President Donald Trump heads to Iowa this week to shore up his rural base and promote the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, fresh from dropping a threat to impose new tariffs that farm groups and lawmakers feared could jeopardize congressional approval of the North American trade pact.
Congress is launching a debate this year over federal child nutrition programs, which haven’t been reauthorized since the Obama administration successfully pushed through sweeping changes in school meals more than eight years ago.
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.
President Donald Trump heads to New Orleans Monday to speak to the nation’s largest farm organization for a second year in a row, even as his trade war drags on and the shutdown of USDA and other departments and agencies important to agriculture entered its fourth week.
With a new farm bill enacted and trade wars ongoing, the eyes of U.S. agriculture will shift to the Senate Finance Committee, where farm groups will have a critical ally at the top in new Chairman Chuck Grassley and several more in the panel’s membership.
Farm groups welcomed news that negotiators had reached agreement on a new farm bill, but key details were being kept under wraps while lawmakers waited to learn whether the final cost estimates would force them to tweak the text.
The Senate Agriculture Committee scheduled a Nov. 28 hearing on three nominations for top positions at USDA: Mindy Brashears to be undersecretary for food safety; Naomi Earp, to be assistant secretary for civil rights; and Scott Hutchins, to be the department's chief scientist.