As it turns out, the House did begin debate on the Farm Bill this evening. Blog for Rural
The manager’s amendment (summary in Part A here) passed on a voice vote: it contains a whole slew of things probably worth investigating on their own, including mandatory funding for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, creation of incentives for more sustainable crop rotation techniques in peanut farming, and funding to assist claimants charging racial discrimination by the USDA… among many other items. Regarding country-of-origin labelling, this summary by the Rules Committee says, “Cool: Provides that for perishable agricultural commodities and peanuts, such products may only be labeled as having a country of origin if the commodity is exclusively produced in the .” It’d be nice to know the rest of that sentence.
The other 31 amendments can be found in Part B at the same link.
A couple that interest me:
8. Hastings (FL):
The amendment adds a new section for "Pollinator Protection" that authorizes research funding to reduce North American pollinator decline and understand Colony Collapse Disorder. This amendment also adjusts USDA conservation programs to put a greater emphasis on increasing habitat and establishing cropping and integrated pest management practices to protect native and managed pollinators. (10 minutes)
10. Welch (VT):
The amendment encourages schools to submit plans for implementation to the Secretary that include locally grown foods, in areas where geographically available. (10 minutes)
15. Manzullo (IL):
The amendment exempts the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) from the $60,000 and $125,000 payment limitations, resetting it to the $450,000 limitation that is in the current law. (This is one I’d as soon not pass.)
Tomorrow, probably, the rest of this will get done—with 10 minutes debate, tops, per amendment, there clearly seems to be some premium on speed.[Update]: 13 amendments were passed during this first evening of debate as an en bloc amendment. They included #8 and #10 mentioned above.