January 20, 2020

Policy Issues (Budget, Midwest Campaign, Farm Bill); Ag Economy; Regulations; and Biofuels

Policy Issues: Downgrade and Super Committee Pressure

John D. McKinnon, Siobhan Hughes and Michael Crittenden reported in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal that, “Friday’s downgrade of U.S. government debt raises pressure on a special ‘super committee’ that lawmakers formed this week to try—once again—to reach a far-reaching budget deal.

“In its downgrade announcement, Standard & Poor’s said it was taking action based largely on Washington’s constant political bickering and fiscal half measures. Based on the rancorous debate that just concluded, S&P predicted future deliberations would remain ‘a contentious and fitful process.’

How Washington’s political culture responds to that charge could be one of the more important repercussions of the downgrade, outside the reactions of financial markets. And the special debt committee stands as the capital’s first test: Will lawmakers and the administration redouble their efforts to reach a broad budget-cutting deal or again descend into squabbles?