Date: June 26, 2008
“Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008”
On June 18, 2008, the President vetoed H.R. 6124. 1/ Subsequently, on that same day, the House of Representatives and the Senate voted to override the President's veto of the measure. The House vote was 317 - 109 and the Senate vote was 80 - 14. H.R. 6124 became P.L. 110-246.
The bill contains the following provisions of interest to SSA:
Exclusion of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Payments from the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) Tax for Certain Individuals
• Would exclude CRP payments from self-employment income for purposes of the SECA tax in the case of individuals who are receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits. CRP is a voluntary program for agricultural landowners, which provides landowners with annual payments in return for planting cropland or certain marginal pastureland in resource-conserving vegetative covers. The change would be effective with respect to CRP payments made after December 31, 2007.
Change in Optional Method of Reporting Net Earnings from Self-Employment (NESE)
• Would increase the amount of NESE that could be credited to individuals who file under the optional method of reporting to the amount of earnings needed for four quarters of coverage a year ($4,200 in 2008). Under present law, individuals who report under the optional method are credited with $1,600 a year, which would result in one quarter of coverage in 2008. Would be effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2007.
Transfer of Amounts from the General Fund to the Trust Funds
• Would provide for the transfer of funds by the Department of the Treasury from general revenues to the OASDI Trust Funds in order to ensure that the assets of the trust funds are not reduced as a result of the enactment of H.R. 2419. Would provide for transfers for fiscal years 2009 through 2017.
Reconciliation of Social Security Numbers of Individuals Receiving Payments Under Farm Commodity Programs
• Would require the Secretary of Agriculture, at least twice a year, to submit the Social Security numbers of all individuals who receive payments under farm commodity programs to the Social Security Administration in order to determine whether such individuals are alive. Would be effective no later than 180 days after enactment.
1/ The provisions of interest to SSA are identical to those previously included in H.R. 2419, (See Legislative Bulletin 110-22.) The President vetoed that measure and Congress overrode the veto and passed H.R. 2419 which became P.L. 110-234. However, because the trade provisions were inadvertently omitted during enrollment of the bill, Congressional leaders decided to give the full legislation a new bill number and send it back to the President as H.R. 6124.