FarmPolicy

December 10, 2018

Budget; Farm Bill; Biofuels; Regulations; and Trade

Budget: Political Background

Janet Hook and Carol E. Lee reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that, “Congressional leaders and the White House neared a deal Wednesday to avert a government shutdown, an agreement Democrats said would split the difference between the two parties over how deeply to cut federal spending.

“Vice President Joe Biden said that Republican and Democratic negotiators had agreed to work toward a plan that would cut $33 billion from the current-year budget. He said negotiators were discussing which programs would be cut.”

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Budget (Farm Bill); Regulations; Biofuels; Agricultural Economy; and Trade

Budget: Political Background

Jennifer Steinhauer reported in today’s New York Times that, “The most visible element of the budget fight in Congress is the one over the scale of spending cuts this year. But increasingly, other deeply contentious policy issues that House Republicans insist must be addressed in any budget deal are as much of a stumbling block as the final dollar figure.

“They include efforts to take away money to carry out the new health care law, to limit regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency and to cut federal financing for organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide abortions.”

The article added that, “Republicans say they will battle to retain every one of the scores of riders — which range from one that would strike the word ‘arctic’ from a provision of the Clean Air Act to another that would end money to carry out the health care law — that were included in a version of the budget bill the House passed this winter.”

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Budget; Farm Policy Issues; Ag Economy; and Regulations

Budget: Political Background

Steven T. Dennis reported yesterday at Roll Call Online that, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said tea party demands have caused budget talks with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to break down, risking a government shutdown in two weeks.”

The article added that, “A GOP aide, however, said talks occurred ‘every day’ last week and maintained that negotiations haven’t broken down at all.”

“Boehner spokesman Michael Steel retorted that Democrats are desperately trying to divert attention from their own divisions and continue to back ‘essentially’ status quo spending levels,” the article said.

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Budget (Farm Bill); Regulations; and the Agricultural Economy

Budget: Political Background

Carl Hulse reported in Saturday’s New York Times that, “With time running short and budget negotiations this week having reached an angry impasse, Congressional leaders are growing increasingly pessimistic about reaching a bipartisan deal that would avert a government shutdown in early April.

“Senior Democratic officials involved in high-level efforts to bring House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House to a budget agreement said that while some progress had been made toward an accord on an overall level of spending cuts, the parties remained divided on the final figure and had to resolve the fate of ideologically charged policy provisions demanded by House conservatives.”

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Budget (Farm Bill); Ag Economy; Regulations; Trade; Biofuels; and Immigration

Budget: Political Background

Paul Kane reported in today’s Washington Post that, “Congressional leaders in both parties agree they have to stop putting off the inevitable and reach a deal to fund the federal government through September, the end of the fiscal year.

“Washington is limping along on stopgap funds that expire April 8, the sixth short-term extension in the past 5.5 months. Neither side wants to pass another one. The extensions are a hassle to negotiate, with the two parties bickering over spending cuts for little benefit.

“But there is one big obstacle in the way of a long-term deal, one that goes beyond the arguments over dollars and cents. The budget proposal the House Republican majority approved this year included a number of unrelated amendments — riders, in Congress-speak — that would impose restrictions on federal agencies.”

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Budget (Farm Bill); Regulations; Agricultural Economy; and Biotech Issues

Budget: Political Background

Jake Sherman and Manu Raju reported yesterday at Politico that, “House Republican leaders are planning to unveil an aggressive 2012 budget in three weeks — a proposal that could help shield them from tea party attacks if they’re forced to cut a deal with Democrats on the stalled 2011 spending bill.

“Both parties are quietly negotiating as Congress stands in recess, not only searching for a final dollar figure compromise but also trying to figure out how to deal with some of the most hot-button legislative riders in the bill.”

Yesterday’s article noted that, “But for all the talk of partisanship and heel-digging, there’s a serious effort afoot to avoid a government shutdown. With rank-and-file lawmakers back in their districts for the once-monthly weeklong recess, huddling on Capitol Hill are top aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), [House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)] and the Obama administration.”

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Budget (Farm Bill); Biofuels; Ag Economy; Trade; and Biotech Issue

Budget: Political Background

Alexander Bolton reported yesterday at The Hill Online that, “Republican leaders in the Senate and House will not agree to tax increases in the guise of reform measures, according to a prominent conservative advocate for lower taxes.

“Conservatives have grown increasingly worried that Republicans in Congress may accept a tax hike as part of a broader deal to reduce discretionary and entitlement spending.

“But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have pledged to Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) president Grover Norquist they will not support any deficit reduction package that increases taxes.”

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Budget (Farm Bill); Regulations; and the Agricultural Economy

Budget: Political Background

Jennifer Epstein reported yesterday at Politico that, “Less than two weeks after he denounced President Barack Obama’s ‘failure to lead’ on cutting deficit spending, freshman Sen. Joe Manchin is taking his argument home to his West Virginia constituents.

Warning that ‘we cannot ignore the fiscal Titanic of our national debt and deficit,’ the Democrat stressed his unwillingness to simply rubber-stamp his party’s positions in a Monday morning speech at the University of Charleston.”

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Budget Issues (Farm Bill); Regulations; Animal Ag; Ag Economy; and Biofuels

Budget Issues: Political Background

Lori Montgomery reported in Saturday’s Washington Post that, “President Obama’s budget plan would produce deficits of $9.5 trillion over the next decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Friday – more than $2 trillion higher than White House estimates.

“In its annual re-calculation of the president’s budget, the CBO concluded that Obama’s policies would cause the portion of the national debt held by outside investors to double during that period, rising to $20.8 trillion, or 87 percent of the nation’s annual economic output.

