FarmPolicy

October 21, 2017

Farm Bill; Ag Econ; Regulations; and, Immigration

Farm Bill

David Rogers reported yesterday at Politico that, “Moving further to the right, the House Republican leadership is actively pursuing a strategy of splitting its failed farm bill into two parts so that the nutrition title and food stamps funding can be considered on their own.

“Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is driving the new approach, which dovetails with the agenda of outside conservative groups. But Speaker John Boehner’s office signaled Thursday that he also is open to the two-bill strategy and a final decision will be made after the July Fourth recess.

“‘We are going with this play and see where it gets us,’ a senior leadership aide told POLITICO. ‘We are trying to break the bill apart to get something to conference with the Senate.’”

(Note that in a news briefing yesterday with Speaker Boehner, the following exchange took place, QUESTION: On the farm bill, do you support the — the notion of splitting food stamps away from the [farm program] as a possible…?

“BOEHNER: There’s a lot of conversations going on about the farm bill and a way forward. There have been no decisions” (Audio clip.))

(more…)

Healthier Snacks Coming To All Elementary And High Schools

Categories: Farm Bill

From USDA, Jun 27- “USDA is rolling out a rule that will make sure that kids can buy only healthy snacks in schools.”

kg

Video: Sec. Vilsack on “Morning Joe” Program

Categories: Farm Bill

Today Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was a guest on the “Morning Joe” television program (MSNBC) where he discussed nutrition issues and the Farm Bill.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

kg

Farm Bill; Appropriations; Crop Insurance; Ag Econ; and, the RFS

Farm Bill- Chairman Lucas

Ron Hays, of the Oklahoma Farm Report and Radio Oklahoma Network, spoke yesterday with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R., Okla.) about a variety of current policy variables regarding the Farm Bill.

An audio replay and summary of the Chairman’s remarks from yesterday can be found here, while an unofficial FarmPolicy.com transcript of the conversation with Ron Hays and Chairman Lucas is available here.

Chairman Lucas stated that, “This is my fourth farm bill, and in 1996 I watched as two farm bills were rejected in the House Agriculture Committee itself, but this is the first time, as far as I can tell, a bill was rejected on the floor. And that doesn’t mean that the process is over with. That doesn’t mean that the reforms that were included in the bill, whether it’s the commodity title, or nutrition, or conservation aren’t important, relevant, and won’t ultimately become law. It just means on that day, on that bill, at that moment, Mr. Peterson and I could not persuade a simple majority, 218 of our colleagues, to vote with us.”

The Oklahoma Republican explained that, “And the great debate up here is not cutting the stuff that we spend from year to year discretionary, which we’ve done a very good job in the House, but how do you go after the long-term locked in spending mandatory. This $40 billion, half out of the part of the bill that raises food, half out of the part of the bill that deals with the consumption of food, was the first real major mandatory spending reform bill to come to the floor in I don’t know how long.”

Chairman Lucas also noted that, “The ultimate thing I think that made it impossible on that day to pass a bill dealt with the food stamp issues, the nutrition issues. My liberal colleagues could apparently only accept so much reform. I think they would have voted for a bill that would have cut the $20 billion out of the nutrition title through reforms. I think they were prepared to address testing and a variety of other things.

“But when you put all that together, it was too much for my liberal friends to support, and there was a revolt among the Democrats. But also, in all fairness, Ron, I cannot criticize the Democrats exclusively because 61 of my Republican colleagues, who voted for every one of those major reforms on food stamps, wouldn’t vote for the final bill, and that’s even more amazing.”

