Cansler Consulting stays connected to the pulse of upcoming government trends and issues. We not only keep our clients informed of events as they happen, but proactively predict issues that may impact their organization in the future. It’s not clairvoyance, we’re just informed and connected to those who know.
On March 14th, we first reported about this in a two-part series. The Politico only published this yesterday… April 18.
- Politico April 18: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/farm-bill-frank-lucas-90289.html?hp=l1
- Cansler Consulting March 14: http://canslerconsulting.com/news/farm-bill-extension1/
- Cansler Consulting March 19: http://canslerconsulting.com/news/farm-bill-extension2/
We have been writing and discussing the 2012 Farm Bill in this blog since Nov 2010.
As mentioned, we are not psychic. It’s merely decades of experience combined with constant monitoring of events in Congress and on the Hill.
If you need quality representation from an entrepreneurial lobbying firm, contact Cansler Consulting. We are a certified lobbying practice that is experienced in the multi-faceted and inter-related industries of Agriculture, Food and Drug Safety, Immigration, Transportation & Infrastructure, International Trade and Energy. Through our congressional and regulatory relationships established for over two decades we can help you influence the policy makers on Capitol Hill and navigate the federal budgeting process. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (202) 220-3150.
For legislative advocates and Washington policy wonks engaged in the debates on long term reauthorizing legislation like the Highway Bill, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Farm Bill you have to be wondering about the future of long-term legislative reauthorizations given the current environment in Congress. Read more
Yes, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) did pledge to members of the Ohio Farm Bureau on March 5, “We are going to do a farm bill this year.” But, no details have been uttered Read more
On Friday, the U.S. House Leaders from both political parties had an exchange on the floor of the U.S. House regarding the fate of the 2012 farm bill. (An excerpt from the November 30 Congressional Record is below.) During the exchange House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) again reiterated that House leaders plan to take up “the issue in and around the farm bill,” but again he gave no specifics on whether or not the action would include passing a new 5-year farm bill or extending the 2008 farm bill that expired September 30 this year. Read more
For those counting Monday, November 26 marks 138 days, over one-third of the entire year, since the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture adopted (35-11) the 2012 Farm Bill (H.R. 6083) the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, on July 12.
And, according to the recently released U.S. House floor schedule by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) for the week of November 26, there is still no vote scheduled in the U.S. House of Representatives on the 2012 Farm Bill. Read more
Recall that prior to Congress adjourning for their August recess a stand-off erupted and lasted for two weeks after the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 by a vote of 35-11 on July 12. House leaders rebuffed calls by the US Senate and agriculture groups to take the Farm Bill to the floor for a vote. House Leaders held up floor consideration of the Committee-adopted Farm Bill due to sharp disputes over the level of nutrition assistance that comprise 80% of the Farm Bill’s cost.
According to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House conservatives are seeking additional cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, aka food stamps) and liberals do not like current level of cuts in the committee-adopted Farm Bill. Without their support the Farm Bill cannot garner the needed 218 votes on the House floor. *The Senate-adopted version of the Farm Bill cuts SNAP by $4.5 billion (over 10 years). The House version of the Farm Bill will likely cut SNAP by $14 billion. Read more
House Agriculture Committee Unveils Draft Farm Bill With $12 Billion in Additional Savings Over Senate Companion Legislation
Last week the US House Agriculture Committee released their draft version of a farm bill dubbed, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM).
Some highlights of FARRM include:
- Saves more than $35 billion in mandatory funding, $12 billion more than the Senate version passed last month. (The US Senate version saves $23 billion) Read more
Amidst 73 germane and non-germane amendments offered in the U.S. Senate, the passage of the Farm Bill, a half-trillion dollar bill containing farm and nutrition policies for the next five-years was an incredible feat accomplished by Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Senate leadership last week. Many pundits are now proclaiming that passage of the Farm Bill in the US Senate will build pressure in the US House to complete their version so that the new law will be in place prior to the current law expiring on September 30. Read more
This week the U.S. Senate is scheduled to take up S. 3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (commonly known as the 2012 Farm Bill). The Farm Bill passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee on April 26 with a bipartisan vote of 16–5. Multiple and varying amendments are expected during floor consideration of the Farm Bill and debate could last up to three weeks. The measure would cut deficits by $23 billion, a smaller amount than both the Obama administration and House Republicans are supporting.
