The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


More than 80 amendments submitted for farm bill

Senators had filed more than 80 amendments to the farm bill by 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Here is a list of senators, in alphabetical order, and brief descriptions of the amendments they filed. Many amendments also have cosponsors, who are not listed.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

  • Make co-ops and other entities that get a business and industry direct or guaranteed loan for a wind energy project ineligible for other federal benefits

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

  • Improve value-added agricultural products grants
  • Limit government officials’ authority to award bonuses to employees under investigation for misconduct
  • Require heads of agencies to certify the accuracy of all travel expenses for teleworking employees
  • Modify the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security * Act of 1974 to exclude appraisers of employee stock ownership plans
  • Require a GAO report on crop insurance fraud.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

  • Prohibit the Army secretary and EPA administrator from finalizing guidance regarding waters protected by the Clean Water Act
  • Change cooperative arrangements for forest, rangeland and watershed restoration and protection services

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska

  • Require the Agricultural Research Service to operate at least one facility in each state
  • Provide and improve housing in rural areas for educators, public safety officers and medical providers

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

  • Improve agricultural land easements

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

  • Encourage the purchase of pulse crop products for school meals

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.

  • Establish conservation compliance for federal crop insurance

Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa.

  • Authorize small operating loans for producers and farmers markets
  • Require more frequent dairy reporting

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

  • Limit crop insurance premium subsidies to farmers with an average adjusted gross income of $750,000. (With Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.)
  • Prohibit the use of federal funds for political party conventions
  • Prohibit individuals and entities with seriously delinquent tax debt from receiving federal farm subsidies.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

  • Require the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to use reference prices for covered commodities in the standard reinsurance agreement.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

  • Strike the reduction in the food stamp program and increase funding for the fresh fruit and vegetable program through cuts to crop insurance
  • Require state agencies to determine certain eligibility for food stamps using a plan for interviewing households but not requiring that every applicant household be interviewed at application or that every household be interviewed at recertification.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

  • Replace the food stamp program with a block grant
  • Provide for permanent estate tax repeal.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa

  • Increase funding for the beginning farmer and rancher program

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

  • Prohibit members of Congress from participating in farm programs.

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.

  • Clarify congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters
  • Increase state efforts to transition food stamp participants off the program while eliminating the uncapped federal-state match for employment and training reimbursements
  • Limit federal regulation of nuisance dust

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

  • Allow the fresh fruit and vegetable program to include dried, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

  • Extend eligibility for certain emergency loans to commercial fishermen
  • Extend eligibility of the noninsured crop disaster assistance program to commercial fishermen.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

  • Require a study on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages on obesity.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

  • Increase criminal penalties for certain knowing and intentional violations relating to food that is misbranded or adulterated
  • Provide a state option for cash equivalents for the purchase of locally produced commodities under the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983
  • Support the state rural development partnership

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

  • Require a report on the effects of budget sequestration on the Defense Department
  • Prohibit the use of federal funds to construct, fund, install or operate blender pumps
  • Eliminate subsidies for mohair and popcorn
  • Repeal the sugar program
  • Repeal the catfish inspection program at USDA that was included in the 2008 farm bill

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

  • Modify transparency and reporting with respect to applications by providers of broadband services
  • Clarify the maximum distance between Farm Service Agency county offices for purposes of closure and relocation so that it will be by 20 driven miles.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska

  • Improve water loans
  • Make commercial fishermen eligible for certain operating loans
  • Reauthorize the Denali Commission Act of 1998
  • Forbid USDA from denying an application for a housing loan because the dwelling has a water catchment or cistern system

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

  • Define navigable waters
  • Repeal the Lacey Act which prohibits trade in illegally obtained wildlife, fish and plants
  • Prohibit Agriculture Department employees from carrying firearms under certain circumstances
  • Authorize the interstate shipment of unpasteurized milk
  • Establish an adjusted gross income limitation of $250,000 on the farm bill payments
  • Give states flexibility in administering food stamps to assure a nutritious diet
  • Provide no assistance to Pakistan until Dr. Shakil Affridi is freed.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

  • Promote maple syrup research and production
  • Impose tariff-rate quotas on certain casein and milk protein concentrates

Sen. Jean Shaheen, D-N.H.

  • Reform the sugar program
  • Phase out the sugar program
  • Limit crop insurance premium subsidies

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine

  • Require milk marketing order reform

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

  • Protect recreational hunting, fishing and shooting through the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012
  • Support research on conventional plant and animal breeding

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.

  • Prohibit the Labor secretary from finalizing a proposed rule related to child labor on farms

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

  • Eliminate the farmers market and local food promotion program
  • Eliminate the margin coverage for catfish
  • Eliminate the organic certification cost share program
  • Eliminate the loan moratorium and policy on foreclosures
  • Eliminate biorefinery, renewable chemical and biobased product manufacturing assistance

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

  • Increase access to broadband

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

  • Amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana
  • Establish a federal task force on childhood obesity
  • Require that the U.S. Trade Representative provide documents related to trade negotiations to members of Congress and their staffs
  • Require the Agriculture secretary to carry out pilot projects to improve nutrition under the food stamp program.