“Much of the negative impact on the nation’s budget outlook would come from the president’s proposals to maintain tax cuts for the middle class that are now due to expire in 2012. Though Obama has proposed raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy – primarily by limiting the value of itemized deductions – his tax policies on the whole would reduce revenues by more than $3 trillion over the next decade compared with current law, the CBO said.”

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Continuing Resolution; Ag Economy; Trade; Regulations; and Biofuels

Continuing Resolution

Janet Hook and Danny Yadron reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that, “The Senate on Thursday approved legislation to fund the government for three more weeks, amid bipartisan hopes that it would be the last short-term spending bill needed for the current fiscal year.

“The measure, approved 87-13, extends funding until April 8. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.”

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Budget Issues (Farm Bill); Regulations; and Animal Agriculture

Categories: Audio /Budget /Ethanol /Farm Bill

Budget Issues: Political Background

Major Garrett reported yesterday at National Journal Online that, “House Republicans have been winning the dollar debate but are dissatisfied with piecemeal victories. Senate Democrats have been retreating in billion-dollar increments and now want to battle over the big picture. The collision and a spring federal government shutdown—possibly lasting weeks—appear more likely than ever.

“House passage of a three-week continuing resolution marked another dollar victory for the House GOP. The $6 billion in cuts, certain to pass the Senate and win President Obama’s signature, reflect the prorated amount of $100 billion in discretionary cuts from Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget proposal the House GOP originally sent the Senate. When you add that $6 billion to the $4 billion in spending cuts already on the books, House Republicans will soon be able to boast of $10 billion cut from 2010 spending levels—besting the net $9.1 billion the Gingrich-era House Republican majority cut in 1995.

But those dollar victories are, according to numerous House Republicans, just postponing the inevitable confrontation with the White House and Senate Democrats over defunding Obama’s health care reform, environmental policies, and new financial-regulation bureaucracies.”

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Budget (Farm Bill); Regulations; and USDA Chesapeake Bay Study

Budget: Continuing Resolution: Political Background

Naftali Bendavid and Janet Hook reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that, “The House approved a stopgap bill Tuesday to keep the government funded for three additional weeks. But the 271-158 vote revealed splits in both parties and suggested that reaching a longer-term deal remained difficult.

“Fifty-four Republicans, including several prominent conservatives, voted to oppose the measure, which cuts $6 billion from this year’s spending.

“A similar split is shaping up in the Senate, which is expected to pass the measure on Wednesday or Thursday. Sens. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), two stars of the conservative movement, said they would oppose the bill.”

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Budget Issues (Farm Policy); Regulations; Trade; and the Ag Economy

Budget Issues: Continuing Resolution- Political Background

David Nather reported yesterday at Politico that, “House Republican leaders are facing a rebellion in their ranks from conservatives who say they won’t vote for the next three-week spending bill — in part, because it doesn’t contain the House-passed riders to defund the health care law and Planned Parenthood.

“Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, was one of two members who announced Monday they would vote against the bill Tuesday, along with South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan. Jordan said that’s partly because it cuts spending only in ‘bite-sized pieces,’ but also because ‘we need to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, and we need to defund Obamacare.’

“Jordan’s statement comes after Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, one of 87 House Republican freshmen, put out his own statement Friday vowing to oppose the bill for the same reasons. If more House Republicans take the same stand, they could put tremendous pressure on the leadership to stop approving ‘clean’ extensions of government funding — and maybe even threaten the passage of this one.”

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Budget Issues (Farm Bill); Regulations; Trade; and the Ag Economy

Budget Issues: Continuing Resolution

David Rogers reported on Friday at Politico that, “Buying more time for budget talks, the House Appropriations Committee unveiled a three-week stop-gap bill Friday that will carry the government through April 8 while Republicans and the White House try to hammer out a spending plan for the second half of this fiscal year.

“Over the objections of many conservatives, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) again opted to keep the measure free of controversial legislative riders opposed by President Barack Obama. But the bill does exact another $6 billion in savings including some high-profile cuts impacting federal building construction, public broadcasting and an historic preservation program long championed by former First Lady Laura Bush.”

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Budget Issues (Farm Bill); Regulations; Biofuels; Trade; and the Ag Economy

Budget Issues: Political Background

Janet Hook reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that, “House Republicans plan to unveil another short-term measure Friday to keep the government operating while they negotiate over this year’s federal budget with Democrats and the White House.

“The measure is expected to extend funding for three weeks beyond March 18, the expiration for a stopgap bill that is now keeping the government funded, senior GOP aides said. Failure to pass a new funding mechanism by March 18 would trigger a partial government shutdown.

The new, short-term measure through April 8 would likely make additional cuts in spending from last year’s levels at a rate of $2 billion a week.”

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Budget (Farm Policy); Regulations; Trade; Biofuels; and the Ag Economy

Budget: Continuing Resolution- Political Background

Janet Hook and Laura Meckler reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that, “The Senate on Wednesday rejected both parties’ budget-cutting proposals, in votes that gave a glimpse of the fault lines within the Republican and Democratic parties over fiscal issues.

“Three Republicans—conservatives with close ties to the tea party who want deeper cuts—joined all Democrats in voting against the GOP bill to cut $57 billion from current spending. There were 56 votes against the bill and 44 votes in favor.

“Ten Democrats and one liberal independent joined all Republicans in voting against the Democratic alternative to cut less than $5 billion. The vote was 58 against the bill and 42 votes in favor. The Democratic opponents included centrists who argued that it cut too little and liberals who said it cut too much.”

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