H.R. 4618 (105th): Agriculture Disaster and Market Loss Assistance Act of 1998

105th Congress, 1997–1998. Text as of Sep 24, 1998 (Introduced).

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HR 4618 IH

105th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4618

To provide emergency assistance to American farmers and ranchers for crop and livestock feed losses due to disasters and to respond to loss of world markets for American agricultural commodities.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 24, 1998

Mr. SMITH of Oregon introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committee on the Budget, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To provide emergency assistance to American farmers and ranchers for crop and livestock feed losses due to disasters and to respond to loss of world markets for American agricultural commodities.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Agriculture Disaster and Market Loss Assistance Act of 1998’.

    (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

TITLE I--EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR CROP AND LIVESTOCK FEED LOSSES DUE TO DISASTERS

      Sec. 101. General provisions.

      Sec. 102. Crop loss assistance.

      Sec. 103. Emergency livestock feed assistance.

TITLE II--MARKET LOSS ASSISTANCE

      Sec. 201. Market loss assistance.

TITLE III--ADMINISTRATION

      Sec. 301. Commodity Credit Corporation.

      Sec. 302. Emergency requirement.

      Sec. 303. Regulations.

TITLE I--EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR CROP AND LIVESTOCK FEED LOSSES DUE TO DISASTERS

SEC. 101. GENERAL PROVISIONS.

    (a) FAIR AND EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION- Assistance made available under this title shall be distributed in a fair and equitable manner to producers who have incurred crop and livestock feed losses in all affected geographic regions of the United States.

    (b) PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION- In carrying out this title, the Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this Act as the ‘Secretary’) may determine--

      (1) 1 or more loss thresholds producers on a farm must incur with respect to a crop to be eligible for assistance;

      (2) the payment rate for crop and livestock feed losses incurred; and

      (3) eligibility and payment limitation criteria (as defined by the Secretary) for persons to receive assistance under this title, which, in the case of assistance received under any section of this title, shall be in addition to--

        (A) assistance made available under any other section of this title and title II;

        (B) payments or loans received by a person under the Agricultural Market Transition Act (7 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.);

        (C) payments received by a person for the 1998 crop under the noninsured crop assistance program established under section 196 of that Act (7 U.S.C. 7333);

        (D) crop insurance indemnities provided for the 1998 crop under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.); and

        (E) emergency loans made available for the 1998 crop under subtitle C of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1961 et seq.).

SEC. 102. CROP LOSS ASSISTANCE.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall administer a program under which emergency financial assistance is made available to producers on a farm who have incurred losses associated with crops due to disasters (as determined by the Secretary).

    (b) LOSSES INCURRED FOR 1998 CROP- Subject to section 302, the Secretary shall use not more than $1,500,000,000 to make available assistance to producers on a farm who have incurred losses in the 1998 crop due to disasters.

    (c) MULTIYEAR LOSSES- Subject to section 302, the Secretary shall use not more than $675,000,000 to make available assistance to producers on a farm who have incurred multiyear losses (as defined by the Secretary) in the 1998 and preceding crops of a commodity due to disasters (including, but not limited to, diseases such as scab).

    (d) RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ASSISTANCE- The Secretary shall make assistance available to producers on a farm under either subsection (b) or (c).

    (e) QUALIFYING LOSSES- Assistance under this section may be made for losses associated with crops that are due to, as determined by the Secretary--

      (1) quantity losses;

      (2) quality (including, but not limited to, aflatoxin) losses; or

      (3) severe economic losses due to damaging weather or related condition.

    (f) CROPS COVERED- Assistance under this section shall be applicable to losses for all crops, as determined by the Secretary, due to disasters.

    (g) CROP INSURANCE-

      (1) ADMINISTRATION- In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall not discriminate against or penalize producers on a farm who have purchased crop insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

      (2) ENCOURAGING FUTURE CROP INSURANCE PARTICIPATION- Subject to section 302, the Secretary, acting through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, may use the funds made available under subsections (b) and (c), and only those funds, to provide premium refunds or other assistance to purchasers of crop insurance for their 1998 insured crops, or their preceding (including 1998) insured crops.

      (3) PRODUCERS WHO HAVE NOT PURCHASED CROP INSURANCE FOR 1998 CROP- As a condition of receiving assistance under this section, producers on a farm who have not purchased crop insurance for the 1998 crop under that Act shall agree by contract to purchase crop insurance for the subsequent 2 crops produced by the producers.

      (4) LIQUIDATED DAMAGES-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The contract under paragraph (3) shall provide for liquidated damages to be paid by the producers due to the failure of the producers to purchase crop insurance as provided in paragraph (3).

        (B) NOTICE OF DAMAGES- The amount of the liquidated damages shall be established by the Secretary and specified in the contract agreed to by the producers.

      (5) FUNDING FOR CROP INSURANCE PURCHASE REQUIREMENT- Subject to section 302, such sums as may be necessary, to remain available until expended, shall be available to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to cover costs incurred by the Corporation as a result of the crop insurance purchase requirement in paragraph (3). Funds made available under subsections (b) and (c) may not be used to cover such costs.

SEC. 103. EMERGENCY LIVESTOCK FEED ASSISTANCE.

    Subject to section 302, the Secretary shall use not more than $175,000,000 to make available livestock feed assistance to livestock producers affected by disasters during calendar year 1998.

TITLE II--MARKET LOSS ASSISTANCE

SEC. 201. MARKET LOSS ASSISTANCE.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Subject to section 302, the Secretary shall use $1,650,000,000 for assistance to owners and producers on a farm who are eligible for final payments for fiscal year 1998 under a production flexibility contract for the farm under the Agricultural Market Transition Act (7 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.) to partially compensate the owners and producers for the loss of markets for the 1998 crop of a commodity.

    (b) AMOUNT- The amount of assistance made available to owners and producers on a farm under this section shall be proportional to the amount of the contract payment received by the owners and producers for fiscal year 1998 under a production flexibility contract for the farm under the Agricultural Market Transition Act.

    (c) TIME FOR PAYMENT- The assistance made available under this section for an eligible owner or producer shall be made as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act.

TITLE III--ADMINISTRATION

SEC. 301. COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION.

    Subject to section 302, the Secretary shall use the funds, facilities, and authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out titles I and II.

SEC. 302. EMERGENCY REQUIREMENT.

    (a) BUDGET REQUEST- The entire amount necessary to carry out titles I and II shall be available only to the extent that the President submits to Congress an official budget request for a specific dollar amount that includes designation of the entire amount of the request as an emergency requirement for the purposes of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 900 et seq.).

    (b) DESIGNATION BY CONGRESS- The entire amount of funds necessary to carry out titles I and II is designated by Congress as an emergency requirement under section 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901(b)(2)(A)).

SEC. 303. REGULATIONS.

    (a) ISSUANCE OF REGULATIONS- As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary and the Commodity Credit Corporation, as appropriate, shall issue such regulations as are necessary to implement titles I and II. The issuance of the regulations shall be made without regard to--

      (1) the notice and comment provisions of section 553 of title 5, United States Code;

      (2) the Statement of Policy of the Secretary of Agriculture effective July 24, 1971 (36 Fed. Reg. 13804) relating to notices of proposed rulemaking and public participation in rulemaking; and

      (3) chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (commonly known as the ‘Paperwork Reduction Act’).

    (b) CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW OF AGENCY RULEMAKING- In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall use the authority provided under section 808 of title 5, United States Code.