Washington Week Ahead: Farm bill action remains up in the air

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 29, 2013 - As lawmakers pack their bags this week for the August recess, hopes for more movement on a five-year farm bill appear to be pushed to September or beyond.

House Republican leadership is expected to continue trying to find a way forward on a nutrition title stand-alone bill to take to conference with the Senate. Reports have differed on how much progress the nutrition working group has made, as the discussions have been behind closed doors.

The House has not scheduled any action on such a bill. The Senate has not formally appointed conferees to a possible conference.

Nothing will happen until September and I'm not even sure then,” said one stakeholder. “I still think they would like to do nothing and conference with the Senate that way.”  

Meanwhile, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is expected to be quite active on agriculture-related issues this week.

On Monday, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and USTR chief agricultural negotiator Islam Siddiqui will meet with a delegation of chief executive officers from agricultural trade associations in Washington.

On Wednesday, Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler will meet in Washington with A. Didar Singh, secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, to discuss opportunities to strengthen bilateral trade and investment between the United States and India.

Also, on Wednesday, Siddiqui and USDA acting under secretary Darci Vetter will hold a video conference with senior trade officials from the Brazilian government regarding the ongoing U.S.-Brazil cotton framework agreement consultations.

Further, on Thursday, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro will meet with Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., to discuss the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations in Washington.

Other events include:

Monday, July 29.

2:00 p.m. The Senate will convene and proceed with a period of morning business.

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Crop Progress

4:15 p.m. The Senate will resume consideration of the transportation and HUD appropriations bill.

4:30 p.m. The Senate will proceed to an executive session to consider the nomination of James Comey to serve as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

5:30 p.m. The Senate will proceed to a cloture vote on the Comey nomination.

Tuesday, July 30.

Acting USDA deputy secretary Michael Scuse will hold a roundtable at Illinois Valley Community College on the importance of passing a comprehensive farm bill.

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

2:00 p.m. The House will meet for legislative business to consider the FY 2014 transportation, housing and urban development appropriations bill.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Peanut Stocks and Processing

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Livestock & Meat Domestic Data

4:00 p.m. USDA Report: Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (WAOB)

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

6:30 p.m. The House is expected to vote on amendments to the FY 2014 transportation, housing and urban development appropriations bill.

Wednesday, July 31.

Scuse will give keynote remarks in Chicago at the Ag Transportation Summit and discuss the importance of transportation to agriculture's profitability.

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

10:30 a.m. The House Appropriations Committee will hold a markup of the FY 2014 interior and environment appropriations bill in 2359 Rayburn.

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

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Announcement of Class and Component Prices

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

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Egg Products

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

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Agricultural Prices

Thursday, Aug. 1.

8:30 a.m. USDA Report: U.S. Export Sales

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

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

1:30 p.m. The House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade will hold a hearing on “The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Outlook and Opportunities” in 2200 Rayburn.

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

Friday, Aug. 2.

9:00 a.m. The House will meet for legislative business with last votes expected before 3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Land Values

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Farm Production Expenditures

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Quick States Database Cash Rents

3:00 p.m. USDA Report: Peanut Prices

#30

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