January 24, 2020

GOP Edge For U.S. Senate Slips

Categories: Farm Bill

Both The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times included front page stories today on the status of the U.S. Senate elections.

The Journal article (“GOP Fight for Control of Senate Hits Snags“) noted that, “Handicappers from both parties had predicted Indiana would be an easy win for Republicans, but the race is now a tossup. The surprisingly close contest adds to the challenges for a party once considered likely to regain a Senate majority, but now facing a number of setbacks.”

The article explained that, “Republicans entered this election season expecting to pick up enough Senate seats to overcome the Democrats’ 53-47 majority. Six years ago, a big Democratic surge had given the party victories in Republican-leaning states such as Montana, Virginia and Missouri. This year, Republicans figured that they could take those seats back.

But a string of surprising developments—including Republican Olympia Snowe giving up her Maine seat and Indiana’s Dick Lugar losing in a GOP primary—have made many races unexpectedly competitive. Some Democratic candidates are rising in tandem with President Barack Obama’s standing in polls, while Democrats in more conservative states are successfully distancing themselves from the president.”

Similarly, the LA Times article (“Democrats gain favor in battle for Senate“), which included the graphic below, stated that, “The battle for control of the Senate, which had favored Republicans for much of this election year, has abruptly shifted, with Democrats sharply improving their odds of keeping the majority.”

Some policy observers and lawmakers have suggested that if the Senate were to change to GOP control, perhaps the legislative branch would start over on the Farm Bill process in the next Congress.


CBS Video- School Lunch Issue

Categories: Farm Bill

From CBS News- Sep. 26- “Michelle Obama has supported a plan that would reduce calories in school lunches. New federal guidelines [Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act], in line with Michelle Obama’s health advocacy, went into effect at schools across the country. Among other measures, the guidelines limit calorie counts in public school lunches. Now there are some students who are creatively criticizing the new lunch regulations in a protest video they made is going viral.”

This video aired today on the CBS “This Morning” program.

For more background on this issue, see this update from Sep. 18, which included remarks on this topic from Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.).


Rep. Latham Talks Farm Bill with Des Moines Register

Categories: Farm Bill

Yesterday Rep. Tom Latham (R., Iowa) sat down with The Des Moines Register editorial board for a wide-ranging discussion on issues associated with his race for Congress in Iowa’s Third Congressional District against Rep. Leonard Boswell (D), who currently serves on the Agriculture Committee.

During the discussion, the topic of the stalled Farm Bill came up; to listen to this portion of yesterday’s Register interview with Rep. Latham, click on the listen bar below.

In part, Rep. Latham talked about the traditional rural – urban coalition that typically works together to get a Farm Bill passed, as well as nutrition issues and the SNAP (food stamps) program.

For more information on Rep. Boswell’s visit with The Des Moines Register editorial board, just click here.


Farm Bill; and, the Ag Economy

Farm Bill Issues

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) was a guest on yesterday’s AgriTalk radio program with Mike Adams where the conversation focused on the Farm Bill.

An audio replay of this portion of yesterday’s AgriTalk program can be heard here (MP3- 12:52), while an unofficial transcript of yesterday’s discussion is available here.

Rep. Peterson indicated that, “[House Speaker] John Boehner [R., Ohio] has wanted to do [the Farm Bill] in lame duck all along. I had discussions with him this summer, and he said, well, we’re going to handle it in the lame duck. So hopefully we will have an ally in the speaker in bringing this up in the lame duck session, and that should be helpful.

But one of the things I’m concerned about is there is no real work going on. We’re just kind of waiting right now. And I’m a little bit worried about having enough time during the lame duck to get this done. We’re going to have to move this early, as soon as we get back, on the House floor in order to get it into conference and get it worked out and get it back on the floor before we adjourn for Christmas.”

Ranking Member Peterson added that, “[Speaker Boehner] wants to do a bill. He’s never been for an extension, I don’t think. He’s not been the problem. The problem has been [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor [R., Va.] and his allies. There’s a hundred and some of them that probably have ten different reasons why they’re against this. Some of them think we haven’t made enough reform in the commodity title. Some of them don’t like the sugar program, some of them don’t like the dairy program, some of them it’s food stamps. They want to cut more out of food stamps. So they’re all over the map.

And there’s a fair number of them, a hundred, a hundred and some Republicans. And that’s been the problem. They haven’t wanted to bring this up when they’re divided within their caucus. But this 90 day extension that was tried, that was a bunch of nonsense, because there was nothing that was going to happen in 90 days. The first problem was 91 days. So if they were going to do an extension at that point, they should have done a longer one.”


Ga. Rep. Bishop talks Farm Bill

Categories: Farm Bill

From WALB-10 News (Albany, Ga.) Sep. 24. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D., Ga.) indicated this week on a local television station that, “Without some sense of certainty, it throws everything into a big question mark and of course that means farmers are limited in their ability to get credit because the lenders are limited in their ability to predict the capacity of the farmers to repay their loans.”, Albany News, Weather, Sports