Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

this subtitle, or who fails or refuses to pay, collect, or remit any assessment or fee duly required of the person under the order or regulation, may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for each such violation. Each violation shall be a separaté offense.

(2) CEASE-AND-DESIST ORDERS.-In addition to or in lieu of the civil penalty, the Secretary may issue an order requiring the person to cease and desist from continuing the violation.

(3) NOTICE AND HEARING.-No order assessing a civil penalty or cease-and-desist order may be issued by the Secretary under this subsection unless the Secretary gives the person against whom the order is issued notice and opportunity for a hearing on the record before the Secretary with respect to the violation.

(4) FINALITY.-The order of the Secretary assessing a penalty or imposing a cease-anddesist order shall be final and conclusive unless the person against whom the order is issued files an appeal of the order in the appropriate district court of the United States, in accordance with subsection (d).

(d) REVIEW BY UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

(1) COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION.—Any person against whom a violation is found and a civil penalty assessed or cease-and-desist order issued under subsection (c) may obtain review of the penalty or cease-and-desist order in the district court of the United States for the district in which the person resides or carries on business, or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, by

(A) filing a notice of appeal in the court not later than 30 days after the date on which the penalty is assessed or cease-anddesist order issued; and

(B) simultaneously sending a copy of the notice by certified mail to the Secretary.

(2) RECORD.-The Secretary shall promptly file in the court a certified copy of the record on which the Secretary found that the person committed the violation.

(3) STANDARD' OF REVIEW.—A finding of the Secretary shall be set aside only if the finding is found to be unsupported by substantial evidence.

(e) FAILURE TO OBEY CEASE-AND-DESIST ORDERS.-Any person who fails to obey a ceaseand-desist order issued by the Secretary after the cease-and-desist order has become final and unappealable, or after the appropriate United States district court has entered a final judgment in favor of the Secretary, shall be subject to a civil penalty assessed by the Secretary, after opportunity for a hearing and for judicial review under the procedures specified in subsections (c) and (d), of not more than $500 for each offense. Each day during which the failure continues shall be considered a separate violation of the cease-and-desist order.

(f) FAILURE TO PAY PENALTIES.-If a person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after the assessment has become a final and unappealable order issued by the Secretary, or after the appropriate United States district court has entered final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General for recovery of the amount assessed in the district court of the United States for any district in which the person resides or carries on business. In an action for recovery, the validity and appropriateness of the final order imposing the civil penalty shall not be subject to review. SEC. 560. INVESTIGATIONS AND POWER TO SUB

POENA. (a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may make such investigations as the Secretary considers necessary

(1) for the effective carrying out of the responsibilities of the - Secretary under this subtitle; or

(2) to determine whether a person subject to this subtitle has engaged or is engaging in any act that constitutes a violation of this subtitle, or any order, rule, or regulation issued under this subtitle.

(b) POWER TO SUBPOENA.

(1) INVESTIGATIONS.—For the purpose of an investigation made under subsection (a), the Secretary may administer oaths and affirmations and may issue subpoenas to require the production of any records that are relevant to the inquiry. The production of any such records may be required from any place in the United States.

(2) ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS.-For the purpose of an administrative hearing held under section 558 or 559, the presiding officer is authorized to administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel the attendance of witnesses, take evidence, and require the production of any records that are relevant to the inquiry. The attendance of witnesses and the production of any such records may be required from any place in the United States.

(c) AID OF COURTS.-In the case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpoena to, any person, the Secretary may invoke the aid of any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which the investigation or proceeding is carried on, or where the person resides or carries on business, to enforce a subpoena issued by the Secretary under subsection (b). The court may issue an order requiring the person to comply with the subpoena.

(d) CONTEMPT.-Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt of the court.

(e) PROCESS.- Process in any such case may be served in the judicial district in which the person resides or carries on business or wherever the person may be found.

(f) HEARING SITE.—The site of any hearing held under section 558 or 559 shall be in the judicial district where the person affected by the hearing resides or has a principal place of business. SEC. 561. REFERENDA.

(a) INITIAL REFERENDUM.

(1) REFERENDUM REQUIRED.-During the 60day period immediately preceding the proposed effective date of an order issued under section 554, the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among kiwifruit producers and importers who will be subject to assessments under the order, to ascertain whether producers and importers approve the implementation of the order.

(2) APPROVAL OF ORDER.-The order shall become effective, as provided in section 554, if the Secretary determines that,

(A) the order has been approved by a majority of the producers and importers voting in the referendum; and

(B) the producers and importers favoring approval produce and import more than 50 percent of the total volume of kiwifruit produced and imported by persons voting in the referendum.

(b) SUBSEQUENT REFERENDA.—The Secretary may periodically conduct a referendum to determine if kiwifruit producers and importers favor the continuation, termination, or suspension of any order issued under section 554 that is in effect at the time of the referendum.

