The 2013 Farm Bill Debate continues today with committee action moving to the House Side

A note from our Close Partner Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural:

 

ACTION

We urge you to call your members on the Agriculture Committee urge them to vote for: Lujan-Grisham amendment 082: to restore 2501 Outreach funds, Fudge Amendment 092: to require a receipt for service for all farmers.

to learn more about the 2501 program check out the Rural Coalition program brief summary: http://bit.ly/YJb3Op

In addition, please ask them to use the list at the bottom of this email to guide their votes in the mark up today.


Report on Yesterday
– The Senate Agriculture Committee passed their version of the 2013 Farm Bill and have already prepared it for Senate Floor action where debate could begin before the end of this week, so stayed tuned as amendments are being readied.  A regional debate on commodity policies is expected, and also on SNAP and likely crop insurance.

House Action – The House Agriculture Committee is expected to vote on some 95 amendments.  Up first probably will be an “en bloc” amendment presented as a package to accept everything that is of agreement to both the chair and the ranking member.  As in 2012, a rousing debate on nutrition and SNAP is expected, with cuts this year starting at $20 Billion rather than $16 Billion that was the opening bid last year. But there are no commodity and crop insurance amendments, while there are some on various approaches to how rural is defined, and others on local food, conservation, energy and rural development.  There will also be negative amendments to repeal COOL and on GIPSA that are on the oppose list below – NFFC and other GOAT collaboraters have submitted letters on these We are working on a more complete analysis, but there are a few important things to work on in the next few hours as members decide their votes.

We continue to review more of the amendments and will keep you posted. 

Equity-  There will be a number of amendments related to equity including one by Rep. Lujan Grisham to restore funding to the Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers. Representative Fudge will also offer an amendment to require a receipt for service be provided to all farmers requesting service- this would help assure that all farmers and ranchers receive equitable access to all USDA programs.

We urge you to call your members on the Agriculture Committee and to urge them to vote for Lujan-Grisham amendment 082 to restore 2501 Outreach funds, and Fudge Amendment 092 to require a receipt for service for all farmers.  In addition, please ask them to use the following list to guide their votes in the mark up today.

 

Equity Priorities (Support)

082 Lujan Grisham T12 Restores funding for the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

092 Fudge T12 Requiring USDA to provide time stamped receipt for service to each farmer and rancher requesting info

029 Fudge T4 to authorize the Healthy Food Financing Initiative

084 Lujan Grisham T4 Remove cuts to nutrition education

091 Fudge T12 To establish a Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Center

 

Other Priorities to Support

003 Walz T9 Provides mandatory funding for Title IX programs (energy)

004 Negrete McLeod T4 To clarify direct-to-consumer markets

006 DelBene T8 Reimbursement of fire funds expended by state

009 DelBene T7 Sense of Congress on the importance of specialty crops

032 McGovern T11 To cap the rate of return guaranteed for all crop insurance providers at 12 percent

039 McIntyre T6 Mandatory Spending to address water and wastewater backlog at USDA

040 McIntyre T6 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program

041 McIntyre T6 Essential Community Facilities technical assistance and training

043 McGovern T4 Prevents the $20.5 billion cut to SNAP

047 Gibson T6 Reauthorize both the RUS Broadband Loan and Grant programs

051 Courtney T10 Restores mandatory money for the National Organic Program

052 Courtney T10 Directs Secretary to conduct report in impact of local and regional food systems

053 Courtney T7 Authorizes USDA to create a Foundation for Food and Ag. Research

058 Nolan T2 Raise max. enrollment of CSP

059 Nolan T2 Simplifies the CSP ranking criteria to focus on conservation outcomes

068 Costa T4 Restore Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

069 Costa T10 Restore National Organic Cost-Share Program

070 Costa T11 Private crop insurance products

078 Costa T11 Study of the feasibility of crop insurance for food safety recalls

085 Lujan Grisham T6 Restore funding for water, waste disposal, and wastewater facility grants

088 Garamendi T2 Enable NRCS to make payments for the duration of EQIP contracts for wildlife habitat management

 

SNAP (Support)

007 DelBene T4 Altering SNAP eligibility by adjusting the household monthly income

008 DelBene T4 Ensuring children currently eligible for free school lunches remain eligible

042 McGovern T11 SCO shall not take effect until improper payments made in crop insurance program are equal to or less than the amount made in SNAP

064 Neugebauer T4 To increase SNAP savings

079 McGovern T4 SNAP cuts delayed based on fraud, waste and abuse in Crop Insurance Program

 

Oppose:

005 Conaway T12 GIPSA.pdf

020 Austin Scott T12 Repeal Mandatory COOL

028 Kuster T2 Strike lower EQIP payment levels for organic producers

071 King T12 Reinforcing the Commerce Clause by asserting the right of a state to trade ag. products freely with another

 

SNAP (Oppose)

037 Roby T4 SNAP standard utility allowance

075 Schrader T4 LIHEAP utility allowance reduced from $20 to $10

 

And remember stayed tuned for Senate floor action immediately following.

How to Use Social Media in the Process:

We will  be “storming” the session through Twitter. During past Agriculture Committee hearings and mark-ups we have been able to update followers instantly from The Hill and directly and immediately communicate with Committee Members and their staff through Twitter! This is an important tool not to be overlooked.

We will be using the hashtag #FairFarmBill and #FarmBill . Be sure to utilize these hashtags so we can quickly retweet and spread each others messages.

You can tweet individual House and Senate Agriculture Committee Members using this twitter handle list:

List of House and Senate Ag Committee Twitter Handle

And quickly follow and tweet the entire committee’s here:

House Ag Committee https://twitter.com/liverealninja/house-ag-committee

Senate Ag Committee – https://twitter.com/liverealninja/senate-ag-committee

Please utilize information and language from the Fair Farm Bill Equity Letter delivered to Congressional Agriculture Committee leaders and staff today with over 130 organization signatures and the Equity and Access Package to let Congressional members know the issues important to you.

Even if you do not live in a state with a representative on either the Senate or Congressional Agriculture Committee be sure to still contact your representative to let them know the issues important to you and ask them to hold the Agriculture Committee accountable and encourage them to pass a fair and equitable Farm Bill.

Finally, be sure to send  A THANK YOU to Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee members who do advocate and fight for an equitable Farm Bill today. For those who support the amendments you support and continue to work with us. These thank you’s are very important.

We will keep you updated as today happens!

Actions produced by GOAT are collaborative without attribution to any particular organization in order to demonstrate a unified voice on the issues.

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