The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet the afternoon of June 13 to adopt the rule governing debate on the FY12 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Agriculture Committee Chairman Lucas, R-Okla., is expected to ask the Committee to allow an objection to be made against inclusion of at least three provisions added to the legislation by the Appropriations Committee.
The provisions would: reduce the Average Adjusted Gross Income test used to measure eligibility in the current farm law to $250,000; reduce annual direct payments made to cotton producers on cotton base by $147 million and use the funds to cover transfers required by the US-Brazil Framework Agreement; and, a provision that would use the savings from reducing direct payments to increase funding for Women, Infants and Children Program rather than for the US-Brazil Framework Agreement.
If Chairman Lucas’ request to allow the so-called points of order to be raised and the points are upheld during floor debate, the provisions would be deleted from the bill but members could introduce new amendments in an effort to accomplish the same objectives and the House would have to vote on those proposals.
In accordance with Speaker Boehner’s, R-Ohio, commitment to transparency, the Rules Committee is expected to allow the House to consider the legislation under a so-called “open rule” which allows members to offer amendments on any provision without providing any prior notice. That means the bill will be open to virtually all amendments throughout the floor consideration.