(more…)

Rep. McGovern: Highlights Ag Appropriations, Farm Bill

Categories: Farm Bill

On the House floor today, Rep. Jim McGovern (D., Mass.) discussed the Ag Appropriations Bill, and the Farm Bill.

kg

Video: Rep. Alcee Hastings Discusses Ag Appropriations, Farm Bill

Categories: Farm Bill

On the House floor today, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.) discussed Ag Appropriations and the Farm Bill.

kg

Farm Bill; Appropriations; Ag Economy; Immigration; and, Climate

Farm Bill

Yesterday, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) appeared on “NOW with Alex Wagner,” the MSNBC television program and discussed the Farm Bill.  A replay of this discussion has been posted at FarmPolicy.com Online.

With respect to a way forward on the Farm Bill, Chairwoman Stabenow indicated that: “In my judgment, I am not going to allow—I will do everything in my power to stop just a temporary continuation like was done last year.  Why?  Because all of the subsidies these guys say they want to end that they don’t support would continue under a continuation budget.  We’d have no savings; we would have no reforms.

All of those things that they talk about would be eliminated and we would just continue with the old way, spending way too much money on the wrong things, and things like local food systems, organics, fruits and vegetables, healthy foods in schools, would not have the funding to continue.  So I don’t support that.  They need to get the job done.”

And Daniel Looker reported yesterday at Agriculture.com that, “Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Tuesday that he supports the Senate not extending the 2008 farm law again in order to keep pressure on the House of Representatives to pass a new farm bill.”

Mr. Looker noted that, “Grassley, who is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, indicated Tuesday that resistance to another extension is coming from the committee’s leader.

“‘I had a discussion with Chairwoman [Debbie] Stabenow (D-MI) and she said I could quote her that she said she’s not going to extend the farm bill for another year,’ Grassley said.

“Not extending current law holds out the possibility that permanent farm bill legislation, dating back to 1949 and earlier, could kick in sometime after the current fiscal year ends on September 30.”

(more…)

Chairwoman Stabenow Discusses Farm Bill on MSNBC Today

Categories: Farm Bill

Today on “NOW with Alex Wagner” (MSNBC), Sen. Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) discussed the Farm Bill.

In part, Chairwoman Stabenow indicated that: “In my judgment, I am not going to allow—I will do everything in my power to stop just a temporary continuation like was done last year. Why? Because all of the subsidies these guys say they want to end that they don’t support would continue under a continuation budget. We’d have no savings; we would have no reforms.

“All of those things that they talk about would be eliminated and we would just continue with the old way, spending way too much money on the wrong things, and things like local food systems, organics, fruits and vegetables, healthy foods in schools, would not have the funding to continue. So I don’t support that. They need to get the job done.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

kg

Farm Bill; Immigration; Biofuels; Trade; and, MF Global

Farm Bill Issues

Reuters writer Charles Abbott reported yesterday that, “The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives needs to solve its farm bill impasse by enacting the Senate’s bipartisan bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Monday, warning that the Democrat-run Senate will not extend current law again.

“The House defeated its own farm bill last week – the first time such a bill has failed in a House vote – and analysts have said a short-term extension of the 2008 farm law would be the easiest solution.

“On the Senate floor, Reid said ‘the Senate will not pass another temporary farm bill extension.’”

(Note that a video replay of Sen. Reid’s presentation on the Senate floor, and transcript of his remarks, are available here,  at FarmPolicy.com Online.  See also this news release yesterday from Purdue University, “Second farm bill extension seems likely, Purdue ag economists say.”)

Mr. Abbott noted that, “A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said ‘no decisions have been made on next steps.’”

The Reuters article pointed out that, “House Republican leaders canceled plans for a vote this week on an Agriculture Department funding bill. One farm lobbyist said it would have been ‘round two’ on the farm bill since it covers the same contentious subjects.”

(more…)

Bloomberg Video: How Will Farm Bill Defeat Affect Food Prices?

Categories: Farm Bill

From Bloomberg News, June 24- “Societe Generale Head of Agricultural Research Chris Narayan discusses the impact of the failure to pass the Farm Bill on Bloomberg Television’ ‘Market Makers.'”

kg

Video: Senate Majority Leader Reid Discusses Farm Bill on Floor

Categories: Farm Bill

On the Senate floor today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) highlighted the Farm Bill and noted that, “I want everyone within the sound of my voice, as well as my colleagues on the other side of the Capitol, to know that the Senate will not pass another temporary Farm Bill extension.”

Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“I have often said that Speaker Boehner has one of the toughest jobs in Washington. That was obvious last week, when the House Republican caucus revolted to defeat the Speaker’s farm bill. Even though the Speaker took the unusual step of announcing his support for the measure ahead of the vote, the bill still went down in flames. It was the first time the House of Representatives had voted down a farm bill since the program was created.

“I admit I was disappointed to hear House Republican leadership blame the bill’s defeat on Democrats. It was no surprise House Democrats opposed this mean-spirited bill. The legislation cut $20 billion from the safety net that keeps millions of Americans, including millions of children, from going hungry each year. The House farm bill eliminated 8 billion meals for hungry American families and children. So it’s no surprise Democrats didn’t vote for legislation that balanced the budget on the backs of America’s most vulnerable citizens.

“We’ve seen this film before. The Speaker can’t jam through legislation that amounts to a partisan love note to the Tea Party. Eventually he’ll be forced to take up a more bipartisan measure. But there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The Senate has done the hard work already.

“The Speaker should dispense with the drama and the delay, and take up the Senate farm bill now. The bill passed on an overwhelming, bipartisan vote in this chamber.

“Passing the Senate farm bill would create jobs while reducing the deficit by $23 billion. And it would make important reforms to both farm and Food Stamp programs without balancing the budget on the backs of hungry Americans.

“I’ve spoken to Secretary Vilsack and we agree that maintaining the status quo is not an option. Doing nothing means no reform, no deficit reduction and no certainty for America’s 16 million farm-industry workers. I want everyone within the sound of my voice – as well as my colleagues on the other side of the Capitol – to know that the Senate will not pass another temporary farm bill extension. It is time for real reform that protects both rural farm communities and families who need a little extra help feeding their children.

“If the Speaker took up the Senate’s bipartisan measure, it would easily pass the House with both Republican and Democratic votes. There’s no shame in passing a bill that moderates from both parties support.

“We’ve seen time and again that the Tea Party’s my-way-or-the-highway approach to legislating doesn’t work. The only way to pass a bill in either the House or the Senate is to do so with votes from both Democrats and Republicans. The Senate farm bill passed with 66 votes in this chamber. It was the perfect example of a bipartisan bill. The Speaker should allow a vote on this measure in the House.

“The immigration reform bill before the Senate is another fine example of bipartisan legislation. This bill will pass with votes from both Democrats and Republicans. And, when immigration reform passes the Senate, the Speaker should bring it up for a vote in the House of Representatives as well.

“Rather than twisting the arms of Tea Party extremists, just work with moderates from both parties to pass bipartisan legislation. And rather than trying to force legislation designed to please only the right wing, my friend the Speaker should just take the easy way out.”

Leader Reid also tweeted about the Farm Bill today:

kg

Video Clip: How the Farm Bill Failed, Mike Allen Reports

Categories: Farm Bill

Video clip from Politico featuring brief remarks from Mike Allen on the Farm Bill.

kg

Video: Rep. Ryan Discusses Farm Bill on MSNBC “Morning Joe”

Categories: Farm Bill

Today on the “Morning Joe” television program (MSNBC), Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) provided his version of what happened on the Farm Bill vote last week, a video clip is available below.

Rep. Ryan noted that the Democrats did not deliver the 40 votes they promised in support of the Bill.

The former GOP Vice-Presidential candidate also stated that, “the Farm Bill should be there for family farmers,” implying that this currently is not happening. However, over 95% of farms in the U.S. are family owned operations.

He also made the argument that the commodity title and nutrition title should be separated and considered individually.

