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Text of the Agricultural Disaster Assistance and Western States Emergency Unfinished Business Appropriations Act, 2007

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on May 10, 2007 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of May 8, 2007 (Introduced).

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I

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2207

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 8, 2007

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Appropriations, 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

Making supplemental appropriations for agricultural and other emergency assistance for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Agricultural Disaster Assistance and Western States Emergency Unfinished Business Appropriations Act, 2007.

2.

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

TITLE I—AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANCE

TITLE II—EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS FOR WESTERN STATES

3.

Statement of appropriations

The following sums in this Act are appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007.

I

AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANCE

1001.

Crop disaster assistance

(a)

Assistance Available

There are hereby appropriated to the Secretary of Agriculture such sums as are necessary, to remain available until expended, to make emergency financial assistance available to producers on a farm that incurred qualifying quantity or quality losses for the 2005 or 2006 crop, or that part of the 2007 crop year before February 28, 2007, due to damaging weather or any related condition (including losses due to crop diseases, insects, and delayed planting), as determined by the Secretary. However, to be eligible for assistance, the crop subject to the loss must have been planted before February 28, 2007 or, in the case of prevented planting or other total loss, would have been planted before February 28, 2007 in the absence of the damaging weather or any related condition.

(b)

Election of Crop Year

If a producer incurred qualifying crop losses in more than one of the 2005, 2006, or 2007 crop years, the producer shall elect to receive assistance under this section for losses incurred in only one of such crop years. The producer may not receive assistance under this section for more than one crop year.

(c)

Administration

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary of Agriculture shall make assistance available under this section in the same manner as provided under section 815 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 (Public Law 106–387; 114 Stat. 1549A–55), including using the same loss thresholds for quantity and economic losses as were used in administering that section, except that the payment rate shall be 50 percent of the established price, instead of 65 percent.

(2)

Loss thresholds for quality losses

In the case of a payment for quality loss for a crop under subsection (a), the loss thresholds for quality loss for the crop shall be determined under subsection (d).

(d)

Quality Losses

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (3), the amount of a payment made to producers on a farm for a quality loss for a crop under subsection (a) shall be equal to the amount obtained by multiplying—

(A)

65 percent of the payment quantity determined under paragraph (2); by

(B)

50 percent of the payment rate determined under paragraph (3).

(2)

Payment quantity

For the purpose of paragraph (1)(A), the payment quantity for quality losses for a crop of a commodity on a farm shall equal the lesser of—

(A)

the actual production of the crop affected by a quality loss of the commodity on the farm; or

(B)

the quantity of expected production of the crop affected by a quality loss of the commodity on the farm, using the formula used by the Secretary of Agriculture to determine quantity losses for the crop of the commodity under subsection (a).

(3)

Payment rate

For the purpose of paragraph (1)(B) and in accordance with paragraphs (5) and (6), the payment rate for quality losses for a crop of a commodity on a farm shall be equal to the difference between—

(A)

the per unit market value that the units of the crop affected by the quality loss would have had if the crop had not suffered a quality loss; and

(B)

the per unit market value of the units of the crop affected by the quality loss.

(4)

Eligibility

For producers on a farm to be eligible to obtain a payment for a quality loss for a crop under subsection (a), the amount obtained by multiplying the per unit loss determined under paragraph (1) by the number of units affected by the quality loss shall be at least 25 percent of the value that all affected production of the crop would have had if the crop had not suffered a quality loss.

(5)

Marketing contracts

In the case of any production of a commodity that is sold pursuant to one or more marketing contracts (regardless of whether the contract is entered into by the producers on the farm before or after harvest) and for which appropriate documentation exists, the quantity designated in the contracts shall be eligible for quality loss assistance based on the one or more prices specified in the contracts.

(6)

Other production

For any additional production of a commodity for which a marketing contract does not exist or for which production continues to be owned by the producer, quality losses shall be based on the average local market discounts for reduced quality, as determined by the appropriate State committee of the Farm Service Agency.

