Senate Farm Bill Cloture Motion to be Voted on Today
Today, June 6, the U.S. Senate will vote on a cloture motion to stop new amendments from making their way into the Senate version of the Farm Bill. Executive Vice President of the Montana Grain Growers Association spokeswoman Lola Raska hopes the farm bill makes it through the Senate with crop insurance intact.
"The Senate bill is the only bill that offers a farm level revenue program in the commodity title," Raska said. "Both bills, as they're written now, essentially keep crop insurance whole, which is a high priority. As we've seen on the senate floor, and, as we expect to see on the floor of the house, there have been numerous amendments put forth to cut crop insurance in some way or another. We see a real danger in that."
Another concern for grain growers in Montana is a farm level revenue program. Right now, the House revenue program is based on a county wide structure, while the Senate version retains a farm level program.
"Senator Baucus has been very influential in making sure that we get a farm level revenue program in the Senate bill," Raska said. "That's critical for Montana He's been able to convince many of his colleagues that farm level is critical for wheat. In state's like Montana that have very large counties you can have completely different growing economic conditions from one side of a county to another. In the house side the only program offered is county level, and that just doesn't work for us."
Raska says that, at the moment, the Senate farm bill is very similar to the one Senator Baucus helped write nearly two years ago.