Washington Recap

House Floor:

H.R. 5569-To extend the authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program- H.R. 5569 would provide a temporary extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through September 30, 2010.  The reauthorization would be retroactive to May 31, 2010, and the bill would reduce the program’s borrowing authority by $50 million.

House Committees:

House Agriculture Committee:

On Thursday June 24, the Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing to review U.S. farm safety net programs in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill. The hearing was the second held by the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee reviewing the existing commodity programs and looking ahead to the next Farm Bill.  Mr. Philip Nelson, President, Illinois Farm Bureau, testified on behalf of American Farm Bureau Federation.

On Wednesday June 23, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry, held a hearing to review the federal Food Distribution Program for Indian Reservations (FDPIR).  The FDPIR provides food to low-income households, including the elderly, on Indian reservations, and to Native American families residing in designated areas near reservations and in the state of Oklahoma.

House Transportation and Infrastructure:

The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a hearing on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, to review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) new system to oversee motor carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers, known as the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010).  FMCSA is a modal agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) charged with overseeing the safety of the operations of approximately 700,000 truck and bus companies registered with the agency.

Senate Floor:

The Senate continued consideration of H.R.4213.  This bill extends for one year (through 2010) the $1.00 per gallon production tax credit for biodiesel and the small agri-biodiesel producer credit of $0.10 per gallon. It would also extend for one year (through 2010) the $1.00 per gallon production tax credit for diesel fuel created from biomass.

Senate Committees:

On June 24th the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing to review the safety of our nation’s pipelines.

Supreme Court:

On June 21, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in the Monsanto Co. vs. Geertson Seed Farms.  The ruling struck down the nation-wide injunction on the planting of RoundUp Ready Alfalfa that was put in place by the lower court. The opinion, written by Justice Alito, stated that the ruling of the lower court was unnecessary and too broad.  Additionally, the opinion stated that a “permanent injunction is not now needed to guard against any present or imminent risk of likely irreparable harm.”

While the planting and production of RoundUp Ready Alfalfa is still banned pending completion of the environmental impact statement (EIS), the Supreme Court ruling was a positive step toward full commercialization of the product.

Please contact Brent Boydston at bboydston@colofb.com with any questions or for more information regarding the Washington Recap.


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