House Republican leaders pick up the pieces this week after another embarrassing defeat on a farm bill, which was weighed down yet again by controversial food stamp reforms before sinking because of an intra-party feud over immigration policy.
China has agreed to increase its imports of American agriculture and energy products and to address U.S. concerns about protection of intellectual property, according to a joint U.S.-China statement released by the White House.
For the second time in five years, House Republicans failed to pass a farm bill, this time because of conservative demands for action on immigration and fierce Democratic opposition to the legislation's food stamp reforms.
By a surprisingly large bipartisan margin, the House easily defeated the latest attempt by food and candy manufacturers to reduce sugar prices, rejecting an amendment that would have ended domestic marketing controls for the commodity.
Republican leaders desperate to push through a partisan farm bill through the House that overhauls the food stamp program are heading off attempts to cut crop insurance or tighten commodity payment limits.
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway is struggling to cobble together the votes he needs from GOP colleagues to pass his farm bill while fending off amendments that would roll back the sugar program or cut crop insurance.
The White House has endorsed the House farm bill ahead of a contentious floor debate, saying the legislation would provide certainty to farmers while imposing “common-sense work requirements” on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
A Purdue University food safety scientist, Charles R. Santerre, has been named a senior policy adviser in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, where his assignments are expected to include helping coordinate the administration’s work on agricultural biotechnology.
House GOP leaders hope to pass a farm bill this week over likely unified Democratic opposition, but Republicans head into the debate divided over critical amendments on sugar policy, crop insurance and other issues.