WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2016 - Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, the firebrand conservative who was kicked off the House Agriculture Committee over his challenges to the Republican leadership, has lost his GOP primary race to physician Roger Marshall. 

Several national farm groups and state organizations, including the Kansas Farm Bureau, joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this year in opposition to Huelskamp, who’s a member of the House Freedom Caucus. 

The Chamber of Commerce issued a statement last night saying the issue in the race was “governing,” and that the group supports lawmakers “who fight for the American free enterprise system and economic freedom.”

Huelskamp was seeking his fourth term. No Democrat filed for the race.

Obama hopes TPP fares better when ‘dust settles.’ President Obama and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong say they’re hopeful that Congress will take a longer look at the TPP after the election. 

During a joint news conference yesterday, Obama said he’s hopeful that when the “dust settles” after the election “there will be more attention to the actual facts behind the deal and it won’t just be a political symbol or a political football.” Obama said he looks forward to sitting down with both sides and addressing the misinformation that’s been put out about the 12-nation agreement. 

Prime Minister Lee said the TPP is a critical part of America’s attempt to address the balance of power in Asia. Lee said the deal is “vital from a strategic point of view” and would be a“strong signal of the U.S. commitment to continue its deep engagement in the region.”

Lee also was asked about what Singapore would do if the United States elects a president who is “anti-globalization.” Lee wouldn’t weigh in on the presidential race. But he said he hopes that in a “calmer, cooler atmosphere” after the election that “positions are re-thought, strategies are nuanced, a certain balance is kept in the direction in the direction of the ship of state.” 

Lee added for good measure that he hopes the U.S. ship of state “doesn’t turn completely upside down.”

This year or never for TPP? The Obama administration’s chief agricultural trade negotiator, Darci Vetter, told sugar industry representatives yesterday in Idaho that the TPP may be dead if it doesn’t get passed in a lame duck session this year.

Key congressional Republicans have ruled out taking up TPP right after the election, but Vetter said that if that doesn’t happen it could be years before the TPP gets approved, if it ever does.

Farm groups appeal for immigration action. Farm groups are joining business organizations around the country today in an appeal to Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The Western Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are among the groups participating in what is called a “Reason for Reform” campaign. 

The groups will hold a national conference call to talk about the immigration issue, and there are state events planned as well. In Madison, Wis., for example, the state Dairy Business Association and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association will be taking part in a news conference.

House chairman seeks curb on conservation fund. House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah wants congressional appropriators to stop the Land and Water Conservation Fund from being used to acquire property through eminent domain. In a letter to House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers of Kentucky, Bishop said several states are allowingprivate property to be acquired using condemnation or eminent domain, a development he called "deeply troubling."

Bishop also asked Rogers to help him get a full accounting forland purchases through LWCF. Like most critics of the LWCF, Bishop would prefer to see more of the fund’s money spent on recreational projects that can be managed easily by the states, instead of on land acquisition.

Climate impact to figure into agency decisions. The Obama administration has finalized guidance that will require federal agencies to consider the impacts of their actions on climate change. That climate analysis will have to be included in reviews that agencies undertake under the National Environmental Policy Act. 

Among other things, the guidance will require agencies to consider possible mitigation measures for carbon emissions. The mitigation measures could include sequestering carbon through forests and agricultural soils and through “sustainable land management” practices. Agencies will have to ensure that the mitigation measures are durable and will actually be implemented.

A leading critic of Obama’s climate policy, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe, says the guidance can’t have any immediate impact because the chairmanship of the White House Council on Environmental Council is currently vacant. “With no Senate-confirmed chairman, or even a nominee, today’s guidance can have no force or effect as CEQ staff have no authority to take any official action,” Inhofe said. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the guidance will make it harder to get federal permits to change land management practices and to build railroads, bridge and highways.

He said it: “I looked like a glazed doughnut.” - Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, describing his appearance at the end of an eight-hour shift, when, as a high school student, he worked in a sugar processing plant in Idaho Falls. His job required filling sacks with 100 pounds of powdered sugar. He was speaking yesterday at the International Sweetener Symposium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Steve Davies and Daniel Enoch contributed to this report. 


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