According to Tom’s event archive, here’s what happened on June 11, 2014
- Meeting with Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
- Meeting with Associated General Contractors of America
- Meeting with Associated Builders and Contractors
- Meeting with U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Meeting with Wayne Paving
- Vote on Various Amendments to Agriculture Appropriations
Tom seems to have been busy meeting with special interest groups, yet he found time to vote on numerous amendments to an appropriation bill HR 4800. HR 4800 is much more than “Agriculture Appropriations.” Here is the scope of HR 4800 according to the CRS:
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015
Title I: Agricultural Programs – Appropriates FY2015 funds for the following Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs and services: (1) Office of the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary); (2) Office of the Chief Economist; (3) National Appeals Division; (4) Office of Budget and Program Analysis; (5) Office of the Chief Information Officer; (6) Office of the Chief Financial Officer; (7) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; (8) Office of Civil Rights; (9) agriculture buildings and facilities; (10) hazardous materials management; (11) Office of Inspector General; (12) Office of the General Counsel; (13) Office of Ethics; (14) Office of the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics; (15) Economic Research Service; (16) National Agricultural Statistics Service; (17) Agricultural Research Service; (18) National Institute of Food and Agriculture; (19) Native American Institutions Endowment Fund; (20) extension and integrated activities; (21) Office of the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; (22) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; (23) Agricultural Marketing Service; (24) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration; (25) Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety; (26) Food Safety and Inspection Service; (27) Office of the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services; (28) Farm Service Agency; (29) Risk Management Agency; (30) Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Fund; and (31) Commodity Credit Corporation Fund.
Title II: Conservation Programs – Appropriates funds for the following: (1) Office of the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, and (2) Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Title III: Rural Development Programs – Appropriates funds for the following: (1) Office of the Under Secretary for Rural Development, (2) Rural Housing Service, (3) Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and (4) Rural Utilities Service.
Title IV: Domestic Food Programs – Appropriates funds for the following: (1) Office of the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services; and (2) Food and Nutrition Service.
Title V: Foreign Assistance and Related Programs – Appropriates funds for the following: (1) the Foreign Agricultural Service, (2) Food for Peace Act (P.L. 480) program title I and title II grants, (3) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) export loan credit guarantee program, and (4) the McGovern-Dole international food for education and child nutrition program.
Title VI: Related Agencies and Food and Drug Administration – Appropriates funds for the following: (1) Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and (2) Farm Credit Administration (FCA).
Title VII: General Provisions – Specifies certain uses and limits on or prohibitions against the use of funds appropriated by this Act.
Title VII does indeed specify certain limits and prohibitions; here are examples:
(Sec. 738) Prohibits funds under this Act from being used to exclude or restrict the eligibility of any variety of fresh, whole, or cut vegetables, except for vegetables with added sugars, fats, or oils, from being provided as supplemental foods under the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC). — is this an open door for genetically modified varieties?
(Sec. 739) Directs the Secretary to establish a process by which a state shall grant a compliance waiver for certain USDA regulations regarding nutrition standards in the national school lunch and school breakfast programs for the 2014-2015 school year to any school food authority located in a state that verifies a food service program net loss for a period of at least six months beginning on or after July 1, 2013. — if a state is loosing money on school lunches, it needn’t provide healthy foods?
Several Amendments concerned watersheds:
An amendment, offered by Mr. Broun (R-GA), to zero out the $25 million in funding for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program and to apply the savings to the spending reduction account.
An amendment, offered by Mr. Duncan (R-TN), to reduce funding for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program by $10 million and to apply the savings to the spending reduction account.
Rep. Reed voted against these amendments as one would expect. Congress will continue to work on this bill today, June 12.
© William Hungerford – June 2014