Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue provided the implementation dates for the 2018 farm bill, saying the first payments to dairy producers could be delivered in July, and he told lawmakers that the White House is working on a comprehensive immigration reform proposal with the help of a USDA adviser.
President Donald Trump makes his case to the nation this week for his trade and immigration policies, while Senate Republicans look to advance Anthony Wheeler’s nomination to be administrator of the EPA.
House Democrats have named the key subcommittee leaders who will play critical roles in agriculture and food policy, and they range from veterans steeped in past battles to a first-term lawmaker who is a former CIA operations officer.
The new Democratic Majority on the House Agriculture Committee is made up of 10 freshman members and a dozen newcomers in all, nearly half the panel's 26 Democrats. By comparison, the 26-member Republican majority in the 115th Congress had just six freshmen.
The Conservation Stewardship Program has survived and grown despite repeated attacks by critics in Congress and in some administrations, but one of those critics, Texas GOP Rep. Mike Conaway, believes he has finally succeeded in pushing CSP toward the door.
Dairy analysts are urging milk producers who rejected the old Margin Protection Program to consider signing up for the new version created by the 2018 farm bill because it’s far more likely to provide payments than MPP.
Iowa Rep. Steve King, who represents one of the most agriculturally intensive districts in the nation, is being stripped of his House committee assignments, including senior positions on the Agriculture and Judiciary panels, as punishment for his latest racially insensitive comments.
The Democrats taking over House committees and subcommittees will push back hard against the Trump administration’s environmental policies and put a major focus on climate change, but ag groups will need to find allies on trade and other key issues.
The new Congress rekindled a dispute left over from last year’s farm bill debate as House Republicans sought to protect USDA’s move to tighten work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.