(C) REQUIRED REFERENDA.-The Secretary shall hold a referendum under subsection (b)

(1) at the end of the 6-year period beginning on the effective date of the order and at the end of each subsequent 6-year period;

(2) at the request of the Board; or

(3) if not less than 30 percent of the kiwifruit producers and importers subject to

assessments under the order submit a petition requesting the referendum.

(d) VOTE.—On completion of a referendum under subsection (b), the Secretary shall suspend or terminate the order that was subject to the referendum at the end of the marketing year if

(1) the suspension or termination of the order is favored by not less than a majority of the producers and importers voting in the referendum; and

(2) the producers and importers produce and import more than 50 percent of the total volume of kiwifruit produced and imported by persons voting in the referendum.

(e) CONFIDENTIALITY.–The ballots and other information or reports that reveal, or tend to reveal, the vote of any person under this subtitle and the voting list shall be held strictly confidential and shall not be disclosed. SEC. 562. SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION.

(a) IN GENERAL.-If the Secretary finds that an order issued under section 554, or a provision of the order, obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the purposes of this subtitle, the Secretary shall suspend or terminate the operation of the order or provision.

(b) LIMITATION.—The suspension or termination of any order, or any provision of an order, shall not be considered an order under this subtitle. SEC. 563. REGULATIONS.

The Secretary may issue such regulations as are necessary to carry out this subtitle. SEC. 564. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There are authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year such sums as are necessary to carry out this subtitle.

Subtitle E-Popcorn SEC. 571. SHORT TITLE,

This subtitle may be cited as the “Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act”. SEC. 572. FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF POL

ICY. (a) FINDINGS.-Congress finds that,

(1) popcorn is an important food that is a valuable part of the human diet;

(2) the production and processing of popcorn plays a significant role in the economy of the United States in that popcorn is processed by several popcorn processors, distributed through wholesale and retail outlets, and consumed by millions of people throughout the United States and foreign countries;

(3) popcorn must be of high quality, readily available, handled properly, and marketed efficiently to ensure that the benefits of popcorn are available to the people of the United States;

(4) the maintenance and expansion of existing markets and uses and the development of new markets and uses for popcorn are vital to the welfare of processors and persons concerned with marketing, using, and producing popcorn for the market, as well as to the agricultural economy of the United States;

(5) the cooperative development, financing, and implementation of a coordinated program of popcorn promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information is necessary to maintain and expand markets for popcorn; and

(6) popcorn moves in interstate and foreign commerce, and popcorn that does not move in those channels of commerce directly burdens or affects interstate commerce in popcorn.

(b) POLICY. It is the policy of Congress that it is in the public interest to authorize the establishment, through the exercise of the powers provided in this subtitle, of an orderly procedure for developing, financing (through adequate assessments on unpopped popcorn processed domestically), and carrying out an effective, continuous, and coordinated program of promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information designed to

(1) strengthen the position of the popcorn industry in the marketplace; and

(2) maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for popcorn.

(c) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this subtitle are to

(1) maintain and expand the markets for all popcorn products in a manner that,

(A) is not designed to maintain or expand any individual share of a producer or processor of the market;

(B) does not compete with or replace individual advertising or promotion efforts designed to promote individual brand name or trade name popcorn products; and

(C) authorizes and funds programs that result in government speech promoting government objectives; and

(2) establish a nationally coordinated program for popcorn promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information.

(d) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.—This subtitle treats processors equitably. Nothing in this subtitle

(1) provides for the imposition of a trade barrier to the entry into the United States of imported popcorn for the domestic market; or

(2) provides for the control of production or otherwise limits the right of any individual processor to produce popcorn. SEC. 573. DEFINITIONS.

In this subtitle (unless the context otherwise requires):

(1) BOARD.—The term “Board” means the Popcorn Board established under section 575(b).

(2) COMMERCE.—The term "commerce'' means interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce.

(3) CONSUMER INFORMATION.—The term “consumer information” means information and programs that will assist consumers and other persons in making evaluations and decisions regarding the purchase, preparation, and use of popcorn.

(4) DEPARTMENT.-The term "Department” means the Department of Agriculture.

(5) INDUSTRY INFORMATION.—The term “industry information” means information or a program that will lead to the development of

(A) new markets, new marketing strategies, or increased efficiency for the popcorn industry; or

(B) activities to enhance the image of the popcorn industry.

(6) MARKETING.–The term "marketing” means the sale or other disposition of unpopped popcorn for human consumption in a channel of commerce, but does not include a sale or disposition to or between processors.

(7) ORDER.—The term “order” means an order issued under section 574.

(8) PERSON.—The term “person” means an individual, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, association, or cooperative, or any other legal entity.

(9) POPCORN.—The term “popcorn” means unpopped popcorn (Zea Mays L) that is

(A) commercially grown;

(B) processed in the United States by shelling, cleaning, or drying; and

(C) introduced into a channel of commerce.

(10) PROCESS.—The term “process” means to shell, clean, dry, and prepare popcorn for the market, but does not include packaging popcorn for the market without also engaging in another activity described in this paragraph.

