IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 14, 2013
Mrs. McCaskill(for herself andMr. Flake) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to theCommittee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
To terminate agricultural direct payments beginning with the 2013 crop year.
Findings and sense of Congress
on September 30, 2012, the final day of the 2012 fiscal year, the total public debt outstanding equaled more than $16,000,000,000,000;
theCongressional Budget Officeprojects that under law in effect as of the date of enactment of this Act, the budget deficit for fiscal year 2013 will be $845,000,000,000;
the most recent projection from theDepartment of Agriculture, updated in February 2013, forecast—
net farm income to be $112,000,000,000 in 2012, the second-highest total on record; and
farm asset values, reflecting expectations of long-term profitability, to rise to a record $2,536,000,000,000;
direct payments to agricultural producers—
cost the Federal Government nearly $5,000,000,000 annually;
are fixed payments with no connection to market conditions or the actual losses of the producers; and
are not reduced or adjusted in any way in response to high commodity prices or high farm incomes;
direct payments that are set based on historical acreage and yield are payable even to people who do not farm and to agricultural producers who do not grow the covered commodity for which the direct payments are made;
direct payments are paid to producers on less than 22 percent of all farms in the United States and only for a select number of commodities;
among producers on farms that receive direct payments, the payments are concentrated among producers on the largest farm operations, which are those least likely to need support;
more than 51 percent of payments flow to just 10 percent of recipients; and
more than 73 percent of payments flow to just 25 percent of recipients;
direct payments were—
intended to be temporary, transitional payments to assist agricultural producers following the elimination of target price deficiency payments; but
never completed and direct payments were reauthorized in 2002 and 2008;
direct payments were eliminated by—
S. 3240 (112th Congress), theAgriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, which passed the Senate on June 21, 2012; and
H.R. 6083 (112th Congress), theFederal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012, which was reported by theCommittee on Agriculture of the House of Representativeson September 13, 2012.
Sense of Congress
It is the sense ofCongressthat direct payments—
are unnecessary and unaffordable; and
should be immediately repealed.
Termination of agricultural direct payments
Application of amendments
Notwithstanding section 701 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012(Public Law 112–240;126 Stat. 2362), the amendments made by this section shall apply beginning with the 2013 crop year.