Competing farm bill amendments on EPA aerial surveillance fail

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The Senate defeated both amendments on Thursday.

First, the chamber voted against an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) which would have allowed the EPA to perform aerial overflight inspection if it was more cost-effective than inspections that are on-the-ground and in-person. That amendment failed 47 to 48. It had a 60-vote threshold.

Then the chamber voted on an amendment by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), which would have prohibited the EPA from using aerial flight for any kind of surveillance. That amendment was defeated in a vote of 56-43. It also required 60 votes for passage.

The chamber also defeated an amendment by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), aimed at reducing excessive paperwork for community water system departments. That vote failed 58 to 41.