House in a holding pattern on agricultural appropriations

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Following speculation from many agriculture groups on multiple amendments yesterday and today, Republican leadership in the House of Representatives announced that it would delay—initially until next week and now indefinitely—any action on the Agriculture Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4800).

The news comes just days after the surprise primary defeat of House Majority leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, and many Republican sources say that House Leadership has postponed consideration of any legislation as it charts its path forward. This delays consideration of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill until the week of June 23 at the very earliest.

The House’s delay also puts on hold the Senate’s action on the bill until further notice. There is a possibility that in the coming week the Senate could consider the agriculture appropriations bill as part of a minibus spending bill with several other pieces of legislation.

With specific regard to amendments to the bill, ASA has from the beginning opposed any and all amendments that would reopen aspects of the Agricultural Act of 2014. Of the amendments filed to H.R. 4800, the following are expressly opposed by ASA:

  • Amendment 3 to reduce funding for multiple programs including the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Fund and the Commodity Credit Corporation Fund by 1 percent (Rep. Blackburn, R-Tenn.)
  • Amendment 4 that would prohibit certain commodities from receiving payments under Title 1 programs (Rep. Blumenauer, D-Ore.)
  • An unnumbered amendment to reduce funding for the Market Access Program (Rep. Chabot, R-Ohio)
  • An unnumbered amendment to place an AGI limit of $250,000 on recipients of crop insurance subsidies (Rep. DeLauro, D-Conn.)
  • An unnumbered amendment that would strip funding to protect the confidentiality of identifying information for farmers who receive crop insurance subsidies (Rep. Kind, D-Wis.)

Although it is unclear when or if the appropriations bill will come back to the floor, ASA encourages its members to contact their members of Congress and reiterate that soybean growers are absolutely opposed to these and any other amendments that would reopen any portion of the farm bill.

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