Several agricultural groups opposed a farm bill amendment offered by Senator Tom Coburn that would slash funding for the Market Access Program (MAP), a private-public partnership that helps to open new doors for farmer-owned co-ops, producer groups and small businesses in overseas markets. MAP is administered on a cost-share basis, and is among the few export tools not specifically capped under World Trade Organization rules.
The Coburn amendment would reduce funding of the program by $40 million per year from current levels and prohibit funds form being used on a range of activities to promote U.S. products in foreign countries.
The U.S. Grains Council has expressed thanks to the National Corn Growers Association, the National Sorghum Producers, the National Barley Growers Association, and other allied organizations for their successful support of MAP during Senate debate on the pending Farm Bill.
“MAP funding in conjunction with other smaller funding programs has been an important contributor to the success of U.S. coarse grain and DDGS exports worldwide. U.S. agriculture trade is one of the few U.S. trade areas that maintains a surplus. Without MAP funding, U.S. grains exports will face a much tougher uphill battle,” said Dr. Wendell Shauman, U.S. Grains Council chairman.
The Coburn amendment was rejected yesterday with 30 Senators voting for it and 69 against it.
Among some of the other highlights of Senate amendment votes include, lawmakers approving an amendment by Senator Charles Grassley to limit some commodity subsidies to $75,000 per farmer, or $150,000 per married couple.
An amendment by Senator Rand Paul to limit all manner of farm subsidies to individuals earning more than $250,000 a year was defeated.
And also defeated were two amendments by Senator Jeff Session to rein in food stamp spending and ending federal bonus payment sot states that increase food stamp enrollment.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s amendment to cut subsidies to crop insurance subsidies to restore a $4.5 billion cut to food stamps was defeated 33-66.Share