Congressional Farm Policy News For June 20-24, 2011

CONGRESSIONAL FARM POLICY NEWS From The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Week of June 20-24, 2011 Coalitions Send Letters to President, Congressional Leadership Urging Support for Farm, Food, Conservation Programs: After another series of meetings between Vice President Biden and six congressional leaders attempting to negotiate a deal to raise the federal debt limit while reducing the deficit, the week ended with some dramatic developments.  First House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) walked away from the process, followed by Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ).  Those moves have now pushed the deal making up a notch to President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Read more... Senate Agriculture Committee Explores Program Duplication and Efficiency: On Thursday, June 23, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing with heads of four USDA mission areas to talk about possibilities for streamlining USDA programs, rooting out inefficiencies, and measuring performance.   The hearing also touched on ongoing efforts to crack down on fraud and abuse. Read more... 400 Organizations Send Letter to Congress to Protect Conservation Programs: On Tuesday, June 21 the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, The Nature Conservancy and 400 other organizations from across the United States sent a letter to Vice President Biden's"Gang of Six”. Congressional leaders negotiating a budget deal, as well as Congressional Appropriations leaders, urging them to preserve funding for Federal conservation programs. Read more... Senate Agriculture Committee Passes House Pesticide Bill: On Tuesday, June 21, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted favorably on the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (H.R. 872).  The bill will now go to the full Senate for a floor vote. NSAC last reported on this bill in a blog post on April 1, 2011, when the bill passed on the floor of the House of Representatives by a vote of 292 to 130. Read more... Senator Feinstein Sponsors Bill to Restrict Antibiotic Use in Livestock Industry: On Friday June 17, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), S. 1211, which aims to reduce the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry. Read more...

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