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.
President Donald Trump and his top trade negotiator head to the Group of 20 summit in hopes of re-starting negotiations with China before the trade war escalates further while simultaneously making progress in talks with the Japanese on reducing their barriers to U.S. farm exports.
House Democrats are rolling out a series of fiscal 2020 spending bills that reject a range of White House spending cuts while challenging key Trump administration priorities and regulatory rollbacks at USDA, EPA and other agencies.
David Bernhardt, who has served in a variety of senior positions in the Interior Department, was confirmed as secretary by the Senate on Thursday, a victory for cattle producers, energy companies and other interests who see him as an ally on public land management and endangered species regulation.
The Bureau of Land Management’s new management plans for tens of millions of acres of greater sage-grouse habitat aim to give BLM and seven Western states “flexibility” to address threats to the bird’s continued existence, BLM said in releasing the plans Thursday.
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.