Farm-state lawmakers are bracing this week for renewed proposals to cut agriculture spending as President Trump releases his fiscal 2019 budget, and Congress begins an extended debate on immigration policy.
Wading into a potentially divisive farm bill issue, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asked Congress to make it harder for states to get waivers from work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Republican leaders are rushing to pass another short-term spending bill to keep the government funded into March, and the prospects for moving a new farm bill by early spring could hinge on whether some cotton and dairy provisions get thrown into the spending measure.
Historically, new farm bills have not been approved in a timely fashion and often expire before a new one is written. But both Agriculture Committee chairmen are committed to aggressive timelines in 2018.
Reps. Roger Marshall and Jim McGovern could not be more different on paper. Marshall, a Republican, represents Kansas’ heavily agricultural 1st District, while McGovern is a liberal firebrand from Worcester, Mass. But the two lawmakers have rallied around the idea of "food as medicine."
The Trump administration is further delaying new animal-welfare standards for organic livestock and poultry production, and USDA officials are raising concerns about the legal and economic justification for the regulations developed under the Obama administration.