Rep. Ryan did not mention that on the House floor on Thursday, just before the vote on the Farm Bill, Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) explained that a GOP amendment that was offered (the Southerland amendment regarding food stamps), “breaks the deal that we had and is offensive in the way that it treats the unemployed in this country.”

Rep. Ryan did not discuss the fact that an amendment to a bill changes a bill.

And, David Hawkings noted yesterday at Roll Call Online that, “Republicans bemoaned the fact that Democrats delivered only 24 votes after promising at least 40. But even if those extra 16 votes had ended up in the ‘yes’ column, the legislation still would have fallen short.”

Also, Mike Barnicle asked Rep. Ryan a question about paying farmers “not to grow crops.”

There is no Title I program that fits that description.

Under the Conservation Reserve Program, “In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality.”

“The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat,” USDA has explained.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

kg

Farm Bill; Appropriations; Immigration; and, the Ag Economy

Farm Bill

On Friday, Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (R., Minn.) was a guest on The Mike McFeely Show (KFGO Radio, Fargo, N.D.) where he discussed Farm Bill issues.  An audio replay of the discussion is available here, while a FarmPolicy.com transcript of Friday’s interview can be found here.

Rep. Peterson noted that, “Well, there’s always hope. We have not come to a conclusion about what to do. There’s been some ideas thrown out. And some people were getting pretty excited yesterday and about ready to blow everything up. And I was on the phone and got most everybody calmed down, I think.

“So, you know, there was some talk about bringing the Senate bill up in the House. I have a problem with that. I’ve got problems with some of the Senate bill, and that’s what the conference committee is for, to deal with that.”

More specifically, Rep. Peterson indicated that, “I think the best solution that I can come up with is to take the House Agriculture Committee bill, which was bipartisan, which had over 50 votes from the Democrats—[Steny Hoyer] thought there were 70. I don’t think there were that many. But there were clearly enough votes, along with the Republicans, to pass what came out of the committee. Bring that bill to the Rules Committee and put it on the floor, it’ll pass and get to conference. I think that’s the best solution, if people are willing to do it.”

He added that, “And then, you know, we had made a deal on food stamps where I agreed to more cuts than we had considered last year, but I thought we had a deal that there weren’t going to be any other…that we were going to stand together to oppose any other changes in the food stamp area, but that’s not what happened. And three amendments got approved, that each one of them peeled off more support, so we got down to 24 votes, and that wasn’t enough…[S]o we’re going to go back to the drawing board. I talked to Lucas yesterday and tried to figure out some way we can bring this thing back, get it passed, get it into conference. We haven’t worked for four years to give up now, so we’re going to keep plugging.”

With respect to one of the amendments regarding SNAP, the “Southerland amendment,” Rep. Peterson stated: “On this Southerland amendment, which was the one that broke the camel’s back, this is a Cantor deal, and he actually got up and spoke on this right before they [handed] the deal, which really torqued everybody off. All of the people, the 61 people that voted against the bill voted for that amendment, and no Democrats.”

In the remainder of the interview, Rep. Peterson discussed more Farm Bill issues and other political variables.

A transcript of the House floor debate regarding the “Southerland amendment,” from the Congressional Record, is available here.

(more…)

Bloomberg Video: House Deals Farm Bill Unexpected Bipartisan Defeat

Categories: Farm Bill

From Bloomberg News, June 20- “Bloomberg’s Alan Bjerga discusses the defeat of the $939 billion U.S. farm bill in the House with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s ‘Bottom Line.'”

kg

Farm Bill: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words- Chairman Lucas

Categories: Farm Bill

An update on Friday at The Fix Blog (Washington Post), by Chris Cillizza, included a few photos of lawmakers on the House floor from Thursday as the vote on the Farm Bill was unfolding.

Below is one the images, captured from C-SPAN, that was posted at The Fix Blog: “That’s Lucas — bespectacled and with his head bowed on the middle of the picture.”

kg


« Past Entries