House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, D.-Minn., today unveiled a new $1 million adjusted gross income cap on farm program eligibility and eliminated the "three-entity" rule to limit payments made to an individual. The adjusted gross income provision is the first time there has been an attempt to means test farm program participation.
Elimination of the three-entity rule means farmers could only qualify for program payments under one business entity - not as partial participants in up to three. In addition, Peterson's "chairman's mark" seeks to require direct attribution of payments to better trace farm program payments to the end beneficiary.
Peterson has two versions of the bill - one with provisions completely funded under pay-as-you-go rules. The second is an "en bloc" amendment that includes provisions for which funding is still being sought or for which it has been promised.
Today's committee session will focus on opening statements and discussion of the chairman's mark. Work sessions on actual amendments to the draft begin tomorrow morning.
Ranking Republican Bob Goodlatte of Virginia warned that the funding must be made public for spending proposed in the bill. Without firm funding required under the pay-as-you-go rules of the House, the bill has the potential "to explode on the floor" from an onslaught of unfriendly amendments, Goodlatte says.