On May 14, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a business meeting to mark up the 2013 Farm Bill. The Senate version includes $900 million in mandatory funding for Department of Agriculture energy programs; an amendment by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) added $100 million for the Rural Energy for America Program, a grant and loan guarantee program, which bumped up the originally proposed level of $800 million. The bill also allows renewable chemicals to participate in biorefinery assistance programs previously limited to biofuels. In addition, it improves the Biobased Markets Program by focusing on innovation and renewable chemicals.
On May 15, the House Agriculture Committee marked up its version of the Farm Bill. Representatives Tim Walz (D-MN), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Ann Kuster (D-NH), William Enyart (D-IL), and Michael McIntyre (D-NC) introduced an amendment to provide $800 million in mandatory funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, but later withdrew it. The House version has no mandatory funding for energy programs. No amendments were approved en bloc to Title IX, the energy title. The committee voted 36-10 to send the bill to the House floor for consideration.