Lawmakers return from their extended summer recess facing pressure from farm groups to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and staring at an Oct. 1 deadline to pass a stopgap spending bill and avoid another government shutdown.
The White House steps up its campaign to get Congress to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement this week, dispatching U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for hearings on both sides of Capitol Hill.
The Agriculture Department is rushing to finish a new trade assistance package for farmers hurt by the ongoing trade war with China, while congressional negotiators this week look to pass a long-stalled disaster aid package before the week-long recess for Memorial Day.
House Democrats have named the key subcommittee leaders who will play critical roles in agriculture and food policy, and they range from veterans steeped in past battles to a first-term lawmaker who is a former CIA operations officer.
The Democrats taking over House committees and subcommittees will push back hard against the Trump administration’s environmental policies and put a major focus on climate change, but ag groups will need to find allies on trade and other key issues.
Biofuel producers find themselves in a discomforting, but all-too-familiar, situation again this year. Valuable tax incentives have been allowed to expire once again, and Republican tax writers are openly questioning whether those and other lapsed tax breaks should be allowed to die.