After voting on amendment after amendment the U.S. House was able to approve the appropriations measure for spending through Sept. 30 on a 235 to 189 vote Saturday. Three Republicans joined with Democrats in voting against the bill. Now it's on to the Senate. The Senate has been working on its own version of a continuing resolution. They are not expected to use the House bill as their starting point. The President has already indicated he would veto the House version of the CR if it reaches his desk.
Of the dozens of amendments voted on several were of importance to sectors of agriculture. Amendment number 466, proposed by Texas Representative Ted Poe, was approved by a vote of 249 to 177. The amendment would prohibit funds from being used by the Environmental Protection Agency to implement and enforce any requirements or issue permits for stationary source emissions of six pollutants that cause smog and global warming.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association noted the passage of three amendments that would block the EPA's funding to regulate dust and implement its Total Maximum Daily Load rule for the Chesapeake Bay and the nutrient criteria rule for Florida. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says the House sent a very clear signal that enough is enough. He says burdensome, job stifling regulations are never a good thing but when a struggling economy is on the verge of a rebound government overreach is definitely not a way to stimulate job growth and economic recovery. Woodall commended Republicans Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Tom Rooney of Florida for leading the charge against overregulation and in support of economic growth in rural America and throughout the country.
Some of the amendments approved were not welcomed by Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association. Responding to amendments that would bar funding for the EPA to implement its decision on E15 and prohibit USDA and EPA funds from partnering with private companies to install blender pumps RFA and Growth Energy said politics trumped science. They said the House decided to give oil companies a virtual monopoly over the fueling system rather than give consumers choice. According to Growth Energy the amendments offered by Republicans John Sullivan of Oklahoma and Jeff Flake of Arizona would continue America's addiction to foreign oil and harm the economy.
One of the amendments that failed was offered by Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind. It would have prevented payments from the Commodity Conservation Corporation to the Brazilian Cotton Institute. The cessation of CCC payments would have violated a condition of an agreement with Brazil and the WTO, jeopardizing the suspension of trade retaliation by Brazil. The original agreement provides an opportunity to conduct consultations and bring about an orderly adjustment of U.S. programs to comply with WTO obligations.