What’s Impacted Now… Read more
Congress is back next week from their Easter recess. The U.S. House and Senate are scheduled to be in session through April 27. Congress will be off the week of April 30 and return for a two-week session from May 7 – 18. All total for the month of May the House will be in session 10 days and the Senate will be in session 15 days.
U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee staff continued meetings this week with instructions from their bosses to be prepared for mark-up of the 2012 Farm Bill in committee on April 25. We understand that US Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) may have secured a commitment from Senate leadership for floor time for debate of the Farm Bill sometime in May. Read more
As we have been discussing for months, the push for deficit reduction is creating more of an immediacy to adopting a Farm Bill sooner rather than later. And, with the deadline for policy recommendations from authorizing Committees to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSCDR) now under two weeks away, farm policy proposals are beginning to surface. The JSCDR must generate at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years this fall.
Between $10 and $50 billion of budget savings are targeted from the Farm Bill. Read more
Budget constraints, high under-and-unemployment and recent bailout legislation are high among the many driving forces for policy makers to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse and duplicity in government programs. Across the U.S., lawmakers continue to seek ways to streamline operations without upending essential public programs and services. Read more
Recently, the Obama Administration announced that U.S. and Mexican negotiators finalized a program that will allow Mexican trucks carrying imported goods to travel throughout the U.S. to their destinations, a promise made by the U.S. eighteen years ago and codified in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The accord was reached 2 years and 3 months after Mexico, legally under NAFTA, applied tariffs of between 10 and 45 percent on 89 U.S. products totaling $2.4 billion. Read more
A Farm Policy Battle continues to wage in the U.S. House of Representatives this week showcasing the escalating issue over how Congress must change current U.S. agricultural programs in the 2012 Farm Bill ruled as “trade distorting” by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“Do NOT Pay the $147 Million…”
Passed By Voice Vote
During the U.S. House Appropriations (full) Committee hearing on May 31, Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ), (a member of the Tea Party Caucus that promotes fiscal responsibility) offered an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that reduces direct payments to U.S. cotton producers by $147 million, the amount equal to the Framework Agreement with Brazil. Congressman Flake’s amendment was adopted by a voice vote of the Appropriations Committee members. Read more
On Thursday, May 26, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee held its first hearing on the five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill. The panel is beginning what many believe will be a long, arduous process as they write the nation’s farm policy amidst looming federal budget cuts.
While witnesses generally focused on U.S. farmers productivity and their ability to feed a growing world population, testimony from former Secretary of Agriculture and now Co-Chair of The Chicago Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative, Dan Glickman noted that supplies of all commodities will remain tight for the long term suggesting increased potential for future price volatility in the market. While good news for farmers as their costs of production have risen due to higher fuel prices, such tight supplies and price volatility also means that higher food prices recently experienced by consumers at the grocery store will likely remain.
A video replay of the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, along with submitted testimony from the witnesses is available here.
The next Farm Bill hearing will be a field hearing at the Kellogg Center-Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, on May 31. Cansler Consulting will be on-hand for the field hearing. To follow us on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/#!/CanslerConsult .
Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced the Committee’s first Farm Bill field hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill in East Lansing on May 31st. The hearing will focus on the upcoming reauthorization of the 2012 Farm Bill and will examine agriculture issues including specialty crops, energy, conservation, rural development, research, forestry and nutrition policies.
Tuesday, May 31 – East Lansing, Michigan
Senate Agriculture Committee Field Hearing
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, Michigan State University
Consultants from Cansler Consulting will be attending and representing their clients interests at the hearings in East Lansing.
- Streamline the approval processes of biotechnology products - As the world population grows from 6 billion to 9 billion people, if the U.S. is going to effectively compete for this growing market an efficient and effective biotechnology regulatory process will be key to success. Read more
In mid-April the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a budget resolution (235-193) for fiscal year 2012. It estimated that the 2012 Budget proposes $178 billion in agriculture program cuts over the next 10 years. While the Budget Committee made it known that the Agriculture Committee will choose what programs to cut, they did suggest:
- $127 billion in cuts to the food stamp programs,
- about $30 billion in cuts to commodity programs,
- about $20 billion in cuts to other programs, and
- specifically mention conservation programs.