(7)

Quality adjustments and discounts

The appropriate State committee of the Farm Service Agency shall identify the appropriate quality adjustment and discount factors to be considered in carrying out this subsection, including—

(A)

the average local discounts actually applied to a crop; and

(B)

the discount schedules applied to loans made by the Farm Service Agency or crop insurance coverage under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

(8)

Eligible production

The Secretary of Agriculture shall carry out this subsection in a fair and equitable manner for all eligible production, including the production of fruits and vegetables, other specialty crops, and field crops.

(e)

Payment Limitations

(1)

Limit on amount of assistance

Assistance provided under this section to a producer for losses to a crop, together with the amounts specified in paragraph (2) applicable to the same crop, may not exceed 95 percent of what the value of the crop would have been in the absence of the losses, as estimated by the Secretary of Agriculture.

(2)

Other payments

In applying the limitation in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall include the following:

(A)

Any crop insurance payment made under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) or payment under section 196 of the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333) that the producer receives for losses to the same crop.

(B)

The value of the crop that was not lost (if any), as estimated by the Secretary.

(f)

Eligibility Requirements and Limitations

The producers on a farm shall not be eligible for assistance under this section with respect to losses to an insurable commodity or noninsurable commodity if the producers on the farm—

(1)

in the case of an insurable commodity, did not obtain a policy or plan of insurance for the insurable commodity under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) for the crop incurring the losses;

(2)

in the case of a noninsurable commodity, did not file the required paperwork, and pay the administrative fee by the applicable State filing deadline, for the noninsurable commodity under section 196 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333) for the crop incurring the losses; or

(3)

were not in compliance with highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation provisions.

(g)

Timing

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary of Agriculture shall make payments to producers on a farm for a crop under this section not later than 60 days after the date the producers on the farm submit to the Secretary a completed application for the payments.

(2)

Interest

If the Secretary does not make payments to the producers on a farm by the date described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall pay to the producers on a farm interest on the payments at a rate equal to the current (as of the sign-up deadline established by the Secretary) market yield on outstanding, marketable obligations of the United States with maturities of 30 years.

(h)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Insurable commodity

The term insurable commodity means an agricultural commodity (excluding livestock) for which the producers on a farm are eligible to obtain a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

(2)

Noninsurable commodity

The term noninsurable commodity means a crop for which the producers on a farm are eligible to obtain assistance under section 196 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333).

1002.

Livestock assistance

(a)

Livestock Compensation Program

(1)

Availability of assistance

There are hereby appropriated to the Secretary of Agriculture such sums as are necessary, to remain available until expended, to carry out the livestock compensation program established under subpart B of part 1416 of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, as announced by the Secretary on February 12, 2007 (72 Fed. Reg. 6443), to provide compensation for livestock losses between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007, due to a disaster, as determined by the Secretary (including losses due to blizzards that started in 2006 and continued into January 2007). However, the payment rate for compensation under this subsection shall be 70 percent of the payment rate otherwise applicable under such program. In addition, section 1416.102(b)(2)(ii) of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (72 Fed. Reg. 6444) shall not apply.

(2)

Eligible applicants

In carrying out the program described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall provide assistance to any applicant that—

(A)

conducts a livestock operation that is located in a disaster county with eligible livestock specified in paragraph (1) of section 1416.102(a) of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (72 Fed. Reg. 6444), an animal described in section 10806(a)(1) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (21 U.S.C. 321d(a)(1)), or other animals designated by the Secretary as livestock for purposes of this subsection; and

(B)

meets the requirements of paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 1416.102(a) of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, and all other eligibility requirements established by the Secretary for the program.

(3)

Election of losses

(A)

If a producer incurred eligible livestock losses in more than one of the 2005, 2006, or 2007 calendar years, the producer shall elect to receive payments under this subsection for losses incurred in only one of such calendar years, and such losses must have been incurred in a county declared or designated as a disaster county in that same calendar year.

(B)

Producers may elect to receive compensation for losses in the calendar year 2007 grazing season that are attributable to wildfires occurring during the applicable period, as determined by the Secretary.

(4)

Mitigation

In determining the eligibility for or amount of payments for which a producer is eligible under the livestock compensation program, the Secretary shall not penalize a producer that takes actions (recognizing disaster conditions) that reduce the average number of livestock the producer owned for grazing during the production year for which assistance is being provided.

