Progress made on Senate’s farm bill amendments

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The Senate Ag Committee has been making progress with the 2012 farm bill this week. Amendments to the Senate’s version of the farm bill were reduced from nearly 300 to 73 on Tuesday.

Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) spoke with Mike Adams on AgriTalk Tuesday about the 73 amendments that were chosen to be voted on. He spoke about the amendment regarding market access program funding as well as crop insurance.

He mentioned that his EPA amendment made it into the group of amendments to be voted. Hi s amendment would clear up if EPA will be allowed to do aerial surveillance of farms and ranches.

Speaking to AgriTalk Wednesday, Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations for American Farm Bureau Federation, provided an update on where the Senate was at as of Wednesday morning.

She told MikeAdams that 29 amendments had been voted on Tuesday, leaving 44 left to be voted on Wednesday. She expected they would finish at the end of the day Wednesday.

“One of the biggest [amendments] that passed and that most of agriculture is quite disappointed in is Chuck Grassley did put a payment limitation on marketing loans of $75,000 per individual and $100,000 per couple. That passed pretty overwhelmingly. The vote was 75 to 24,” Thatcher said.

One amendment that most of agriculture was against was defeated Tuesday in the Senate, which was Tim DeMint’s amendment that would have made all national checkoff programs voluntary. It was defeated overwhelmingly by a vote of 80 to 20.

Thatcher also said an amendment by Rand Paul was defeated. That amendment would have set a $250,000 adjusted gross income means test on all programs in the farm bill. That was defeated by a vote of 14-85.

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