(11) PROCESSOR.—The term "processor" means a person engaged in the preparation of unpopped popcorn for the market who owns

or shares the ownership and risk of loss of the popcorn and who processes and distributes over 4,000,000 pounds of popcorn in the market per year.

(12) PROMOTION.—The term "promotion" means an action, including paid advertising, to enhance the image or desirability of popcorn.

(13) RESEARCH.—The term "research” means any type of study to advance the image, desirability, marketability, production, product development, quality, or nutritional value of popcorn.

(14) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(15) STATE.—The term “State” means each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia.

(16) UNITED STATES.—The term “United States” means all of the States. SEC. 574. ISSUANCE OF ORDERS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-To effectuate the policy described in section 572(b), the Secretary, subject to subsection (b), shall issue 1 or more orders applicable to processors. An order shall be applicable to all popcorn production and marketing areas in the United States. Not more than 1 order shall be in effect. under this subtitle at any 1 time.

(b) PROCEDURE.

(1) PROPOSAL OR REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE.The Secretary may propose the issuance of an order, or an association of processors or any other person that would be affected by an order may request the issuance of, and submit a proposal for, an order.

(2) NOTICE AND COMMENT CONCERNING PROPOSED ORDER.—Not later than 60 days after the receipt of a request and proposal for an order under paragraph (1), or at such time as the Secretary determines to propose an order, the Secretary shall publish a proposed order and give due notice and opportunity for public comment on the proposed order.

(3) ISSUANCE OF ORDER.–After notice and opportunity for public comment under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall issue an order, taking into consideration the comments received and including in the order such provisions as are necessary to ensure that the order conforms to this subtitle. The order shall be issued and become effective not later than 150 days after the date of publication of the proposed order.

(c) AMENDMENTS.—The Secretary, as appropriate, may amend an order. The provisions of this subtitle applicable to an order shall be applicable to any amendment to an order, except that an amendment to an order may not require a referendum to become effective. SEC. 575. REQUIRED TERMS IN ORDERS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-An order shall contain the terms and conditions specified in this section.

(b) ESTABLISHMENT AND MEMBERSHIP OF POPCORN BOARD.

(1) IN GENERAL.—The order shall provide for the establishment of, and appointment of members to, a Popcorn Board that shall consist of not fewer than 4 members and not more than 9 members.

(2) NOMINATIONS.—The members of the Board shall be processors appointed by the Secretary from nominations submitted by processors in a manner authorized by the Secretary, subject to paragraph (3). Not more than 1 member may be appointed to the Board from nominations submitted by any 1 processor.

(3) GEOGRAPHICAL DIVERSITY.-In making appointments, the Secretary shall take into account, to the extent practicable, the geographical distribution of popcorn production throughout the United States.

(4) TERMS.-The term of appointment of each member of the Board shall be 3 years, except that the members appointed to the initial Board shall serve, proportionately, for

terms of 2, 3, and 4 years, as determined by the Secretary.

(5) COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES.-A member of the Board shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for the expenses of the member incurred in the performance of duties for the Board.

(c) POWERS AND DUTIES OF BOARD.—The order shall define the powers and duties of the Board, which shall include the power and duty

(1) to administer the order in accordance with the terms and provisions of the order;

(2) to issue regulations to effectuate the terms and provisions of the order;

(3) to appoint members of the Board to serve on an executive committee;

(4) to propose, receive, evaluate, and approve budgets, plans, and projects of promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information, and to contract with appropriate persons to implement the plans or projects;

(5) to accept and receive voluntary contributions, gifts, and market promotion or similar funds;

(6) to invest, pending disbursement under a plan or project, funds collected through assessments authorized under subsection (f), only in

(A) obligations of the United States or an agency of the United States;

(B) general obligations of a State or a political subdivision of a State;

(C) an interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit of a bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System; or

(D) obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States;

(7) to receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of the order; and

(8) to recommend to the Secretary amendments to the order.

(d) PLANS AND BUDGETS.

(1) IN GENERAL.—The order shall provide that the Board shall submit to the Secretary for approval any plan or project of promotion, research, consumer information, or industry information.

(2) BUDGETS.—The order shall require the Board to submit to the Secretary for approval budgets on a fiscal year basis of the anticipated expenses and disbursements of the Board in the implementation of the order, including projected costs of plans and projects of promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information.

(e) CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS.

(1) IN GENERAL.—The order shall provide that the Board may enter into contracts or agreements for the implementation and carrying out of plans or projects of promotion, research, consumer information, or industry information, including contracts with a processor organization, and for the payment of the cost of the plans or projects with funds collected by the Board under the order.

(2) REQUIREMENTS.-A contract or agreement under paragraph (1) shall provide that

(A) the contracting party shall develop and submit to the Board a plan or project, together with a budget that shows the estimated costs to be incurred for the plan or project;

(B) the plan or project shall become effective on the approval of the Secretary; and

(C) the contracting party shall keep accurate records of each transaction of the party, account for funds received and expended, make periodic reports to the Board of activities conducted, and make such other reports as the Board or the Secretary may require.

