The Administration supports House passage of S. 2344 in order to accelerate
the 1999 Agricultural Market Transition Act payments to producers.
The Administration regrets that the Senate did not include the provision of
the Senate-passed FY 1999 Agricultural/Rural Development appropriations
bill that would provide $500 million for new emergency funding for farmers
and ranchers who face financial stress as a result of natural disasters and
low prices. Nor does the House make in order such an amendment. The
Administration urges the Congress to enact this provision as soon as
possible. In the interim, the Department of Agriculture is continuing to
assess the actual emergency needs of farmers and ranchers and will report
to Congress in the near future.
S. 2344 would affect direct spending; therefore, it is subject to the
pay-as-you-go requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of
1990. OMB's preliminary scoring estimate is that the net budget cost of
this bill is zero.