Are Your Programs on the Chopping Block in the Next Farm Bill?

In mid-April the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a budget resolution (235-193) for fiscal year 2012.  It estimated that the 2012 Budget proposes $178 billion in agriculture program cuts over the next 10 years. While the Budget Committee made it known that the Agriculture Committee will choose what programs to cut, they did suggest:

  • $127 billion in cuts to the food stamp programs,
  • about $30 billion in cuts to commodity programs,
  • about $20 billion in cuts to other programs, and
  • specifically mention conservation programs.

In the U.S. Senate, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) has unveiled a tentative draft that would cut the federal deficit by about $4 trillion over a decade.

Conrad’s draft proposal raises taxes by about $2 trillion and cuts spending by $1.5 trillion. Additional savings of about $600 billion would come from reduced interest payments. Savings of about $900 billion are achieved from defense programs and $300 billion in savings are proposed from non-security spending over a decade. It would also secure about $300 billion in entitlement savings over the decade.

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Groups Call for Significant Changes in Next Farm Bill

Impacting future budget negotiations (and the writing of the 2012 Farm Bill) is a report released last month by the Government Accounting Office (GAO).  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested the report which researched the federal budget for opportunities to reduce potential duplication and streamline government programs, save tax dollars, and enhance revenue.…

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Congressional Budget Office Releases Budget Projections

2012 Farm Bill Washington Lobbyist Cansler ConsultingRecently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their annual budget projections for direct spending costs of farm legislation over the next 10 years. These, and perhaps subsequent projections, will be used by lawmakers to write the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill.

Congress is set to begin writing the next re-authorization of the Farm Bill as most programs under the current (2008) Farm Bill are set to expire September 30, 2012.  In fact the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee has announced its first farm bill hearing on April 9 at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan.

Congressional fact-finding hearings will continue occurring over the next several months as lawmakers on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees seek to audit current programs that are working, as well as those that are not.…

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The Farm Bill & Brazil’s Impact

As we mentioned in an earlier article, the cotton case against the U.S. won by Brazil in the World Trade Organization maintains a caveat that allows the Brazilian government to retaliate against the U.S. and includes increasing tariffs on multiple U.S. products and as a last resort, restricting U.S. intellectual property (IP) rights (patents & copyrights).Farm Bill and the Brazilian Connection

Specifically, Brazil initiated and won a dispute over the current marketing assistance loan (MAL), counter cyclical payment (CCP), and export credit guarantee programs. Under a Framework Agreement reached in June 2010, Brazil agreed not to proceed with retaliatory measures; the U.S. agreed to annual payments of $147.3 million to the Brazilian cotton industry and quarterly discussions on potential limits of trade-distorting U.S. farm subsidies.…

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Cansler Clients in D.C. for Congressional Meetings

This month Cansler Consulting facilitated meetings between some of their clients and various Washington power brokers. Over a four-day period, Cansler Consulting and their clients attended a whirlwind series of 18 meetings with congressional members and their staff, five federal agencies including the White House Budget Office, Department of Homeland Security Custom and Border Protection, Environmental Protection Agency and US Forestry Service.…

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House Investigates Economic Impediments & their Impact

House Committees Investigate Economic ImpedimentsU.S. House leaders are directing committees to identify regulations & procedures that impede economic growth. The U.S. House recently adopted House Resolution 72 by an overwhelmingly bi-partisan vote of 391 – 28 that directs the following congressional committees to “inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government, particularly with respect to their effect on jobs and economic growth” that affect……

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Cansler Awarded for Range Management

Tim Cansler of Cansler Consulting recieves SRM AwardCansler Consulting’s Founder, Tim Cansler, was recently honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Society for Range Management (SRM) (www.rangelands.org) during their 2011 Annual Meeting in Billings, Montana.  Recipients are honored for their significant contribution to the profession of range management. Cansler received the distinction for his service as Executive Vice President of SRM in front of an audience of 800 SRM members.  …

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Pace of 2012 Farm Bill Intensifies

Senator Kent Conrad regarding the 2012 Farm Bill Are the programs of the 2012 Farm Bill that impact your organization being moved forward right NOW? This week Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) Chairman of the US Senate Budget Committee kept up the intense pace of his Committee hearing schedule by bringing leading economists to testify on topics including the state of the U.S economy and new ideas for the U.S. tax system.  Conrad and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) are working on the Senate’s version of a Budget Resolution in anticipation and response to the Administration’s budget proposal due on Capitol Hill February 14.  …

