Daily Harvest -- 7/19/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Senate takes next step in move to farm bill conference
- (Subscriber only) The Senate approved a unanimous consent agreement late Thursday to send its five-year farm bill (S. 954) back to the House and formally request a conference. The UC agreement allows Senate to appoint its conferees as early as the week of July 22.
Agri-Pulse: Coalition of 243 groups pushes Congress on farm bill
- More than 240 groups from around the country urged Congress today to approve a "full and fair" farm bill this summer and "without further delay."
Agri-Pulse: Senators say farm bill must include nutrition title
- (Audio) Without a nutrition title, the reforms put in place to tighten up on fraud and abuse would not exist, said Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also said the farm bill must have a nutrition title to pass through the Senate.
Politico: Agriculture panel heads meet on farm bill
- Farm bill talks advanced Thursday. At one stage, Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., thought the effort was doomed. But Stabenow went in and out of the GOP cloakroom and recruited Republican members of her committee to overcome threatened objections.
The Spokesman Review: McMorris Rodgers explains food aid cut
- The House plans to bring a separate SNAP funding measure to the floor for a vote within a week, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said. Spending would be similar to that proposed in the more traditional House farm bill combining farm support and low-income nutrition assistance that failed to pass.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Washington Post: Congress should reexamine raisin marketing law
- The Washington Post editorial board says the raisin marketing order is a relic of a long-gone era, when farms were smaller and more numerous than they are today.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Administration continues to push Congress for TPA bill
- The administration is continuing to push for creation of legislation dealing with Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), freshly-minted United States Trade Representative Michael Froman told the House Ways and Means Committee in a hearing.
The Hill: Froman warns lack of resources may stymie trade agenda
- Froman, the U.S. trade representative, said budget constraints are making it difficult to meet the growing number of global trade goals. "We are managing our resources aggressively and will do our best to achieve our priorities with whatever resources we have, but to be frank, I am worried."
Wall Street Journal: Japan Farmers' Worry About Trade Policy Trumps Election Outcome
- (Subscriber only) The Japanese government's decision to enter into Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks has left many rural voters worried about the impact on their livelihood, and the outcome of Sunday's election is unlikely to alleviate those fears, regardless who wins.
Bangkok Post: Government to take big loss on rice sales
- The Thai government is prepared to take a big loss as it struggles to offload record stockpiles of rice built up through the state-buying programme, with plans to call for bids on the ageing hoard of grain every two weeks.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Senate confirms McCarthy to serve as EPA administrator
- The Senate confirmed today, on a mostly partisan 59-40 vote, the nomination of Gina McCarthy to serve as EPA administrator.
Wall Street Journal: Green-Energy Mandates Find Improbable Allies
- (Subscriber only) Some of the most vocal support for alternative-energy mandates that conservatives are fighting against is coming from an unlikely corner: farmers who see profit in rural renewable-energy projects.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Post: Immigration supporters fear they're losing campaign, call for stronger push by outside groups
- With House action now on hold until September at earliest, immigration bill backers see Congress' monthlong August recess as crucial to their cause. They're making plans to try to ensure that supporters of an immigration overhaul are heard as loudly as opponents.
Wall Street Journal: Immigration's Brown Herrings
- (Subscriber only) The idea that people from Latin America or Southeast Asia have been taking American jobs has been a brown herring, deflecting political energies from more serious problems in the U.S. labor force, according to Daniel Henninger in this WSJ column.
Agri-Pulse: Senators hear concerns about futures industry reforms
- Futures market experts suggested during a hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee that certain proposed rules intended to improve oversight of the industry might put customers at greater risk.
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