(3) PROCESSOR ORGANIZATIONS.—The order shall provide that the Board may contract with processor organizations for any services required in addition to the services described in paragraph (1). The contract shall include provisions comparable to the provisions required by paragraph (2).

(f) ASSESSMENTS.

(1) PROCESSORS.—The order shall provide that each processor marketing popcorn in the United States or for export shall, in the manner prescribed in the order, pay assessments and remit the assessments to the Board.

(2) DIRECT MARKETERS.-A processor that markets popcorn produced by the processor directly to consumers shall pay and remit the assessments on the popcorn directly to the Board in the manner prescribed in the order.

(3) RATE.

(A) IN GENERAL.—The rate of assessment prescribed in the order shall be a rate established by the Board but not more than $.08 per hundredweight of popcorn.

(B) ADJUSTMENT OF RATE.—The order shall provide that the Board, with the approval of the Secretary, may raise or lower the rate of assessment annually up to a maximum of $.08 per hundredweight of popcorn.

(4) USE OF ASSESSMENTS.

(A) IN GENERAL.-Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C) and subsection (c)(5), the order shall provide that the assessments collected shall be used by the Board

(i) to pay expenses incurred in implementing and administering the order, with provision for a reasonable reserve; and

(ii) to cover such administrative costs as are incurred by the Secretary, except that the administrative costs incurred by the Secretary (other than any legal expenses incurred to defend and enforce the order) that may be reimbursed by the Board may not exceed 15 percent of the projected annual revenues of the Board.

(B) EXPENDITURES BASED ON SOURCE OF ASSESSMENTS.-In implementing plans and

plans projects of promotion, research, consumer information, and industry information, the Board shall expend funds on

(i) plans and projects for popcorn marketed in the United States or Canada in proportion to the amount of assessments collected on domestically marketed popcorn, and

(ii) plans and projects for exported popcorn in proportion to the amount of assessments collected on exported popcorn.

(C) NOTIFICATION.-If the administrative costs incurred by the Secretary that are reimbursed by the Board exceed 10 percent of the projected annual revenues of the Board, the Secretary shall notify as soon as practicable the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate.

(g) PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS.—The order shall prohibit any funds collected by the Board under the order from being used to influence government action or policy, other than the use of funds by the Board for the development and recommendation to the Secretary of amendments to the order.

(h) BOOKS AND RECORDS OF THE BOARD.The order shall require the Board to

(1) maintain such books and records (which shall be available to the Secretary for inspection and audit) as the Secretary may prescribe;

(2) prepare and submit to the Secretary, from time to time, such reports as the Secretary may prescribe; and

(3) account for the receipt and disbursement of all funds entrusted to the Board.

(i) BOOKS AND RECORDS OF PROCESSORS:

(1) MAINTENANCE AND REPORTING OF INFORMATION.—The order shall require that each processor of popcorn for the market shall

(A) maintain, and make available for inspection, such books and records as are required by the order; and

(B) file reports at such time, in such manner, and having such content as is prescribed in the order.

(2) USE OF INFORMATION.—The Secretary shall authorize the use of information regarding processors that may be accumulated under a law or regulation other than this subtitle or a regulation issued under this subtitle. The information shall be made available to the Secretary as appropriate for the administration or enforcement of this subtitle, the order, or any regulation issued under this subtitle.

(3) CONFIDENTIALITY.

(A) IN GENERAL.-Subject to subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D), all information obtained by the Secretary under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be kept confidential by all officers, employees, and agents of the Board and the Department.

(B) DISCLOSURE BY SECRETARY.-Information referred to in subparagraph (A) may be disclosed if

(i) the Secretary considers the information relevant;

(ii) the information is revealed in a suit or administrative hearing brought at the request of the Secretary, or to which the Secretary or any officer of the United States is a party; and

(iii) the information relates to the order.

(C) DISCLOSURE TO OTHER AGENCY OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

(i) IN GENERAL.-No information obtained under the authority of this subtitle may be made available to another agency or officer of the Federal Government for any purpose other than the implementation of this subtitle and any investigatory or enforcement activity necessary for the implementation of this subtitle.

(ii) PENALTY.-A person who knowingly violates this subparagraph shall, on conviction, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or to imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, and if an officer, employee, or agent of the Board or the Department, shall be removed from office or terminated from employment, as applicable.

(D) GENERAL STATEMENTS.-Nothing in this paragraph prohibits

(i) the issuance of general statements based on the reports of a number of persons subject to an order or statistical data collected from the reports, if the statements do not identify the information provided by any person; or

(ii) the publication, by direction of the Secretary, of the name of a person violating the order, together with a statement of the particular provisions of the order violated by the person.

