By Brittany Jablonsky, NFU government relations represenative
Today the Senate considered and voted on numerous amendments to the 2012 Farm Bill, with approximately 10 remaining for tomorrow, as well as a vote to end debate and then another on final passage of the bill.
Notable amendments and NFU victories include:
· Sen. Durbin, D-Ill. and Sen. Coburn, R-Okla. amendment #2439 to limit the crop insurance premium subsidy provided to any person or entity with an average gross adjusted income greater than $750,000 passed, 66-33. NFU supported the amendment and will score the vote in our election-year scorecard.
· Sen. Lee, R-Utah amendment #2314 to repeal the Conservation Reserve Program and Conservation Stewardship Program failed, 38-61. NFU opposed the amendment and will score the vote.
· Sen. Toomey, R-Pa. amendment #2226 to eliminate biorefinery, renewable chemical, and biobased product manufacturing assistance failed, 36-63. NFU opposed the amendment and will score the vote.
· Sen. Toomey, R-Pa. amendment #2433 to eliminate the sugar program failed, 46-53. NFU opposed the amendment and will score the vote.
· Sen. Chambliss, R-Ga. amendment #2438 to tie conservation compliance requirements to crop insurance passed, 52-47. NFU supported the amendment and will score the vote.
· Sen. Merkley, D-Ore. amendment #2382 to improve crop insurance products for organic producers and require USDA to publish an annual progress report on organic crop insurance passed, 63-36. NFU supported the amendment.
· Sen. Klobuchar, D-Minn. amendment #2299 to provide for a study on rural transportation issues passed on voice vote. NFU supported the amendment.
· The Senate rejected two motions to recommit the bill, offered by Sens. Lee, R-Utah (29-70), and Johnson, R-Wis. (40-59). The Johnson amendment included instructions to separate the nutrition portions of the farm bill from the farm portions, thereby undermining broad-based support for the omnibus legislation. NFU opposed both amendments.
Visit this link or this link for a list of all other amendments considered thus far. The Senate will reconvene tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. with continued votes on farm bill amendments beginning at 11:00 a.m. Majority Leader Reid stated this evening that he hopes all work on the farm bill is concluded by 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.