(5)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Disaster county

The term disaster county means—

(i)

a county included in the geographic area covered by a natural disaster declaration; and

(ii)

each county contiguous to a county described in clause (i).

(B)

Natural disaster declaration

The term natural disaster declaration means—

(i)

a natural disaster declared by the Secretary between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007, under section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1961(a));

(ii)

a major disaster or emergency designated by the President between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007, under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.); or

(iii)

a determination of a Farm Service Agency Administrator’s Physical Loss Notice if such notice applies to a county included under (ii).

(b)

Livestock Indemnity Payments

(1)

Availability of assistance

There are hereby appropriated to the Secretary of Agriculture such sums as are necessary, to remain available until expended, to make livestock indemnity payments to producers on farms that have incurred livestock losses between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007, due to a disaster, as determined by the Secretary (including losses due to blizzards that started in 2006 and continued into January 2007) in a disaster county. To be eligible for assistance, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements established by the Secretary for the program.

(2)

Election of losses

If a producer incurred eligible livestock losses in more than one of the 2005, 2006, or 2007 calendar years, the producer shall elect to receive payments under this subsection for losses incurred in only one of such calendar years. The producer may not receive payments under this subsection for more than one calendar year.

(3)

Payment rates

Indemnity payments to a producer on a farm under paragraph (1) shall be made at a rate of not less than 30 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock on the day before the date of death of the livestock, as determined by the Secretary.

(4)

Livestock defined

In this subsection, the term livestock means an animal that—

(A)

is specified in clause (i) of section 1416.203(a)(2) of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (72 Fed. Reg. 6445), or is designated by the Secretary as livestock for purposes of this subsection; and

(B)

meets the requirements of clauses (iii) and (iv) of such section.

(5)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Disaster county

The term disaster county means—

(i)

a county included in the geographic area covered by a natural disaster declaration; and

(ii)

each county contiguous to a county described in clause (i).

(B)

Natural disaster declaration

The term natural disaster declaration means—

(i)

a natural disaster declared by the Secretary between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007 under section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1961(a));

(ii)

a major disaster or emergency designated by the President between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007 under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.); or

(iii)

a determination of a Farm Service Agency Administrator’s Physical Loss Notice if such notice applies to a county included under (ii).

1003.

Emergency Conservation Program

There is hereby appropriated to the Secretary of Agriculture $20,000,000, to remain available until expended, to provide assistance under the Emergency Conservation Program under title IV of the Agriculture Credit Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.) for the cleanup and restoration of farm and agricultural production lands.

1004.

Payment limitations

(a)

Reduction in Payments to Reflect Payments for Same or Similar Losses

The amount of any payment for which a producer is eligible under sections 5101 and 5102 shall be reduced by any amount received by the producer for the same loss or any similar loss under—

(1)

the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (Public Law 109–148; 119 Stat. 2680);

(2)

an agricultural disaster assistance provision contained in the announcement of the Secretary on January 26, 2006, or August 29, 2006; or

(3)

the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 (Public Law 109–234; 120 Stat. 418).

(b)

Adjusted Gross Income Limitation

Section 1001D of the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1308–3a) shall apply with respect to assistance provided under sections 5101, 5102, and 5103.

1005.

Administration

(a)

Regulations

The Secretary of Agriculture may promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement sections 5101 and 5102.

(b)

Procedure

The promulgation of the implementing regulations and the administration of sections 5101 and 5102 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).

(c)

Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking

In carrying out this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall use the authority provided under section 808 of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

Use of Commodity Credit Corporation; Limitation

In implementing sections 5101 and 5102, the Secretary of Agriculture may use the facilities, services, and authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation. The Corporation shall not make any expenditures to carry out sections 5101 and 5102 unless funds have been specifically appropriated for such purpose.

1006.

Milk income loss contract program

Section 1502(c)(3) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7982(c)(3)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by adding and at the end;

(2)

in subparagraph (B), by striking August and all that follows through the end and inserting September 30, 2007, 34 percent.; and

(3)

by striking subparagraph (C).

