[COMPLETE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act of 1981

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[COMPLETE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act of 1981

Post by Gesar » 20:22:46 Saturday, 14 February, 2015

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House Majority Whip Geoffrey Wise, P-Iowa
Representatives of the Mountain States, I don't need to remind you how important the farmer has been to the history of our great nation. When the Treaty of St. Paul came into effect, the American farmer became the lifeblood of our economy. And yet, now more then ever, the men and women who work the fields are threatened. On all sides, we're surrounded by competitors whose only form of communication is the demand for more and more, while internally, the policies of previous administrations have whipped the average farmer into a frenzy of hedgerow to hedgerow planting. All the while, big business has been lobbying insistently for a rollback of the safety net.

The battle for the future of American agriculture is at hand, though it still remains a silent war. And so I ask you, my colleagues, to help put a stop to this wholesale pillaging. By supporting this omnibus, we'll give the people of Mountain States an agricultural policy that they can finally be proud of.
The bill legislates the following:
  • Amending current fair practice laws in regards to producer-processor negotiations to provide a list of mutual obligations for good faith bargaining, and granting the Grain, Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration new authority over an "early warning" system to negotiate with those found not in compliance with federal law.
  • Instituting a series of new conservation and environmental guidelines enforced by the Department of Agriculture, following a draft of said guidelines by the House Committee on Agriculture.
  • Providing for tax breaks and one credit of increased subsidies to all agriculture landowners who follow the new conservation guidelines, and for a one-time expenditure of three credits on those without the income to adapt to the new standards.
  • Establishing a Rural Development Administration under purview of the MSDA, tasked with the development and betterment of the quality of life in rural areas, with one credit in the federal budget now allocated to said administration.
  • Allocates two credits of the federal budget to the creation, maintenance, and activity of a Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, whose administration will include the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, as well as state and county-level crop programs.
  • Implements new insurance regulations for the Risk Management Agency, with guidelines based on income, nature of relief, and RMA advisory policy to ailing farmers.
Anthony Calhoun Nordquist wrote:The bill is hereby assigned to the House Appropriations Committee while discussion on possible amendments continues.
Last edited by Gesar on 16:05:31 Saturday, 14 March, 2015, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Snacks » 23:12:28 Saturday, 14 February, 2015

Representative Boyd Gill, TX wrote: What I see is a sound proposal, one that not only would cultivate the future of Mountain States agriculture but provides for navigation of the present realities of agribusiness in this nation.

Given recent visible reminders of the wide and costly impact of disasters, manmade and otherwise, would my esteemed friend from Iowa be willing to elaborate on any currently proposed effects on regulation of what responsibilities and restrictions fall on private insurance companies or the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation in cases where a state of emergency is declared?

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Gesar » 23:33:42 Saturday, 14 February, 2015

Geoffrey Wise wrote:A fair question. Strictly speaking, private insurance companies fall under the regulation of this bill only where federal law, current or proposed, comes into conflict with their practices. In short, and to avoid language that is unnecessarily technical, the effect of the CARA will leave most private practices untouched, and instead focus on providing a framework for those that cannot otherwise receive assistance. The proposed Risk Management Agency will serve, in regards to the aforementioned companies, as a framework similar to the FDA or OSHA, that is, as a regulatory agency. Private business will not be impeded, but in fact encouraged and strengthened through the provided regulations and the confidence it will create.

When it comes to recent or future disasters, of course, this is where the potential of the Risk Management Agency will truly shine. Whether as a supplement to private insurance or as a fail-safe for family farms, we will have a federal agency in place that guarantees the livelihood of those unfortunate enough to suffer from say, a natural disaster, a particularly dry season, or market turbulence. Not only that, but to directly answer your question, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation will now have a three-tiered system on which to base relief to agribusiness. The system, of which you will all be allowed to examine, will be based on a series of criteria, including a scaling for income, market prices for the compensated loss of crops, and the circumstances of the disaster. The RMA itself will be tasked with processing these claims, of course, but will also serve as an advisory board to ensure that, despite Mother Nature's ups and downs, the American farmer will have adequate resources and information to prevent the worst.

At this time, I would like to note that despite the two credits allocated to the operating costs of the RMA, those involved in drafting the bill have noted that, as a state corporation, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation will be at least partially self-sustaining, with the possibility of turning a profit in a good year.

