Philip Brasher / Agri-Pulse Communications
WASHINGTON - The House Agriculture Committee approved a group of 15 Republican amendments to the panel’s farm bill that would modify a crop insurance restriction while addressing broadband, biotechnology, organic food standards and other issues. The GOP amendment package included one by Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., that would remove a provision in the bill barring participants in the Agriculture Risk Coverage program from also buying a relatively new type of crop insurance called a Margin Protection plan .
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway on April 12 kicked off a battle over the next farm bill by releasing draft legislation that would make some improvements to major commodity programs, while overhauling conservation policy and making sweeping reforms to nutrition assistance.
Despite threatening a veto, President Trump signed into law a $1.3 trillion spending bill that addresses several agricultural priorities, including revisions to the Section 199A tax benefit and an exemption from farm emissions reporting for the livestock industry.
The House Agriculture Committee’s partisan impasse over a draft farm bill deepened when the panel’s Democrats delivered a letter to Chairman Mike Conaway, demanding to see the legislative text before negotiating with him further on its nutrition provisions. Democrats have refused to go along with provisions in the bill that sources say would include several changes to limit eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including by expanding the number of adults subject to work requirements.
President Trump, warmly embracing American agriculture in an appearance before the American Farm Bureau Federation, called for passing a new farm bill on time this year, expressed his support for crop insurance and warned that his achievements on tax and regulatory policy were at risk if Democrats get control of Congress.
WASHINGTON - A congressional agreement to fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2017 largely rejects President Trump’s proposed cuts in food aid, research and other agricultural programs but also fails to provide new farm bill assistance sought by cotton and dairy producers.
WASHINGTON — The Senate will vote April 24 on the confirmation of Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary after lawmakers return from their upcoming two-week Easter recess. Senate leaders scheduled the vote after Democrats blocked action on the former Georgia governor's nomination this week, preventing him from starting work at USDA before the recess. "Democrats seem to want to drag out everything and run all the time off the clock. We just ran out of time," Senate GOP Whip John Cornyn of Texas said of the Perdue nomination.