[Vision2020] Fw: [Spam 7.25] View from the Hill Legislative Update

lfalen lfalen at turbonet.com
Mon Jun 13 09:54:46 PDT 2011

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From: National Grange swilkins at nationalgrange.org
Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2011 12:20:58 -0700
To: lfalen at turbonet.com
Subject: [Spam 7.25] View from the Hill Legislative Update

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House Ag Bill Begins Journey

Washington, D.C. - Last week the House Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture
approved a version of the FY2012 funding bill that will cut 13 percent more than
 the reduced FY2011 allocation, which was passed in the stop gap measure this April.

Major changes made in the measure included dropping the cap for farm subsidy eligibility
from $750,000 adjusted gross income or AGI to $250,000. Although the USDA approximated
the number of those participants affected by the change at around 30,000, larger
 farms and production operations should be concerned.

The USDA's research budget is set to be cut by almost 14 percent, eliminating programs
like the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. The subcommittee also failed to increase
funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which has been under the gun
to act on commodity hedge and swap activity now prohibited under the Dodd-Frank 
Act. Although the CFTC has gained more and more responsibility, the agency has been
choked of funding as a way to delay their implementation of some of the more contentious
Dodd-Frank regulations.

Both the National Grange supported Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market
Development Program (FMDP) were funded at authorized levels. These programs provide
cost-share assistance to supplement farmer investment in growing overseas markets
for American products.

In other news, the Senate rejected procedural votes on both the House-passed FY2012
budget, as well as the Obama Administration's FY2012 budget proposal this week and
has yet to draft a proposal of their own. The Senate Agriculture Committee did hold
its first field hearing at Michigan State University, to discuss components of the
upcoming 2012 Farm Bill. Chairwoman Stabenow led the hearing with Ranking Member
 Pat Roberts which had a panel of 15 testifying.

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