(j) OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS.—The order shall contain such other terms and conditions, consistent with this subtitle, as are necessary to effectuate this subtitle, including regulations relating to the assessment of late payment charges. SEC. 576. REFERENDA.

(a) INITIAL REFERENDUM.

(1) IN GENERAL.-Within the 60-day period immediately preceding the effective date of an order, as provided in section 574(b)(3), the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among processors who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in processing, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the order shall go into effect.

(2) APPROVAL OF ORDER.—The order shall become effective, as provided in section 574(b), only if the Secretary determines that the order has been approved by not less than a majority of the processors voting in the referendum and if the majority processed more than 50 percent of the popcorn certified as having been processed, during the representative period, by the processors voting.

(b) ADDITIONAL REFERENDA.

(1) IN GENERAL.-Not earlier than 3 years after the effective date of an order approved under subsection (a), on the request of the Board or a representative group of processors, as described in paragraph (2), the Secretary may conduct additional referenda to determine whether processors favor the suspension or termination of the order.

(2) REPRESENTATIVE GROUP OF PROCESSORS.-An additional referendum on an order shall be conducted if the referendum is requested by 30 percent or more of the number of processors who, during a representative period as determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in processing.

(3) DISAPPROVAL OF ORDER.-If the Secretary determines, in a referendum conducted under paragraph (1), that suspension or termination of the order is favored by at least 2/3 of the processors voting in the referendum, the Secretary shall

(A) suspend or terminate, as appropriate, collection of assessments under the order not later than 180 days after the date of determination; and

(B) suspend or terminate the order, as appropriate, in an orderly manner as soon as practicable after the date of determination.

(c) COSTS OF REFERENDUM.—The Secretary shall be reimbursed from assessments collected by the Board for any expenses incurred by the Secretary in connection with the conduct of any referendum under this section.

(d) METHOD OF CONDUCTING REFERENDUM.Subject to this section, a referendum conducted under this section shall be conducted in such manner as is determined by the Secretary.

(e) CONFIDENTIALITY OF BALLOTS AND OTHER INFORMATION.

(1) IN GENERAL.—The ballots and other information or reports that reveal or tend to reveal the vote of any processor, or any business operation of a processor, shall be considered to be strictly confidential and shall not be disclosed.

(2) PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS.-An officer or employee of the Department who knowingly violates paragraph (1) shall be subject to the penalties described in section 575(i)(3)(C)(ii). SEC. 577. PETITION AND REVIEW.

(a) PETITION.

(1) IN GENERAL.-A person subject to an order may file with the Secretary a petition

(A) stating that the order, a provision of the order, or an obligation imposed in connection with the order is not established in accordance with law; and

(B) requesting a modification of the order or obligation or an exemption from the order or obligation.

(2) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.—A petition under paragraph (1) concerning an obligation may be filed not later than 2 years after the date of imposition of the obligation.

(3) HEARINGS.—The petitioner shall be given the opportunity for a hearing on a petition filed under paragraph (1), in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary.

(4) RULING.–After a hearing under paragraph (3), the Secretary shall issue a ruling on the petition that is the subject of the hearing, which shall be final if the ruling is in accordance with applicable law.

(b) REVIEW.

(1) COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION.—The district court of the United States for any district in which a person who is a petitioner under subsection (a) resides or carries on business shall have jurisdiction to review a ruling on the petition, if the person files a complaint not later than 20 days after the date of issuance of the ruling under subsection (a)(4).

(2) PROCESS.-Service of process in a proceeding under paragraph (1) may be made on the Secretary by delivering a copy of the complaint to the Secretary.

(3) REMANDS.-If the court determines, under paragraph (1), that a ruling issued under subsection (a)(4) is not in accordance with applicable law, the court shall remand the matter to the Secretary with directions

(A) to make such ruling as the court shall determine to be in accordance with law; or

(B) to take such further proceedings as, in the opinion of the court, the law requires.

(c) ENFORCEMENT.-The pendency of proceedings instituted under subsection (a) may not impede, hinder, or delay the Secretary or the Attorney General from taking action under section 578. SEC. 578. ENFORCEMENT.

(a) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary may issue an enforcement order to restrain or prevent any person from violating an order or regulation issued under this subtitle and may assess a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each violation of the enforcement order, after an opportunity for an administrative hearing, if the Secretary determines that the administration and enforcement of the order and this subtitle would be adequately served by such a procedure.

(b) JURISDICTION.—The district courts of the United States are vested with jurisdiction specifically to enforce, and to prevent and restrain any person from violating, an order or regulation issued under this subtitle.

(c) REFERRAL TO ATTORNEY GENERAL.-A civil action authorized to be brought under this section shall be referred to the Attorney General for appropriate action. SEC. 579. INVESTIGATIONS AND POWER TO SUB

POENA. (a) INVESTIGATIONS.—The Secretary may make such investigations as the Secretary considers necessary

(1) for the effective administration of this subtitle; and

(2) to determine whether any person subject to this subtitle has engaged, or is about to engage, in an act that constitutes or will constitute a violation of this subtitle or of an order or regulation issued under this subtitle. (b)

OATHS, AFFIRMATIONS, AND SUBPOENAS.–For the purpose of an investigation under subsection (a), the Secretary may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel the attendance of witnesses, take evidence, and require the production of any records that are relevant to the inquiry. The attendance of witnesses and the production of records may be required from any place in the United States.