1007.

Dairy assistance

There is hereby appropriated $20,000,000 to make payments to dairy producers for dairy production losses in disaster counties, as defined in section 1002 of this title, to remain available until expended.

1008.

Noninsured crop assistance program

For states in which there is a shortage of claims adjustors, as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary shall permit the use of one claims adjustor certified by the Secretary in carrying out 7 CFR 1437.401.

1009.

Emergency grants to assist low-income migrant and seasonal farmworkers

There is hereby appropriated $21,000,000 to carry out section 2281 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 5177a), to remain available until expended.

1010.

Conservation security program

Section 20115 of Public Law 110–5 is amended by striking section 726 and inserting in lieu thereof section 726; section 741.

1011.

Administrative expenses

There is hereby appropriated $30,000,000 for the Farm Service Agency, Salaries and Expenses, to remain available until September 30, 2008.

1012.

Contract waiver

In carrying out crop disaster and livestock assistance in this title, the Secretary shall require forage producers to have participated in a crop insurance pilot program or the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program during the crop year for which compensation is received.

1013.

Emergency designation

Amounts in this title are designated as emergency requirements pursuant to section 402 of H. Con. Res. 95 (109th Congress), and pursuant to section 501 of H. Con. Res. 376 (109th Congress) as made applicable to the House of Representatives by section 511(a)(4) of H. Res. 6 (110th Congress).

II

EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS FOR WESTERN STATES

1

FISHERIES DISASTER ASSISTANCE

Department of commerce

National oceanic and atmospheric administration

Operations, research, and facilities

For an additional amount for Operations, Research, and Facilities, $60,400,000, to remain available until September 30, 2008: Provided, That the National Marine Fisheries Service shall cause such amounts to be distributed among eligible recipients of assistance for the commercial fishery failure designated under section 312(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1861a(a)) and declared by the Secretary of Commerce on August 10, 2006.

2

WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING AND RURAL SCHOOLS

Department of the interior

Bureau of land management

Wildland fire management

(Including transfer of funds)

For an additional amount for Wildland Fire Management, $100,000,000, to remain available until expended, for urgent wildland fire suppression activities: Provided, That such funds shall only become available if funds previously provided for wildland fire suppression will be exhausted imminently and the Secretary of the Interior notifies the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations in writing of the need for these additional funds: Provided further, That such funds are also available for repayment to other appropriations accounts from which funds were transferred for wildfire suppression.

Department of agriculture

Forest service

Wildland fire management

(Including transfer of funds)

For an additional amount for Wildland Fire Management, $400,000,000, to remain available until expended, for urgent wildland fire suppression activities: Provided, That such funds shall only become available if funds provided previously for wildland fire suppression will be exhausted imminently and the Secretary of Agriculture notifies the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations in writing of the need for these additional funds: Provided further, That such funds are also available for repayment to other appropriation accounts from which funds were transferred for wildfire suppression.

General provision, this chapter

2201.

Secure rural schools

(a)

For fiscal year 2007, payments shall be made from any revenues, fees, penalties, or miscellaneous receipts described in sections 102(b)(3) and 103(b)(2) of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (Public Law 106–393; 16 U.S.C. 500 note), not to exceed $100,000,000, and the payments shall be made, to the maximum extent practicable, in the same amounts, for the same purposes, and in the same manner as were made to States and counties in 2006 under that Act.

(b)

There is appropriated $425,000,000, to remain available until December 31, 2007, to be used to cover any shortfall for payments made under this section from funds not otherwise appropriated.

(c)

Titles II and III of Public Law 106–393 are amended, effective September 30, 2006, by striking 2006 and 2007 each place they appear and inserting 2007 and 2008, respectively.

3

GENERAL PROVISION, THIS TITLE

2301.

Emergency designation

Amounts in this title are designated as emergency requirements pursuant to section 402 of H. Con. Res. 95 (109th Congress), and pursuant to section 501 of H. Con. Res. 376 (109th Congress) as made applicable to the House of Representatives by section 511(a)(4) of H. Res. 6 (110th Congress).