THE DAILY WHIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014

For Immediate Release:

January 29, 2014

Contact:

Katie GrantStephanie Young, 202-225-3130

House Meets At: First Vote Predicted: Last Vote Predicted:
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. 11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Conference Report on H.R. 2642 – Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (Rep. Lucas – Agriculture) (One Hour of Debate). The measure extends major federal farm, rural development and agricultural trade programs through FY 2018 while making significant changes to many of them. 

It repeals direct and countercyclical payments to agriculture commodity producers and replaces them with new risk-management programs that allow farmers to either have increased target prices or improved revenue protections to insulate themselves from losses. The agreement repeals several major dairy programs and replaces them with a new taxpayer program to support dairy producers.  Overall, the changes to commodity programs in Title I save taxpayers $14 billion over ten years, a portion of which is used to fund other investments under the agreement, such as an expansion of crop insurance (including a new program for cotton farmers) and investments in fruit and vegetable programs, research and energy programs.

Title II of the bill streamlines major conservation programs, and imposes acreage caps on some of the major programs.  These acreage caps and streamlining efforts produce $4 billion in savings over ten years, according to CBO.

The measure changes the interaction between the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and SNAP programs, requiring a minimum LIHEAP benefit of $20/year to qualify for the Standard Utility Allowance. This change, which would still allow SNAP recipients who incur utility expenses to deduct them, would result in savings of $8.6 billion over ten years.  The agreement also provides additional funds for food banks under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and for pilot programs aimed at improving and developing new approaches to SNAP Employment and Training Programs, for a net savings of $8 billion (about 1% of projected program costs) in nutrition programs.

The Rule, which was adopted yesterday, provides for a closed Rule and one hour of debate.

Background for the Conference Report on H.R. 2642: 
Agriculture Committee Summary (PDF)

Bill Text for Conference Report on H.R. 2642:
PDF Version

 
The Daily Quote

“It’s a tricky situation for the GOP in an election year: They would have to pass a clean debt limit bill or risk default. The vast majority of Democrats will vote against everything except a clean debt ceiling increase, so if Republicans try to tack extraneous policy onto a debt ceiling measure, they’ll have to pass it on their own. At least a dozen Republican aides and lawmakers are highly skeptical they will be able to craft something that will attract the support of 217 GOP lawmakers. In short, Republicans have few options and even less time: The Obama administration says the debt limit must be raised by the end of February... Abandoning a fight over the debt ceiling would be a major shift for Republicans. The creditworthiness of the United States has been at risk several times since Speaker John Boehner took the gavel in 2011. Repeatedly flirting with a debt default has been a political mess for Republicans…”

-    Politico, 1/28/2014