Text: S.1804 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/30/2005)


109th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1804


To provide emergency assistance to agricultural producers who have suffered losses as a result of drought, Hurricane Katrina, and other natural disasters occurring during 2005, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 30, 2005

Mrs. Lincoln (for herself and Mr. Talent) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

To provide emergency assistance to agricultural producers who have suffered losses as a result of drought, Hurricane Katrina, and other natural disasters occurring during 2005, and for other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Agricultural Assistance Act of 2005”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) COVERED COMMODITY.—The term “covered commodity” has the meaning given the term in section 1001 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7901).

(2) DISASTER COUNTY.—The term “disaster county” means—

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

(B) each county contiguous to a county described in subparagraph (A).

(3) ELIGIBLE NONINSURABLE COMMODITY.—The term “eligible noninsurable commodity” means an eligible 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).

(4) INSURABLE COMMODITY.—The term “insurable commodity” means an agricultural commodity (excluding livestock) produced in an area that is eligible for coverage under a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

(5) LIVESTOCK ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.—The term “livestock assistance program” means—

(A) the 2002 Cattle Feed Program announced by the Secretary on September 3, 2002 (67 Fed. Reg. 56260), to the extent necessary to cover natural disaster declarations made during calendar year 2005;

(B) the 2002 Livestock Compensation Program, as announced by the Secretary on October 10, 2002 (67 Fed. Reg. 63070), and modified in accordance with section 203(a) of the Agricultural Assistance Act of 2003 (title II of division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 (Public Law 108–7; 117 Stat. 539) and section 5(a); and

(C) the livestock loss assistance program required by section 5(b).

(6) NATURAL DISASTER DECLARATION.—The term “natural disaster declaration” means—

(A) a natural disaster declared by the Secretary—

(i) during calendar year 2005 under section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1961(a)); or

(ii) during calendar year 2006 under that section, but for which a request was pending as of December 31, 2005; or

(B) a major disaster or emergency designated by the President—

(i) during calendar year 2005 under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.); or

(ii) during calendar year 2006 under that Act, but for which a request was pending as of December 31, 2005.

(7) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture.

SEC. 3. Supplemental direct payments for covered commodities.

(a) Payments required.—The Secretary shall make payments to producers on a farm eligible for direct payments for the 2005 crop of a covered commodity under section 1103 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7913) if—

(1) the farm is located in a disaster county; or

(2) the producers on the farm have incurred qualifying crop losses with respect to the 2005 crop of a covered commodity due to damaging weather or related condition, as determined by the Secretary, using the same loss thresholds for the quantity and quality losses as were used in administering section 815 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 (Public Law 106–387; 114 Stat. 1549, 1549A–55).

(b) Amount.—The amount of the payment made to the producers on a farm under this section shall be equal to 100 percent of the amount of the direct payment the producers on the farm are eligible to receive for the 2005 crop under section 1103 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7913).

(c) Crop insurance.—As a condition of the receipt of a payment under this section, the producers on the farm shall enter into a contract with the Secretary under which the producers on the farm agree—

(1) in the case of the covered commodity and all other insurable commodities produced on the farm for each of the next 2 crop years—

(A) to obtain at least catastrophic risk protection coverage for those commodities under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.); and

(B) in the event of violation of the contract, to repay to the Secretary any payment received under this section; and

(2) in the case of all eligible noninsurable commodities produced on the farm for each of the next 2 crop or calendar years, as applicable—

(A) to file the required paperwork, and pay the administrative fee by the applicable State filing deadline, for those commodities under section 196 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333); and

(B) in the event of violation of the contract, to repay to the Secretary any payment received under this section.

(d) Administration.—For purposes of sections 1001 through 1001F of the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1308 et seq.), payments received under this section shall be considered direct payments made to a person under subtitle A of title I of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7911 et seq.).

(e) Relation to other assistance.—A person that elects to receive payments under this section for a covered commodity is not eligible for crop loss assistance under section 4 for the same commodity.

(f) Time for payment.—The Secretary shall make payments under this section as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. Crop loss assistance.

(a) Assistance available.—The Secretary shall use such sums as are necessary of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to make emergency financial assistance available to producers on a farm that have incurred losses in a disaster county as a result of a disaster for which a natural disaster declaration was made, as determined by the Secretary.

