June 20, 2012
The U.S. Senate started voting yesterday on 73 of the 320 amendments proposed to the current Farm Bill. Of the amendments already considered:
- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) amendment, 2156, which would have struck $4.5 billion in cuts to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) and invested $500 million over ten years in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) providing fresh produce snacks to schoolchildren, was rejected. However, Senator Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) amendments, 2174 and 2172, which would have further cut SNAP funding as well as limiting eligibility, were also rejected.
- Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) amendment, 2445, which would fund rural development and beginning farmer programs, was agreed to.
- Senator Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) amendment, 2217, which would have eliminated the organic certification cost share program, was rejected.
- Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) amendment 2199, which would repeal a provision from the 2008 Farm Bill that created a USDA inspection program for domestic and imported catfish, was agreed to. The provision which would be repealed protects consumers from potentially dangerous fish imported from Asia where food safety standards are lax. (Even U.S. catfish farmers are asking for more inspection.)
For more on the amendments, see the Farm Bill Primer.
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