Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012 Farm Bill Passes Senate

After several days of debate, a consensus has been reached concerning the 2012 Farm Bill. The bill passed the Senate today by a bipartisan vote of 64 - 35. Both Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson voted against the bill feeling that it is a "Midwestern Farm Bill" that did not do enough for Southeastern crops such as cotton, peanuts and rice.

Georgia Cattlemen's Association and National Cattlemen's Beef Association were concerned with several of the 73 amendments.

First, we would like to thank every constituent who contacted their senator and shared with them the views regarding the proposed agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers. That amendment did not make the cut for Senate debate. For more information on that proposal, read our past blog post here.

Other amendments of note:

  • #2276: To prohibit mandatory or compulsory checkoff programs
    • FAILED 20-79
    • Proposed by Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
    • Opposed by NCBA and GCA
  • #2479: To improve the livestock forage disaster program because of the elimination of NAP from the 2012 bill
    • PASSED voice vote
    • Proposed by Max Baucus, D-Mont.
    • Supported by NCBA and GCA
  • #2289: To reduce the Market Access Program by 20 percent
    • FAILED 30-69
    • Proposed by Tom Coburn, R. Okla.
    • Opposed by NCBA and GCA

Also important are that the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and the research title came through in good shape, according to a message from GCA Executive Vice President Josh White.

"I was pleasantly surprised by the bipartisan efforts made to move this bill through the Senate very efficiently and without much partisan rhetoric," Colin Woodall, vice president of government affairs for NCBA, said in today's Beltway Beef newsletter. "Both Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Minority Leader Pat Roberts, R-Kan., should be commended for their leadership on this very important piece of legislation. Their transparency and willingness to listen to all vested interests was very refreshing for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and other like-minded organizations. NCBA stands firm in our commitment to support this legislation."

The Farm Bill now moves on to debate in the US House of Representatives.

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