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by OYID » 03:16:31 Sunday, 15 February, 2015

Representative Andrea Hernández, TX wrote:
Too long has KC remained absent and silent from the troubles of the countryside. As politicians bicker and cater to large lobbying interests, Big Agro and the corporate oligarchy in general have carried out a systematic campaign of economic annihilation against the MS American small farmer and the farmworker. We applaud these efforts, however starting, and celebrate the bipartisan nature of a bill addressing the concerns of all member parties of the Coalition. Socialists be assured: the passing of this bill is a major first step in our ever-escalating struggle against inequality and injustice everywhere.
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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Flamelord » 22:41:38 Wednesday, 18 February, 2015

Congressman Thomas Higgins, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations wrote: After careful review by this Committee, we find this bill acceptable, and return it to the House for general debate and voting.

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Coin » 12:46:57 Thursday, 19 February, 2015

Representative Marvin Grant, IA wrote:Might I first welcome what one assumes is the beginning of at least some kind of legislative agenda by the present administration, and most significantly from what is for the moment the largest party in Congress. The Progressives contributing more to our democratic processes we can only welcome, whatever our political views on those contributions may be.

Now while I find it interesting that both Socialist and Progressive congressmen present would prefer to see this skip through merrily, I and fellow members of my caucus have several questions I would appreciate a detailed answer to, and that is before reaching the additional financial burden this places on the state in what many might argue is an over-regulated market. I am happy to discuss these at length in private, but my own first query would regard the initial section of the bill regarding fair practice laws and the mutual obligations to be forced onto any negotiation. Precisely what amendments would my fellow Iowa congressman be proposing?
Representative Drew Goodwin, SD wrote:I would also like to raise a question with Representative Wise regarding the initial section of the bill - the early warning system does in itself seem a sensible idea, but I have concerns about our voting for new authority being granted to a government agency without proper questioning of said authority and how far it goes? I and the House may be out of the loop if Representative Higgins is able to enlighten us on unpublished scrutiny of the bill at committee level, but I would like to hear the bill's backers' opinions on this matter.

There are multiple other issues I would raise and concerns over the sheer size of payment increases proposed which are of more fundamental nature, but as we are at the initial stages of this debate I thought it amenable for us to allow the administration's reasons for a very real lack of detail in the bill to be explained by the relevant congressmen.
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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Gesar » 02:27:01 Monday, 23 February, 2015

Robert S Ellis, Louisiana wrote:I, for one, welcome this action on the part of my colleague from Iowa.
14 Progressive Liberal votes IN FAVOR
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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Zar » 03:49:12 Monday, 23 February, 2015

Representative Freeman, TX wrote:I have a few questions to ask before voting on this bill. As you should probably know, the MSA is running a deficit of 60 credits per year. This bill calls for increased spending in the agricultural sector, without giving any way to pay for these increased costs. In addition, Representative Wises' comments have made it seem like MSA agriculture is in peril, when there is nothing that suggests that this is the case. What is the motivation for this bill if there has been no need for it?

I also believe that there are better alternatives for the American people in regards to helping agriculture, such as international negotiations for an open and free agricultural market, allowing our farmers to specialize in crops that have a comparable advantage, increasing our nation's wealth.
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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by OYID » 03:52:13 Tuesday, 24 February, 2015

10 Socialist Votes IN FAVOR
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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Rising Phoenix » 06:18:35 Tuesday, 24 February, 2015

Represetative Orval Scott of the Progressive Conservatives wrote:This proposal is on the right direction, but at the same my fellow delegates and I feel that some of the measures proposed could be improved upon. For example:
Providing for tax breaks and one credit of increased subsidies to all agriculture landowners who follow the new conservation guidelines, and for a one-time expenditure of three credits on those without the income to adapt to the new standards.
We believe that the one-time expenditure is justified in that the smaller farms may not be able to make the transition on their own, but the subsidy increase will just convolute an otherwise streamlined plan without providing any major long-term impact. My suggestion would be to replace this with a tax break of the same worth, granting better results with less bureacracy.
Establishing a Rural Development Administration under purview of the MSDA, tasked with the development and betterment of the quality of life in rural areas, with one credit in the federal budget now allocated to said administration.
Allocates two credits of the federal budget to the creation, maintenance, and activity of a Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, whose administration will include the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, as well as state and county-level crop programs.
While we deem these measures adequate, we believe that the DARMA should encourage the study of local environmental conditions and assist farmers in taking pre-empty measures. Such an effort would help both the private sector and the national treasury in the long run.

