Huge number of amendments to the Senate farm bill

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Voting on farm-bill amendment debate has been proceeding this week. The report from the USA Rice Federation was that two amendments were approved and two rejected on Tuesday, but an additional 100 amendments were filed that day for inclusion in a new farm bill.  

It could take awhile for debate to be concluded if the Senate only votes on four amendments a day. As of Wednesday, it was thought that 135 amendments had been proposed to alter bill S.954, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013. This definitely leaves no one with a clear idea when debate on the bill might conclude.

USA Rice Federation reported that the two amendments attached to the bill on Tuesday were language related to farmer participation in soil and water conservation and an irrigation assistance program. The two voted down involved efforts to modify funding for the food stamp program.

Just like every other agricultural association, USA Rice has its lobbyist working the Senate and the House trying to earn support for portions of the two chambers’ bills favorable to its commodity farmers. An example from USA Rice is its support for the Food for Peace Program, which the federation wants left untouched and opposes any legislative action that would change it.

The federation is concerned about amendments to weaken the crop insurance, conservation, trade and food aid provisions in the original Senate Agriculture Committee-passed bill.

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