On May 9, the Senate draft version of the 2013 Farm Bill was released. The bill includes $100 million in mandatory funding for 9003 loan guarantees for 2014 and $58 million for years 2015 and 2016, respectively. Renewable chemicals and biobased products are eligible now for the 9003 program as well. The 9005 advanced biofuel payment program is extended in the bill but with only $20 million authorized and not as mandatory funding. The Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) is extended with $38.6 million in funding per year through 2018.
On May 10, the House Committee mark was released. Weighing in at 576 pages, the House version is about half as long as the Senate version. It also would reduce spending over the next decade by $39.7 billion. It includes an additional $4 billion in food stamp cuts from last year’s version (for a total of $20 million in food support cuts). Unlike the Senate version, the House mark would provide no mandatory funding for the farm bill's energy programs and would reduce their discretionary levels by more than $500 million, the same level as last year's House Agriculture Committee-passed farm bill.
In addition, the House mark would:
- Include forest products as biobased products
- Not create a definition of renewable chemical
- Prohibit USDA from funding the installation of ethanol blender pumps at gas stations. USDA has been using the Rural Energy for America Program to install the pumps partly to stimulate the growth of E15.
- Eliminate payments for the collection, harvest, storage and transportation of advanced biofuel crops under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program.
- Remove grant authority for demonstration facilities under the Biorefinery Assistance Program and doesn’t expand the program to renewable chemicals.
Attached are copies of the House and Senate draft Farm Bills. A House Agriculture Committee markup of the bill is scheduled for this Wednesday. The Senate is marking its bill up in committee on Tuesday.