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Snacks » 06:50:56 Tuesday, 24 February, 2015

11 Progressive Hard Left votes IN FAVOR of Rep. Wise's bill.

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Gesar » 19:53:00 Thursday, 12 March, 2015

House Majority Leader Geoffrey Wise, P-IA wrote:With all due respect to the Progressive Conservative Caucus, I see no need to include the proposed amendments. By removing the proposed subsidies, you are, in effect, giving way to the hedgerow-to-hedgerow planting advocated by the Stassen and Cargo administration by maintaining the same inadequate price floor, the same policies that continue to impact the farmers of the these Mountain States. I cannot, in good conscience, support an amendment that removes the very spirit CARA was inspired by.

Neither do I believe your claims that the subsidies will lack long-term results. One of the basic principles of economics -a principle your caucus claims to support, Mr. Scott- involves the knowledge that a central, active monetary policy must, on occasion, be used to stabilize the private sector. As a former employee of the Grain Exchange, my friend, I'm positive you're well aware of what I'm speaking of- and why the government must work for the people, rather than enacting yet another Stassen-esque attempt at a slash-and-burn.

Lastly, I'd like to reassure you that your fears of some inefficient bureaucracy gumming up the works are at best, unfounded and inaccurate. The Department of Agriculture is more than equipped to implement the proposed agencies and policies, as it's been doing since the New Deal itself.

Once again, I reiterate my position.
14 Progressive Liberal votes IN FAVOR of Rep. Wise's bill, and AGAINST the proposed amendments.

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Smyg » 20:01:26 Thursday, 12 March, 2015

Representative Peter Henderson (Minnesota, R-L) wrote:While normally against increased subsidies, these can only be seen as "green payments" as I believe the newly invented term is, rather than anything else. A significant step forward for the environment in this fine nation, I say.
4 Republican Liberal votes IN FAVOR of Rep. Wise's bill, and AGAINST the proposed amendment.

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Rising Phoenix » 21:28:58 Thursday, 12 March, 2015

William of Missouri, P-C wrote:Let me bring another matter everyone else seems to be ignoring, then: The national debt. The reason why tax breaks were proposed by me was because it provides the same result: Allowing the farmers to pocket more money while allowing us to "pocket" more money ourselves. Sooner or later we will have to deal with this issue and I believe dealing it little-by-little while creating more sustainable programs will help both our government and our private sector on the long term.

Of course, I do support a central monetary policy. But our private sector is strong at the moment. What it needs is growth and space for which a one-time investment for infraestructural upgrade seems perfect, however sustained subsidies for things farmers should be capable of supplying themselves run the risk of creating farms that would be unsustainable otherwise. I am not advocating for cuts to subsidies, rather, I am against increasing existing ones in favour of reducing taxes on producers. A "helping hand" is a great thing for enterpreneurs, but we should be wary of supporting freeloaders.

Costs and gains should be considered, Mr Wise. I believe subsidies are already at the right amount and sufficiently service our agricultural sector. If you would rather help the private sector, I urge you to consider more adequate long-term solutions - for example, improvements to our energy sector which will benefit our entire nation and also require use of our limited funds.

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Re: [HOUSE] Comprehensive Agriculture Reform Act

Post by Snacks » 21:35:30 Thursday, 12 March, 2015

Representative Boyd Gill, TX wrote: I understand my esteemed friend Representative Scott's concerns about the practical concerns of putting these reforms into effect, but I think he should rest assured that he will see, in time, how these new policies will not only benefit the MSAmerican farmer, but allow the agribusiness industry as a whole to become stronger and more competitive. As my colleagues know, this is a policy area close to my heart, and having seen and felt firsthand the disaster that comes when deficiencies in the market are not met with a robust solution, I can say without doubt that this bill as written is the robust solution that the men and women who feed this nation deserve from their government.
11 Progressive Hard Left votes IN FAVOR of Rep. Wise's bill, and AGAINST the proposed amendment.

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