(C) AID OF COURTS.

(1) REQUEST.-In the case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to, any person, the Secretary may request the aid of any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which the investigation or proceeding is carried on, or where the person resides or carries on business, in requiring the attendance and testimony of the person and the production of records.

(2) ENFORCEMENT ORDER OF THE COURT.The court may issue an enforcement order requiring the person to appear before the Secretary to produce records or to give testimony concerning the matter under investigation.

(3) CONTEMPT.-A failure to obey an enforcement order of the court under paragraph (2) may be punished by the court as a contempt of the court.

(4) PROCESS.—Process in a case under this subsection may be served in the judicial district in which the person resides or carries on business or wherever the person may be found.

SEC. 580. RELATION TO OTHER PROGRAMS.

Nothing in this subtitle preempts or supersedes any other program relating to popcorn promotion organized and operated under the laws of the United States or any State. SEC. 581. REGULATIONS.

The Secretary may issue such regulations as are necessary to carry out this subtitle. SEC. 582. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this subtitle. Amounts made available under this section or otherwise made available to the Department, and amounts made available under any other marketing or promotion order, may not be used to pay any administrative expense of the Board.

Subtitle F-Miscellaneous SEC. 591. MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS FOR

HONEY PROMOTION PROGRAM. Section 9(f) of the Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act (7 U.S.C. 4608(f)) is amended by inserting "producers," after "importers,".

TITLE VI-CREDIT Subtitle A-Farm Ownership Loans SEC. 601. LIMITATION ON DIRECT FARM OWNER

SHIP LOANS. Section 302 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1922) is amended by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

“(b) DIRECT LOANS.

"(1) IN GENERAL.-Subject to paragraph (3), the Secretary may make a direct loan under this subtitle only to a farmer or rancher who has operated a farm or ranch for not less than 3 years and

“(A) is a qualified beginning farmer or rancher;

"(B) has not received a previous direct farm ownership loan made under this subtitle; or

“(C) has not received a direct farm ownership loan under this subtitle more than 10 years before the date the new loan would be made.

“(2) YOUTH LOANS.—The operation of an enterprise by a youth under section 311(b) shall not be considered the operation of a farm or ranch for purposes of paragraph (1).

“(3) TRANSITION RULE.

"(A) IN GENERAL.-Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), the Secretary may make a direct loan under this subtitle to a farmer or rancher who has a direct loan outstanding under this subtitle on the date of enactment of this paragraph.

(B) LESS THAN 5 YEARS.-If, as of the date of enactment of this paragraph, a farmer or rancher has had a direct loan outstanding under this subtitle for less than 5 years, the Secretary shall not make a loan to the farmer or rancher under subparagraph (A) after the date that is 10 years after the date of enactment of this paragraph.

“(C) 5 YEARS OR MORE.-If, as of the date of enactment of this paragraph, a farmer or rancher has had a direct loan outstanding under this subtitle for 5 years or more, the Secretary shall not make a loan to the farmer or rancher under subparagraph (A) after the date that is 5 years after the date of enactment of this paragraph.”. SEC. 602. PURPOSES OF LOANS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Section 303 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1923) is amended to read as follows: “SEC. 303. PURPOSES OF LOANS.

“(a) ALLOWED PURPOSES.

“(1) DIRECT LOANS.-A farmer or rancher may use a direct loan made under this subtitle only for

"(A) acquiring or enlarging a farm or ranch;

"(B) making capital improvements to a farm or ranch;

“(C) paying loan closing costs related to acquiring, enlarging, or improving a farm or ranch; or

“(D) paying for activities to promote soil and water conservation and protection described in section 304 on a farm or ranch.

“(2) GUARANTEED LOANS.—A farmer or rancher may use a loan guaranteed under this subtitle only for

"(A) acquiring or enlarging a farm or ranch;

“(B) making capital improvements to a farm or ranch;

"(C) paying loan closing costs related to acquiring, enlarging, or improving a farm or ranch;

“(D) paying for activities to promote soil and water conservation and protection described in section 304 on a farm or ranch; or

“(E) refinancing indebtedness.

“(b) PREFERENCES.—In making or guaranteeing a loan under this subtitle for purchase of a farm or ranch, the Secretary shall give preference to a person who

“(1) has a dependent family;

“(2) to the extent practicable, is able to make an initial down payment on the farm or ranch; or

“(3) is an owner of livestock or farm or ranch equipment that is necessary to successfully carry out farming or ranching operations.

“(C) HAZARD INSURANCE REQUIREMENT.

