Washington Week Ahead: Lawmakers will look at debt ceiling, Keystone, immigration

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2014 - Lawmakers are expected to address, or at least discuss, the next looming financial crisis after Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned that Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling by the end of the month to avoid a government default.

How lawmakers will solve this latest fiscal problem remains unclear. Lew said the deadline for when the Treasury Department will be unable to pay the nation's bills is now Feb. 27 - the date was moved back due to the use of “extraordinary measures.”

“The bottom line is: Time is short,” Lew said. “Congress needs to act to extend the borrowing authority for our nation, and it needs to act now.”

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has been hesitant to allow the debt limit to be increased without an offset of spending cuts.

Other issues that are likely to continue to crop up include the Keystone Pipeline project and immigration reform.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, recently called on Obama to approve the 1,700-mile pipeline project that would transport oil from the Alberta oil sands south to refineries in Texas. This latest push from lawmakers comes after the State Department released an environmental impact statement that supporters of the project lauded as an endorsement to begin the contentious project.

Together we can feed the Bees"

The statement largely said the pipeline poses no significant environmental risks, according to Pryor. Opponents have argued the 1,700-mile project would increase global warming and make the United States more dependent on “dirty fossil fuel.”

Immigration reform is likely to continue to receive more attention this week as advocates push for a legal source of farm workers. The Agriculture Workforce Coalition brought several farmers to Capitol Hill last week to urge lawmakers to find way forward on this long-simmering issue.

Meanwhile, USDA is expected to march full steam ahead on implementation of the farm bill.

Also, Janet L. Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is scheduled to testify about the state of the economy before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.

The week's tentative events include:

Monday, Feb. 10.

12:00 p.m. The House will meet for morning hour debate.

12:00 p.m. USDA Report: WASDE

12:00 p.m. USDA Report: Cotton Ginning

12:00 p.m. USDA Report: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB)

12:00 p.m. USDA Report: Crop Production

12:15 p.m. USDA Report: World Agricultural Production

12:15 p.m. USDA Report: Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade

12:15 p.m. USDA Report: Grains: World Markets and Trade

12:15 p.m. USDA Report: Cotton: World Markets and Trade

2:00 p.m. The Senate will convene for a period of morning business.

2:00 p.m. The House will meet for legislative business, with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m. The House is expected to vote, under suspension, legislation to reauthorize the National Integrated Drought Information System (H.R. 2431). 

5:30 p.m. The Senate will vote on a motion to proceed to a bill (S. 1963) related to a partial repeal of the Budget Act of 2013.

Tuesday, Feb. 11.

10:00 a.m. The House will meet for morning hour debate.

10:00 a.m. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on “Ensuring Open Science at EPA” in 2318 Rayburn.

10:00 a.m. The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on “Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy” in 2128 Rayburn.  Janet L. Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is the scheduled witness.

11:00 a.m. USDA Report: Season-Average Price Forecasts

11:00 a.m. USDA Report: Farm Sector and Household Income Forecast

12:00 p.m. The House will meet for legislative business.

1:00 p.m. The House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on “Building on the Wireless Revolution: Opportunities and Barriers for Small Firms” in 2360 Rayburn.

Wednesday, Feb. 12.

9:00 a.m. The House will meet for legislative business.

1:00 p.m. USDA Report: WHS: Wheat Outlook

1:00 p.m. USDA Report: OCS: Oil Crops Outlook

2:30 p.m. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Energy will hold a hearing on “Lessons from State Efficiency and Renewable Programs” in 366 Dirksen.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: National Dairy Products Sales Report

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Broiler Hatchery

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: RCS: Rice Outlook

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: CWS: Cotton and Wool Outlook

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: FDS: Feed Outlook

Thursday, Feb. 13.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will address the Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit in New York City.

8:30 a.m. USDA Report: Weekly Export Sales

9:00 a.m. USDA Report: Feed Grains Database

10:30 a.m. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the “The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress” in 538 Dirksen. Janet L. Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is the scheduled witness.

11:00 a.m. USDA Report: OCE: USDA Agricultural Projections

2:30 p.m. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure will hold a hearing on “Enhancing our Rail Safety: Current Challenges for Passenger and Freight Rail” in 253 Russell.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Turkey Hatchery

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: U.S. Bioenergy Statistics

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Aquaculture Data

Friday, Feb. 14.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will keynote the Federation of Southern Cooperatives 31st Annual Small Farmers Conference in Albany, Ga.

12:00 p.m. USDA Report: Crop Values

12:00 p.m. USDA Report: Peanut Prices

1:00 p.m. USDA Report: Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: SSSM: Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook

#30

For more news, go to http://www.agri-pulse.com

 


Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus
 Most Popular