House Democrats are about to attempt something that Washington hasn’t been done in over three decades: Enact immigration reforms that would give farmers better access to foreign workers while offering legal status to their existing employees.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a Clean Water Act case with major implications for agriculture, while farm groups who back a bipartisan ag labor bill will be lobbying lawmakers ahead of an expected House committee debate.
A bipartisan farm labor reform bill released Wednesday would expand the H-2A program to year-round workers and provide farms relief on wage rates, while offering legal status to existing agricultural workers who are undocumented.
A bipartisan bill advanced by the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority to keep pace with new technology as well as pursue market fraud and manipulation that takes place outside the United States.
Agriculture Department officials and some outside experts expect landowners to sign up for the land-idling Conservation Reserve Program in the largest numbers in at least a decade due to the slow farm economy.
The Senate is looking to finish work on a package of spending bills funding USDA and other agencies important to agriculture, but it increasingly appears that Congress won’t reach a final agreement on fiscal 2020 until after the first of the year.