The amendment is one of roughly two dozen that the conservative senator from South Carolina introduced to the farm bill. Others include an amendment that prohibits the secretary of Agriculture from providing "price supports" such as loans or payment to producers of sugar crops and one that expresses the sense of the Senate that nothing in the farm bill should increase the cost of food.
DeMint's amendments are just a few of a large number submitted by senators since the chamber began considering the farm bill. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment that keeps the Department of Agriculture from carrying firearms in rural areas, except for Forest Park Service personnel and USDA officials in remote regions. Another amendment by Paul repeals the federal food stamp program and replaces it with a block grant system controlled by states.
An amendment by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has the secretary of Agriculture and secretary of Transportation conduct a study on transportation and agriculture products.
Amendments could be the deciding factor on whether the farm bill makes it through the Senate. Recent legislation has passed the chamber only after top Republicans and Democrats agreed over which amendments and how many to consider to legislation. If legislators do not come to an agreement, the farm bill could fail, despite bipartisan support.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the co-sponsor of the farm bill, said Tuesday that discussions were under way on agreeing on amendments to the farm bill.