We get a lot of calls into the office about whether a farm needs a spill plan – the official title is Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures – and honestly, it is a bit of a maze to determine but the experts at U.S. EPA who walked us through it on the webinar made the process manageable.
The U.S. House has approved H.R. 2642, the farm portion of the farm bill by a vote of 216-208. The bill removes the nutrition title, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but leaves all other provisions intact.
Yesterday the U.S. Senate approved Senate Bill (SB) 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act with a vote of 68 to 32. Ohio Farm Bureau strongly supported the bill, including the agricultural provisions which were the result of a compromise agreement with the United Farmworkers Union.
Yesterday the U.S. House completed consideration of the 2013 Farm Bill. Surprisingly and unfortunately, final passage failed 195-234. Ohio members of Congress who voted against the bill include: Representatives Beatty, Chabot, Jordan, Kaptur, Ryan and Wenstrup. These individuals need to hear from Farm Bureau members immediately with the message that we need to pass a farm bill now.
Though the Senate deliberated on the Farm Bill for four days this week, time did not allow for the bill to be voted on before the Memorial Day break. Farm Bureau opposed an amendment to reduce the crop insurance premium subsidy, however, the amendment passed by a vote of 59-33. Farm Bureau will continue to work for the protection of crop insurance as a risk management tool in this Farm Bill.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has passed Immigration Reform that creates a new legal status for agricultural workers: a Blue Card.
The Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture have both marked up and reported out Farm Bills this week. Both bills passed respective committees. It is anticipated that the Senate bill will have floor consideration by the full Senate next week. The House has not yet scheduled the bill for a floor vote but the ultimate deadline is September 30 when the current 9-month extension of the 2008 Farm Bill expires.
Yvonne Lesicko, senior director of legislative and regulatory policy, discusses Farm Bureau concerns with federal tax reform that were addressed with working groups of the House Ways and Means Committee.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced his intent to transfer $156 million from the direct payment program to several other Farm Service Agency programs due to sequestration cuts. Yvonne Lesicko, senior director of legislative and regulatory policy, discusses this announcement.
Yvonne Lesicko, OFBF senior director of legislative and regulatory affairs, discusses where Farm Bill progress stands.