Trade remains the top concern for American agriculture heading into 2020, with looming uncertainty about whether the Chinese will make promised increases in commodity purchases, and whether President Donald Trump will provide another round of trade assistance to U.S. producers.
Brushing aside an outcry from anti-hunger advocates and congressional Democrats, the Trump administration on Wednesday finalized regulations that will make it harder for states to exempt able-bodied adults from work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Congress returns from a two-week break with the deepening impeachment battle clouding prospects for budget and tax issues important to U.S. .agriculture, and there is continued uncertainty about when lawmakers will take up the U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement.
In its latest effort to shrink enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Trump administration is proposing to remove up to 3 million people from the rolls by tightening eligibility rules that allow many states to sign up people with incomes that exceed federal limits.
Almost one year ago, a report was published that highlighted astonishing findings: states were abusing federal loopholes to waive food stamp work requirements for as many able-bodied adults as possible.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue suggested to lawmakers that his department could soften the definition of able-bodied adults who are subject to food stamp work requirements, but he declined to budge from a USDA reorganization plan to relocate two research agencies out of the nation's capital.
Less than three months after signing the 2018 farm bill, President Donald Trump proposed a fiscal 2020 budget that would reopen the law to slash crop insurance and tighten commodity program eligibility limits while making deep cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
With President Donald Trump having dropped the threat for now of expanded tariffs, U.S. and Chinese negotiators continue work on details of an agreement that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping could potentially seal later this month in Florida.
Democrats on the Senate Agriculture Committee clashed with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue over his proposal to make it harder for states to get waivers from work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.