Washington Week Ahead: Waiting for farm bill deals to be finalized

By A. G. Kawamura

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



Both the House and Senate will be in session this week, but most farm and food interests are focused on the “delicate dance” taking place as key Senators and their staffs attempt to resolve the number of amendments to be considered during debate on the 2012 farm bill.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., seemed optimistic at the end of last week that she would be able to reach a consent agreement and advance the “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act” early this week.

"As we wrap up today and the week, I want to take a few moments to give a status report as we're moving forward in our negotiations on the Farm bill,” Stabenow said on the Senate floor. “We've actually had some very good progress today and overcome some obstacles and are putting together what will be something for the Senate for the beginning of the week that will allow us to move forward.”

Stabenow said that she and Ranking Member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., are addressing over 250 amendments and “working our way down from 50 down to 40 and putting together an approach that will be fair and balanced and allow us to move forward and have the input of everyone on both sides of the aisle."

One of the key sticking points in the commodity title still seems to be the treatment for southern crops, particularly rice and peanuts. As we reported last week, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R- Ga., partnered with Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, and others on a plan that would resurrect target prices and offer a counter-cyclical program for all commodities in the 2012 farm bill.

Arkansas Senator John Boozman applauded the move as a “step in the right direction,” but said that amendment “doesn't get rice where it needs to be. At the very least it would put a marker in the bill as we go into conference,” he told Agri-Pulse contributor Jeff Nalley on Friday. “I've got all the faith in the world in Frank Lucas and the House side, so we'll just have to wait and see.”

Boozman said that he was still reserving judgment on how an agreement on the Conrad-Chambliss amendment will wind up, but that “I cannot vote for the bill as it is right now. It just does not take care of southern agriculture the way it needs to.”

Globally Positioned Agriculture

For other floor action, committee hearings and meetings this week:

Monday, June 18:

The Senate will convene at 3:00 p.m., pending is S.3240, the Farm Bill. 

The House of Representatives will convene at 2:00 p.m. Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

  • 1) H.R. 4027 - To clarify authority granted under the Act entitled "An Act to define the exterior boundary of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in the State of Utah, and for other purposes" (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Matheson / Natural Resources Committee)


  • 2) H.R. 1272 - Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Judgment Fund Distribution Act of 2012 (Sponsored by Rep. Collin Peterson / Natural Resources Committee)

3
  • ) H.R. 1556 - To amend the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act to allow certain land to be used to generate income to provide funding for academic programs, and for other purposes (Sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan / Natural Resources Committee)


  • 4) S. 684 - A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain parcels of land to the town of Alta, Utah  (Sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee / Natural Resources Committee)


  • 5) S. 404 - A bill to modify a land grant patent issued by the Secretary of the Interior (Sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin / Natural Resources Committee)


  • 6) S. 997 - East Bench Irrigation District Water Contract Extension Act (Sponsored by Sen. John Tester / Natural Resources Committee)


  • 7) H.R. 2938 - Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Clarification Act (Sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks / Natural Resources Committee)


  • 8) H.Res. 683 - Expressing the regret of the House of Representatives for the passage of laws that adversely affected the Chinese in the United States, including the Chinese Exclusion Act (Sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu / Judiciary Committee)

9) H.R. 3668 - Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2012, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Patrick Meehan / Judiciary Committee)

 

USDA Reports: Crop Progress

Tuesday, June 19:

9:30 a.m., House Committee on Financial Services, Hearing entitled “Examining Bank Supervision and Risk Management in Light of JPMorgan Chase's Trading Loss,” 2128 Rayburn House Office Building.

9:45 a.m., House Committee on Energy and Commerce | Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Hearing: The American Energy Initiative. The focus will be on EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations, 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

 

The House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business.

H.R. 2578 - Conservation and Economic Growth Act, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) 
(Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Denham / Natural Resources Committee)

10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Finance, Hearing: Confronting the Looming Fiscal Crisis, 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

 

10:00 a.m., House Committee on Natural Resources, Hearing: Oversight Hearing on "Taxpayer-Funded Litigation: Benefitting Lawyers and Harming Species, Jobs and Schools," 1324 Longworth House Office Building.

 

10:00 a.m., House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform | Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending, Hearing: The Obama Administration's Green Energy Gamble Part II: Were All the Taxpayer Subsidies Necessary? 2154 Rayburn House Office Building. 

 

10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, Hearing: Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies, 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

 

10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works | Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Hearing: “Review of Recent Environmental Protection Agency Air Standards for Hydraulically Fractured Natural Gas Wells and Oil and Natural Gas Storage,” 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

 

10:15 a.m., House Committee on Appropriations Markup: FY 2013 Agriculture and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Bills, 2359 Rayburn House Office Buildings.

 

Wednesday, June 20:

9:30 a.m., House Committee on Ways and Means, Hearing: Russia's Accession to the World Trade Organization and Granting Russia Permanent Normal Trade, 1100 Longworth House Office Building.

The House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

Motion to Instruct Conferees on H.R. 4348 - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II 
(Offered by Rep. David McKinley)

Begin Consideration of H.R. 4480 - Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner / Energy and Commerce Committee / Natural Resources Committee)

10:00 a.m., Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearing: “Oversight of the United States Patent and Trademark Office: Implementation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and International Harmonization Efforts,” 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

1:30 p.m., House Committee on Financial Services | Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, Hearing: “Mortgage Disclosures: How Do We Cut Red Tape for Consumers and Small Businesses?” 2128 Rayburn House Office Building.

2:00 p.m., House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology | Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, Hearing: The Science of How Hunting Assists Species Conservation and Management, 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

American Seed Trade Association's 129th Annual convention, Gaylord National Hotel

International Dairy Foods Association's Legislative Fly-In, The Liaison Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Washington Conference, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

10:00 a.m. PDT, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), Hollywood and "Vine": The Intersection of Pop Culture and Food Production 
Live-streamed (www.fooddialogues.com).

Thursday, June 21:

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

Complete Consideration of H.R. 4480 - Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner / Energy and Commerce Committee / Natural Resources Committee)

9:30 a.m., Committee on Appropriations | Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, Hearing: Mismanagement of Appropriated Funds within the National Weather Service, H-309, the Capitol.

9:30 a.m., House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology | Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Hearing: Department of Energy User Facilities: Utilizing the Tools of Science to Drive Innovation through Fundamental Research, 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

10:00 a.m., Senate Committee on Finance, Hearing: Russia's World Trade Organization Accession - Administration's Views on the Implications for the United States, 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

American Seed Trade Association's 129th Annual convention, Gaylord National Hotel

International Dairy Foods Association's Legislative Fly-In, The Liaison Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Washington Conference, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

10:00 a.m. PDT, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), The Great Debate: Science, Technology and Food
Live-streamed (www.fooddialogues.com).

USDA Reports: U.S. Export Sales, Wheat Data

Friday, June 22:

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Washington Conference, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

 

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