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April 29, 1997

H.R. 1342 - To Provide for a One-Year Enrollment in the Conservation Reserve
(Smith (R) OR)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1342. By automatically extending most expiring conservation reserve contracts without competition for one year, H.R. 1342 would limit the enrollment of environmentally sensitive cropland while continuing the enrollment of potentially productive cropland.

The Administration is committed to completing a review of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) reenrollment bids to ensure that (1) producers receive a timely response to their requests, and (2) lands granted reenrollment contracts are environmentally sensitive lands appropriate for the CRP. The Secretary of Agriculture has directed the Farm Service Agency to notify producers by late May whether their requests have been approved. The completion of this review process will ensure that viable crop land is placed back into production, thereby making room in the CRP for land where retirement is more environmentally beneficial. H.R. 1342 would seriously undermine this effort.

Pay-As-You-Go Scoring

H.R. 1342 would affect direct spending; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1990. OMB is still developing its PAYGO estimate for this bill.