UPDATED: June 21, 2012
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reached agreement this week to limit amendments and debate on the 2012 Farm Bill. The Senate continued to work on the bill throughout Tuesday and adjourned early in the evening with only a handful of amendments remaining.
Votes on those amendments will begin this morning, and the bill probably will be ready for final vote in the afternoon. No dairy amendments were considered, and none are on today's list. The Senate is expected to pass the bill with bipartisan support.
Two amendments related directly to dairy policy had been proposed. The first was an amendment offered by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). As originally filed, this amendment would have directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to eliminate the use of end-product price formulas for Class III milk use only in federal orders. The amendment was changed merely to require USDA to study the elimination of end-product price formulas.
The other dairy amendment was offered by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA). It provides the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to request more frequent price reporting and to move to a two-class federal order system.
The House Agriculture Committee is now expected to wait to release its draft bill, possibly until after the July 4 recess. IDFA encourages all members to contact their congressional representatives now and urge them to support the compromise dairy safety-net solution – a margin insurance program with no supply limits.
For more information, contact Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.