By 9 p.m., the House had spent a considerable amount of time debating the cotton payments, which were agreed to by the Obama administration as part of a settlement in a WTO dispute that ruled against the U.S. cotton program. Several members on both sides, such as Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) bristled at the idea of paying so much to Brazil in the context of spending cuts in the U.S., although others noted that the payments will likely remain in place until the 2012 farm bill.
Members will vote Thursday on an amendment from Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) that would end these payments to Brazil.
Elsewhere, members approved an amendment from Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) that would prevent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from approving genetically modified salmon. And they approved language from Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) that would prohibit Food for Peace assistance to North Korea.
Members sparred over the "know your farmer, know your food" program. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) proposed language that would block a demand in the bill that USDA must inform Congress when it travels as part of this nutrition awareness program.
In contrast, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) proposed an amendment that would prohibit any spending on the program. Both amendments are expected to come up for a vote Thursday.