The 2014 farm bill is set to expire in just over one week, raising concerns about disruptions in a number of programs, including one of the largest conservation programs as well as much smaller programs that help commodity groups open overseas markets.
House and Senate negotiators are likely to provide another infusion of cash into rural broadband development, but an effort to repeal the Obama-era “waters of the U.S. rule” doesn’t appear likely to survive the talks on fiscal 2019 spending bills.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pressed farm bill negotiators to finalize an agreement as quickly as possible, but House Republicans used the conference committee’s first formal meeting to continue to press senators to accept tighter work requirements for food stamp recipients.
Trade and agriculture issues may play unusually prominent roles in congressional races this fall as Democrats look to seize control of the House and hang on to Senate seats they hold in farm states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.
Schools have sharply increased their purchases of locally produced foods in recent years while also taking other measures to reduce food waste and encourage kids to eat more healthful products, including installing school gardens.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural organizations are asking a Texas court to block enforcement of the Obama-era “waters of the U.S.” rule in the 26 states where courts have not already stayed its implementation.