In the U.S. Senate, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) has unveiled a tentative draft that would cut the federal deficit by about $4 trillion over a decade.
Conrad’s draft proposal raises taxes by about $2 trillion and cuts spending by $1.5 trillion. Additional savings of about $600 billion would come from reduced interest payments. Savings of about $900 billion are achieved from defense programs and $300 billion in savings are proposed from non-security spending over a decade. It would also secure about $300 billion in entitlement savings over the decade.
Impacting future budget negotiations (and the writing of the 2012 Farm Bill) is a report released last month by the Government Accounting Office (GAO). Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested the report which researched the federal budget for opportunities to reduce potential duplication and streamline government programs, save tax dollars, and enhance revenue. Read more
Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their annual budget projections for direct spending costs of farm legislation over the next 10 years. These, and perhaps subsequent projections, will be used by lawmakers to write the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill.
Congress is set to begin writing the next re-authorization of the Farm Bill as most programs under the current (2008) Farm Bill are set to expire September 30, 2012. In fact the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee has announced its first farm bill hearing on April 9 at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan.
Congressional fact-finding hearings will continue occurring over the next several months as lawmakers on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees seek to audit current programs that are working, as well as those that are not. Read more
As we mentioned in an earlier article, the cotton case against the U.S. won by Brazil in the World Trade Organization maintains a caveat that allows the Brazilian government to retaliate against the U.S. and includes increasing tariffs on multiple U.S. products and as a last resort, restricting U.S. intellectual property (IP) rights (patents & copyrights).
Specifically, Brazil initiated and won a dispute over the current marketing assistance loan (MAL), counter cyclical payment (CCP), and export credit guarantee programs. Under a Framework Agreement reached in June 2010, Brazil agreed not to proceed with retaliatory measures; the U.S. agreed to annual payments of $147.3 million to the Brazilian cotton industry and quarterly discussions on potential limits of trade-distorting U.S. farm subsidies. Read more
Are the programs of the 2012 Farm Bill that impact your organization being moved forward right NOW? This week Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) Chairman of the US Senate Budget Committee kept up the intense pace of his Committee hearing schedule by bringing leading economists to testify on topics including the state of the U.S economy and new ideas for the U.S. tax system. Conrad and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) are working on the Senate’s version of a Budget Resolution in anticipation and response to the Administration’s budget proposal due on Capitol Hill February 14. Read more
There are some pundits already saying that nutrition programs will not be considered during reconciliation. Don’t count on it. The new reform-minded Republicans elected in the House will most likely reinforce the call for a vote to change the eligibility standards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (food stamps) program. Recall during the 2008 Farm Bill debate Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) offered a proposal that would not allow the indexing of benefits to inflation. Neugebauer will likely receive reinforcements on the House Agriculture Committee to be successful this time around. In addition, it helps Neugebauer’s position that the Congressional Research Service is estimating spending for SNAP “over the five-year period is significantly higher than originally projected in 2008 ($188.9 billion estimated in 2008, compared to the more current estimate of $314.9 billion), reflecting additional spending because of provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), higher food costs, and increasing program participation rates due to the recession.” Read more
Welcome to Part 2 of our 2012 Farm Bill overview…
- Other forces will play in this Farm Bill. In an extraordinary move, the Brazilian cotton case resolved in the World Trade Organization in August 2009 maintains a caveat that authorizes the Brazilian government to retaliate against the U.S. by suspending U.S. intellectual property (IP) rights (patents & copyrights) if it believes the 2012 Farm Bill contains trade distorting policies, targeting mainly the commodity marketing loan and counter-cyclical payment programs. Watch for more non-traditional IP-intensive industries and their high-powered lobbying corps to enter the fray of the 2012 Farm Bill debate.
- Already dimishing support. Support for farm programs has already begun to diminish as the Administration’s FY 2011 fiscal year budget proposed to reduce farm supports. Read more
Re-authorization of the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill is an important piece of legislation that impacts multiple constituencies. We have dedicated a multi-part series of articles to keep you informed and to provide some professional insights. The articles will entail some background on the Farm Bill, considerations unique to the Farm Bill and the impact of it.
Will the Farm Bill be re-authorized?
The Farm Bill will be reauthorized by its expiration date in September 2012, because… Read more