“(1) IN GENERAL.-After the Secretary makes the determination required by paragraph (2), the Secretary may not make a loan to a farmer or rancher under this subtitle unless the farmer or rancher has, or agrees to obtain, hazard insurance on any real property to be acquired or improved with the loan.

“(2) DETERMINATION.-Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall determine the appropriate level of insurance to be required under paragraph (1).".

(b) TRANSITIONAL PROVISION.-Section 303(C)(1) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act shall not apply until the Secretary of Agriculture makes the determination required by section 303(C)(2) of the Act. SEC. 603. SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION AND

PROTECTION. Section 304 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act 17 U.S.C. 1924) is amended

(1) by striking subsections (b) and (c);

(2) by striking "SEC. 304. (a)(1) Loans" and inserting the following: “SEC. 304. SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION AND

PROTECTION. “(a) IN GENERAL.-Loans”;

(3) by striking “(2) In making or insuring” and inserting the following:

“(b) PRIORITY.-In making or guaranteeing";

(4) by striking “(3) The Secretary” and inserting the following:

"(c) LOAN MAXIMUM.—The Secretary”;

(5) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (F) of subsection (a) (as amended by paragraph (2)) as paragraphs (1) through (6), respectively; and

(6) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (c) (as amended by paragraph (4)) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively. SEC. 604. INTEREST RATE REQUIREMENTS.

Section 307(a)(3) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1927(a)(3)) is amended

(1) in subparagraph (B), by inserting “subparagraph (D) and in" after "Except as provided in”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(D) JOINT FINANCING ARRANGEMENT.-If a direct farm ownership loan is made under this subtitle as part of a joint financing arrangement and the amount of the direct farm ownership loan does not exceed 50 percent of the total principal amount financed under the arrangement, the interest rate on the direct farm ownership loan shall be at least 4 percent annually.". SEC. 605. INSURANCE OF LOANS.

Section 308 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1928) is amended to read as follows: "SEC. 308. FULL FAITH AND CREDIT.

“(a) IN GENERAL.-A contract of insurance or guarantee executed by the Secretary under this title shall be an obligation supported by the full faith and credit of the United States.

"(b) CONTESTABILITY.-A contract of insurance or guarantee executed by the Secretary under this title shall be incontestable except for fraud or misrepresentation that the lender or any holder

“(1) has actual knowledge of at the time the contract or guarantee is executed; or

“(2) participates in or condones.". SEC. 606. LOANS GUARANTEED.

Section 309(h) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1929(h)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(4) MAXIMUM GUARANTEE OF 90 PERCENT.Except as provided in paragraphs (5) and (6), a loan guarantee under this title shall be for not more than 90 percent of the principal and interest due on the loan.

"(5) REFINANCED LOANS GUARANTEED AT 95 PERCENT.-The Secretary shall guarantee 95 percent of

“(A) in the case of a loan that solely refinances a direct loan made under this title, the principal and interest due on the loan on the date of the refinancing; or

"(B) in the case of a loan that is used for multiple purposes, the portion of the loan that refinances the principal and interest due on a direct loan made under this title that is outstanding on the date the loan is guaranteed.

“(6) BEGINNING FARMER LOANS GUARANTEED UP TO 95 PERCENT.—The Secretary may guarantee not more than 95 percent of

“(A) a farm ownership loan for acquiring a farm or ranch to a borrower who is participating in the down payment loan program under section 310E; or

“(B) an operating loan to a borrower who is participating in the down payment loan program under section 310E that is made during the period that the borrower has a direct loan outstanding under this subtitle for acquiring a farm or ranch.".

Subtitle B-Operating Loans SEC. 611. LIMITATION ON DIRECT OPERATING

LOANS. (a) IN GENERAL.-Section 311 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1941) is amended by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

“(c) DIRECT LOANS.

"(1) IN GENERAL.-Subject to paragraph (3), the Secretary may make a direct loạn under this subtitle only to a farmer or rancher who

“(A) is a qualified beginning farmer or rancher who has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 5 years;

“(B) has not received a previous direct operating loan made under this subtitle; or

“(C) has received a previous direct operating loan made under this subtitle during 6 or fewer years.

“(2) YOUTH LOANS:- In this subsection, the term “direct operating loan' shall not include a loan made to a youth under subsection (b).

“(3) TRANSITION RULE.—If, as of the date of enactment of this paragraph, a farmer or

rancher has received a direct operating loan under this subtitle during each of 4 or more previous years, the borrower shall be eligible to receive a direct operating loan under this subtitle during 3 additional years after the date of enactment of this paragraph.".

(b) YOUTH ENTERPRISES NOT FARMING OR RANCHING.–Section 311(b) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1941(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(4) YOUTH ENTERPRISES NOT FARMING OR RANCHING.—The operation of an enterprise by a youth under this subsection shall not be considered the operation of a farm or ranch under this title.". SEC. 612. PURPOSES OF OPERATING LOANS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Section 312 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1942) is amended to read as follows: "SEC. 312. PURPOSES OF LOANS.

