gas in the National Petroleum Reserve; H.R. 1965, to streamline onshore energy permitting; H.R. 1394, to direct the interior secretary to establish an energy production plan; and H.R. 555, to authorize the interior secretary to conduct onshore oil and gas lease sales online.

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

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

2:00 p.m. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Senate's immigration reform bill (S. 744) in 2141 Rayburn.

2:00 p.m. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment will hold a hearing on the administration's priorities in the FY 2014 budget for the EPA in 2167 Rayburn.

2:30 p.m. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination on Anthony Foxx to serve as transportation secretary in 253 Russell.

2:30 p.m. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife will hold a hearing on “Nutrient Trading and Water Quality” in 406 Dirksen.

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

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Announcement of Advanced Prices and Pricing Factors

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Cold Storage

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

Thursday, May 23.

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

9:00 a.m. The House will meet for legislative business to consider H.R. 3, which would declare a presidential permit shall not be required for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

9:30 a.m. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on “Restoring U.S. Leadership in Weather Forecasting” in 2318 Rayburn.

10:00 a.m. The Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and the FDA will hold a hearing on the administration's FYC 2014 budget request for various USDA agencies. Scheduled witnesses include Darci Vetter, acting under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services; Ann Mills, acting under secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment; and Doug O'Brien, acting under secretary for Rural Development.

10:00 a.m. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce will hold a hearing on “Improving Federal Health Care in Rural America: Developing the Workforce and Building Partnerships” in 342 Dirksen.

10:00 a.m. The House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a legislative hearing in 1324 Longworth. The panel will discuss the following bills: H.R. 255, to clarify certain property descriptions in the Provo River Project Transfer Act; H.R. 745, to reauthorize the Water Desalination Act; and H.R. 1963, to authorize the development of non-federal hydropower and issuance of leases.

11:00 a.m. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Penny Pritzker to serve as commerce secretary in 253 Russell.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Livestock Slaughter

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Poultry Slaughter

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Sugar: World Markets and Trade

Friday, May 24.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Peanut Prices

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