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Agriculture News As It Happens

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House begins votes on amendments

The House has finished debate on the sugar program amendment sponsored by Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., and after being rejected by voice vote, that amendment has been postponed for a roll call vote later.

The House has begun voting on a group of amendments, The Hagstrom Report has learned. After the first vote, members will have only two minutes to register each vote.

REJECTED 103-322 — Emerging markets — Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. — Would have terminated funding for the Emerging Markets Program (EMP) after September 30, 2013.

SNAP / Thrifty Food Plan — Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas — Requires a 10 percent reduction in the Thrifty Food Plan calculation in any year that SNAP is not authorized. (This amendment has been postponed until second set of votes.)

REJECTED 123-297 — SNAP / Personal hygiene items — Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C. — Include items for personal hygiene for household use in SNAP.

REJECTED 79-346 — SNAP / Data on purchased items — Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa. — Directs the comptroller general to establish a pilot program to collect data on items purchased with SNAP in nine states. The comptroller general then would determine whether item-specific data purchased with SNAP benefits can be collected using existing reporting requirements, and how to improve SNAP reporting.

Healthy food — Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz. — Strikes the Healthy Food Financing Initiative.

Fisherman disaster loans — Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., and others — Allows commercial fishermen to be eligible recipients of the Emergency Disaster Loan program.

Hemp — Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo. — Allows institutions of higher education to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for the purpose of agricultural or academic research. The provision only applies to states that already permit industrial hemp growth and cultivation under state law.

Conservation — Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif. — Allows qualified third-party, non-governmental entities to hold the conservation easements financed with Forest Legacy revenue.

Biodiesel education — Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa. — Repeals the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, which awards federal grants to educate fleet operators and the public on the benefits of using biodiesel fuels instead of fossil fuels.

Farmers market promotion — Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif. — Ends the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program that funds food preparation lessons, promotion of locally-grown crops and advertising of farmers markets.

Olive oil — Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., and others — Strikes the olive oil import marketing order, which would subject olive oil imports to restrictions such as taste testing.

Christmas tree tax — Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind. — Continues the prohibition on the Christmas tree tax by striking the section of the bill that lifts the stay on the tax.

Shellfish assistance — Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn. — Adds farmed shellfish to the list of specialty crops eligible for USDA marketing and research assistance.

Crop insurance — Rep. Ron Kind , D-Wisc., and others — Limits premium subsidies to producers with an AGI under $250,000, limits per person premium subsidies to $50,000, and caps crop insurance providers’ reimbursement of administrative and operating expenses at $900 million and reduces their rate of return to 12 percent. Introduces transparency into the crop insurance program.

Section 11012 — Rep. John Carney, D-Del. — Strikes Section 11012.