“(a) IN GENERAL.-A direct loan may be made under this subtitle only for

"(1) paying the costs incident to reorganizing a farm or ranch for more profitable operation;

"(2) purchasing livestock, poultry, or farm or ranch equipment;

“(3) purchasing feed, seed, fertilizer, insecticide, or farm or ranch supplies, or to meet other essential farm or ranch operating expenses, including cash rent;

"(4) financing land or water development, use, or conservation;

"(5) paying loan closing costs;

“(6) assisting a farmer or rancher in changing the equipment, facilities, or methods of operation of a farm or ranch to comply with a standard promulgated under section 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655) or a standard adopted by a State under a plan approved under section 18 of the Act (29 U.S.C. 667), if the Secretary determines that without assistance under this paragraph the farmer or rancher is likely to suffer substantial economic injury in complying with the standard;

“(7) training a limited-resource borrower receiving a loan under section 310D in maintaining records of farming and ranching operations;

*(8) training a borrower under section 359;

“(9) refinancing the indebtedness of a borrower, if the borrower

"(A) has refinanced a loan under this subtitle not more than 4 times previously; and

“(B)(i) is a direct loan borrower under this title at the time of the refinancing and has suffered a qualifying loss because of a natural disaster declared by the Secretary under this title or a major disaster or emergency designated by the President under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.); or

"(ii) is refinancing a debt obtained from a creditor other than the Secretary; or

"(10) providing other farm, ranch, or home needs, including family subsistence.

“(b) GUARANTEED LOANS.—A loan may be guaranteed under this subtitle only for

“(1) paying the costs incident to reorganizing a farm or ranch for more profitable operation;

"(2) purchasing livestock, poultry, or farm or ranch equipment;

“(3) purchasing feed, seed, fertilizer, insecticide, or farm or ranch supplies, or to meet other essential farm or ranch operating expenses, including cash rent;

“(4) financing land or water development, use, or conservation;

“(5) refinancing indebtedness; "(6) paying loan closing costs;

"(7) assisting a farmer or rancher in changing the equipment, facilities, or methods of operation of a farm or ranch to comply with a standard promulgated under section 6 of

the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655) or a standard adopted by a State under a plan approved under section 18 of the Act (29 U.S.C. 667), if the Secretary determines that without assistance under this paragraph the farmer or rancher is likely to suffer substantial economic injury due to compliance with the standard;

"(8) training a borrower under section 359; or

“(9) providing other farm, ranch, or home needs, including family subsistence.

“(C) HAZARD INSURANCE REQUIREMENT.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.-After the Secretary makes the determination required by paragraph (2), the Secretary may not make a loan to a farmer or rancher under this subtitle unless the farmer or rancher has, or agrees to obtain, hazard insurance on the property to be acquired with the loan.

“(2) DETERMINATION.-Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall determine the appropriate level of insurance to be required by paragraph (1). "(d) PRIVATE RESERVE.

“(1) IN GENERAL.-Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the Secretary may reserve a portion of any loan made under this subtitle to be placed in an unsupervised bank account that may be used at the discretion of the borrower for the basic family needs of the borrower and the immediate family of the borrower.

“(2) LIMIT ON SIZE OF THE RESERVE.—The size of the reserve shall not exceed the least of

“(A) 10 percent of the loan; "(B) $5,000; or

"(C) the amount needed to provide for the basic family needs of the borrower and the borrower's immediate family for 3 calendar months.".

(b) TRANSITIONAL PROVISION.-Section 312(c)(1) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act shall not apply until the Secretary of Agriculture makes the determination required by section 312(C)(2) of the Act. SEC. 613. PARTICIPATION IN LOANS.

Section 315 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1945) is repealed. SEC. 614. LINE-OF-CREDIT LOANS.

Section 316 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act 17 U.S.C. 1946) is amended by adding at the end the following:

"(c) LINE-OF-CREDIT LOANS.

“(1) IN GENERAL.-A loan made or guaranteed by the Secretary under this subtitle may be in the form of a line-of-credit loan.

“(2) TERM.-A line-of-credit loan under paragraph (1) shall terminate not later than 5 years after the date that the loan is made or guaranteed.

“(3) ELIGIBILITY.-For purposes of determining eligibility for a farm operating loan under this subtitle, each year during which a farmer or rancher takes an advance or draws on a line-of-credit loan the farmer or rancher shall be considered to have received an operating loan for 1 year.

“(4) TERMINATION OF DELINQUENT LOANS.—If a borrower does not pay an installment on a line-of-credit loan on schedule, the borrower may not take an advance or draw on the line-of-credit, unless the Secretary determines that

(A) the borrower's failure to pay on schedule was due to unusual conditions that the borrower could not control; and

“(B) the borrower will reduce the line-ofcredit balance to the scheduled level at the end of

"(i) the production cycle; or

“(ii) the marketing of the borrower's agricultural products.

“(5) AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES.-A lineof-credit loan may be used to finance the

« ZurückWeiter »