(b) Administration.—Subject to subsection (a), the Secretary shall make assistance available under this section in the same manner as provided under section 1102 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note; Public Law 105–277), including using the same loss thresholds as were used in administering that section.

(c) Qualifying losses.—Assistance under this section may be made for losses associated with crops that are, as determined by the Secretary—

(1) quantity losses;

(2) quality losses; or

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

(d) Crops covered.—Assistance under this section shall be applicable to losses for all crops (including losses of trees from which a crop is harvested, livestock, and fisheries), as determined by the Secretary, due to the disaster for which the natural disaster declaration was made.

(e) Relation to other assistance.—A person that elects to receive assistance under this section for a covered commodity is not eligible for supplemental direct payments for the same covered commodity under section 3.

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

SEC. 5. Livestock assistance.

(a) Continuation of assistance program.—Subject to subsection (c), the Secretary shall—

(1) continue to carry out the 2002 Livestock Compensation Program announced by the Secretary on October 10, 2002 (67 Fed. Reg. 63070); and

(2) under that Program, provide assistance to any applicant that—

(A) conducts a livestock operation that is physically located in a disaster county and meets all other eligibility requirements established by the Secretary for the Program; or

(B) produces 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)) and meets all other eligibility requirements established by the Secretary for the Program.

(b) Livestock loss assistance program.—Subject to subsection (c), the Secretary shall use $250,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out a program to make payments to producers for livestock losses occurring in a disaster county using the criteria established to carry out the 1999 Livestock Assistance Program.

(c) Relationship of livestock assistance programs.—The amount of assistance that the producers on a farm would receive for a loss under a livestock assistance program, in the absence of the operation of this section, shall be reduced by the amount of the assistance that the producers on the farm receive under any other livestock assistance program.

(d) Use of commodity credit corporation funds.—Effective beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall carry out the 2002 Livestock Compensation Program announced by the Secretary on October 10, 2002 (67 Fed. Reg. 63070) using funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation.

SEC. 6. Emergency surplus removal.

The Secretary shall transfer $250,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to the fund established by section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935 (7 U.S.C. 612c), to carry out emergency surplus removal of agricultural commodities.

SEC. 7. Specialty crops.

The Secretary shall use $50,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide assistance to producers directly or through grants to States, or take such other action as the Secretary determines is appropriate, to assist producers of fruits and vegetables.

SEC. 8. Cottonseed.

The Secretary shall use $50,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide assistance to producers and first handlers of the 2005 crop of cottonseed.

SEC. 9. Additional hurricane assistance.

(a) In general.—In any State described in section 359f(c)(1)(A) of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (7 U.S.C. 1359ff(c)(1)(A)) in a which a natural disaster declaration is in effect, the Secretary shall make available to first processors that are eligible to obtain a loan under section 156(a) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7272(a)) assistance in the form of payments, or commodities in the inventory of the Commodity Credit Corporation from carrying out that section, to partially compensate producers and first processors for crop and other losses that are related to the natural disaster declaration.

(b) Administration.—Assistance under this section shall be—

(1) shared by an affected first processor with affected producers that provide commodities to the processor in a manner that reflects contracts entered into between the processor and the producers; and

(2) made available under such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines are necessary to carry out this section.

(c) Quantity.—To carry out this section, the Secretary shall—

(1) use 200,000 tons of commodities in the inventory of the Commodity Credit Corporation under section 156(a) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7272(a));

(2) make payments in an aggregate amount equal to the market value of 200,000 tons of commodities described in paragraph (1); or

(3) take any combination of actions described in paragraphs (1) and (2) using commodities or payments with a total market value of 200,000 tons of commodities described in paragraph (1).

SEC. 10. Funding.

(a) In general.—The Secretary shall use the funds, facilities, and authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out this Act.

(b) Administration.—The Secretary, acting through the Farm Service Agency, may use not more than $70,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to cover administrative costs associated with the implementation of this Act and title I of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7901 et seq.).

(c) Use of funds.—Funds made available under this Act shall remain available until expended.

SEC. 11. Regulations.

(a) In general.—The Secretary may promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement this Act.

(b) Procedure.—The promulgation of the regulations and administration of this Act 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 shall use the authority provided under section 808 of title 5, United States Code.


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