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Biotech Congressional Hearing Showcases Need For Reform Pt2

Cansler COnsulting agriculture lobbyistsWhile incoming Chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, Oklahoma’s Frank Lucas, agreed with Vilsack’s tenor on producers being able to choose their individual cropping system, Lucas stated that the Plant Protection Act, which grants USDA authority to regulate biotech crops, is a pure science statute and that decisions should remain based on sound science.   Moreover, Lucas pressed USDA on their recent consideration of the possible coexistence of herbicide-tolerant biotech alfalfa co-existing with non-biotech fields is “a political objective and is outside the scope of (USDA’s) legal authority.”…

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First Major Action of 112th Congress

On the House floor Thursday, fourteen Democrats joined House republicans to adopt a measure, 253-175, that instructs four Committees; the Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Ways and Means, to each report legislation to the House of Representatives proposing changes to the health care law within each committee’s jurisdiction.  The legislation must…

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Biotech Congressional Hearing Showcases Need For Reform Pt1

Lobbyist for biotech Cansler Consulting Washnigton DCThe U.S. House Committee on Agriculture held its first hearing of the new 112th Congress on Thursday and continued its tradition of tackling difficult issues by addressing the complex issues plaguing biotechnology and USDA-APHIS’ role in regulating it.

Biotechnology in agriculture has been rapidly adopted by farmers throughout the world as the industry addresses how to feed a growing world population with limited resources.  In fact the 2009 report, The Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops continues to show that global adoption of agricultural biotechnology continues to increase with a record 14 million farmers in 25 countries around the world planting biotech crops on 330 million acres last year, up from 13.3 million farmers and 308 million acres in 2008.  The U.S. accounted for 158 million acres of the total, or 48% of the world’s biotech crop plantings.…

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Congressman Rogers Chairman House Appropriations

Cansler Consulting congratulates fellow Kentuckian Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5th) on ascending to the Chairmanship of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations Committee has broad responsibility over the Federal budget. As Chairman, Congressman Rogers will lead in the writing of spending legislation for all departments and agencies in the federal government and significantly influence domestic…

The Farm Bill Pt. 3

The Farm BillIn Part 3 of our overview of the Farm Bill, we give our assessment of the impact of the bill…

There are some pundits already saying that nutrition programs will not be considered during reconciliation.  Don’t count on it.  The new reform-minded Republicans elected in the House will most likely reinforce the call for a vote to change the eligibility standards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (food stamps) program.  Recall during the 2008 Farm Bill debate Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) offered a proposal that would not allow the indexing of benefits to inflation.  Neugebauer will likely receive reinforcements on the House Agriculture Committee to be successful this time around.  In addition, it helps Neugebauer’s position that the Congressional Research Service is estimating spending for SNAP “over the five-year period is significantly higher than originally projected in 2008 ($188.9 billion estimated in 2008, compared to the more current estimate of $314.9 billion), reflecting additional spending because of provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), higher food costs, and increasing program participation rates due to the recession.”…

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The Farm Bill Pt. 2

Welcome to Part 2 of  our 2012 Farm Bill overview…

Farm Bills have traditionally been tough to write, in many respects. Other things to consider that will be unique to writing the 2012 Farm Bill are:

  • Other forces will play in this Farm Bill. In an extraordinary move, the Brazilian cotton case resolved in the World Trade Organization in August 2009 maintains a caveat that authorizes the Brazilian government to retaliate against the U.S. by suspending U.S. intellectual property (IP) rights (patents & copyrights)  if it believes the 2012 Farm Bill contains trade distorting policies, targeting mainly the commodity marketing loan and counter-cyclical payment programs. Watch for more non-traditional IP-intensive industries and their high-powered lobbying corps to enter the fray of the 2012 Farm Bill debate.
  • Already dimishing support. Support for farm programs has already begun to diminish as the Administration’s FY 2011 fiscal year budget proposed to reduce farm supports.…
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The Farm Bill Pt. 1

Lobbying regarding Farm BillRe-authorization of the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill is an important piece of legislation that impacts multiple constituencies.  We have dedicated a multi-part series of articles to keep you informed and to provide some professional insights.  The articles will entail some background on the Farm Bill, considerations unique to the Farm Bill and the impact of it.

Will the Farm Bill be re-authorized? 

The Farm Bill will be reauthorized by its expiration date in September 2012, because……

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