Immigration Bill Defeated
The bipartisan, comprehensive plan to overhaul the country’s immigration laws was defeated in the Senate on June 28 when 53 senators voted against moving the debate to a final vote. Supporters needed 60 votes to cut off debate and forge ahead, but only 46 senators, including Senator Klobuchar, voted in favor.
This marked the second time in June that the plan was pulled from the Senate floor, and it appears unlikely the legislation will surface again during the 110th Congress.
The bill contained an overhaul of the 50-year-old H-2A agricultural worker program and a tough earned legalization program for experienced farm workers. It was strongly favored by American agriculture and seen by most in and beyond agriculture as the best way to accomplish the intertwined goals of border security, a credible employment eligibility verification program and access to a legal and stable workforce.
President Bush Loses TPA
The July 1 deadline for Congress to renew President Bush’s trade promotion authority (TPA) passed over the weekend without fanfare. Congress’ refusal to renew President Bush’s trade promotion authority could derail future U.S. efforts to increase trade. According to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, “More than 100 bilateral trade negotiations are currently under way among our trading partners. It is important that [the U.S.] not sit on the sidelines as other countries lock in new preferential trading arrangements with our competitors.”
Without presidential TPA, any trade deals put together by the administration are subject to changes
by Congress. On Thursday, the President signed the Panama TPA and on Saturday, he signed the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement just before TPA expired. Despite his approval, the Korean agreement is not popular with Congress, particularly in the House, where leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have said they will not support it as written.
Since 1975, only two presidents have lost TPA. Bill Clinton and Bush.
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, H.R. 503/S. 311, continues to attract cosponsors. There are 173 cosponsors in the House, including Congressmen Kline and Ramstad and Congresswoman McCollum and 29 in the Senate.
Your action is needed! Many members of Congress have commented that they are not hearing enough from those opposing this legislation. Livestock producers are encouraged to contact their representative and senators today! Contact your representative and senators through MFBF’s FBACT site at www.fbmn.org. Click on Legislative & Regulatory, then on FBACT. You do not have to be a Farm Bureau member to use this website. If you need assistance, contact Jeremy at email@example.com.
Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Floyd Gaibler recently announced that more than 14,000 farmers and landowners may be eligible to re-enroll their land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) continuous sign-up if their contracts expire on Sept. 30, 2007.
Of the 300,000 acres eligible to leave the program, about 71,800 acres are in major corn producing states, including Minnesota.
Farmers and ranchers with general sign-up CRP contracts that expire Sept. 30, 2007, and that did not take advantage of the last year’s re- enrollment or extension offer also may be eligible for the continuous sign-up. Farm Service Agency officials at USDA Service Centers began notifying general sign-up CRP contract holders last month of this possibility.
In addition, producers with land eligible for the continuous sign-up may, in some cases, be eligible for the special incentives of CRP’s Farmable Wetlands Program.
For more information about CRP, visit your local USDA Service Center or click here.
One-third of Cattle, Hog Operations Use Co-Products
More than one-third of U.S. cattle and hog operations feed ethanol co- products to livestock, according to a new survey of 9,000 Midwest farmers conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), in 2006 ethanol co-products were fed to livestock at 38 percent of dairy farms, 36 percent of cattle on feed farms, 13 percent of beef cattle farms and 12 percent of hog farms.