A solid majority likely in Senate for Perdue, says Grassley
Sonny Perdue can expect a broad and bipartisan vote in the Senate next week to become agriculture secretary, though it won’t be unanimous, said Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley.
Grassley safe for re-election, aids GOP goal of keeping Senate majority
Democrats' chances of defeating Senate Judiciary chair Charles Grassley, a longtime Agriculture Committee member, were never great and are fading like the shortening days of autumn, says Sabato's Crystal Ball. "With Trump now positioned as a slight favorite to win the Hawkeye State, there is no sign that Grassley is in any danger," says the political website, rating the race as "safe Republican."
Grassley to hold hearing on ag concentration
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Glassley of Iowa said he would hold hearings next month on "a wave of consolidation among seed and chemical producers, including the merger of Dow and DuPont," the Des Moines Register reported. The announcement came one day after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved the $43 billion merger of ChemChina and Swiss-based Syngenta, which has significant operations in the United States.
Ag mergers need coordinated review, says Senate chairman
The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission ought to collaborate in their review of two major mergers that affect the seed and ag chemical supply, said Senate Judiciary chairman Charles Grassley in a letter to regulators. "It is important that these transactions are not reviewed in isolation," wrote Grassley, noting that different regulators are handling each of the mergers, Dow-DuPont and ChemChina-Syngenta.
Will Vilsack be the 21st-century version of ‘Tama Jim’ Wilson?
Tom Vilsack is the longest-serving agriculture secretary in half a century, and there's already chatter about a continued role in government if Democrats retain control of the White House. "That will be up to Hillary Clinton," said Sen. Charles Grassley, who notes that fellow Iowan "Tama Jim" Wilson holds the record for cabinet tenure — 16 years.
Republican dog fight may boost Sen. Bennet, hurt Grassley
Democrat Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, won the Senate race in Colorado in 2010 with a plurality of 48 percent in a seven-way race. Handicappers say Colorado will be one of the most competitive states this year yet Bennet's prospects are brightening - and could improve markedly due to Republican infighting.
Former lieutenant governor of Iowa to challenge Grassley
Democrat Patty Judge, a former lieutenant governor and state agriculture secretary, will launch a campaign as early as today for the Senate seat held by Charles Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman, reports the Des Moines Register.
Senate chairman asks for antitrust review of JBS-Cargill deal
Senate Judiciary chairman Charles Grassley asked the Justice Department for an antitrust review of an agreement for JBS, the giant Brazilian meatpacker, to buy the pork operations of agribusiness rival Cargill for $1.45 billion.
‘Tax extenders’ bill advances, including Section 179 expensing
The Senate Finance Committee approved, 23-3, a bill to retroactively revive four dozen tax breaks that expired at the end of 2014.
Sessions may chair Senate Judiciary panel on immigration
Alabama Sen Jeff Sessions, a vocal critic of the administration's immigration policies, "is in line to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee with authority over immigration law," says Roll Call.
Lawmakers press USDA for tighter rules on farm subsidies
Six lawmakers wrote USDA in support of strong rules on who qualifies for farm subsidies on the grounds of being "actively engaged" in farming.
Senate sends $41 billion tax extenders bill to White House
The Senate passed, 76-16, and sent to President Obama a retroactive one-year revival of four dozen tax incentives that expired at the start of this year.
Congress may move on immigration early in new session
The incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says lawmakers could set to work on immigration reforms early in the session of Congress that opens on Jan 6. Sen Chuck Grassley says his counterpart in the House, Rep Bob Goodlatte told him "the House will act early." Grassley reiterated his preference for the the House to move first because it stalled immigration legislation in 2013 and this year.
Oregon GMO recount begins in 19 counties
A hand recount of the vote on whether to require labels on GMO foods in Oregon began in 19 of the state's 36 counties on Tuesday, said the Salem Statesman Journal.
Do immigration piecemeal, says incoming Senate chairman
The incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the Senate ought to take the same approach to immigration reform as the House - do it one piece at a time rather than assemble a comprehensive bill. "A provision dealing with just agriculture would pass Congress easily," Iowa Sen Chuck Grassley told reporters but action on popular items is stalled by advocates of a full-spectrum approach.
Let House go first on immigration reform, says key senator
The incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he'll let the House move first on immigration reform in the new session of Congress. "That way, we wouldn't be wasting our time," said Sen Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill, including a separate path to citizenship for farm workers, after weeks of divisive debate in 2013.
“Tax extenders” is issue for lame-duck Congress
A "top priority" for action in the post-election session of Congress is reauthorization of tax incentives that expired on Jan 1, said Iowa Sen Chuck Grassley.
Bakers protest, growers applaud US-Mexico sugar deal
The American Bakers Association says a tentative U.S.-Mexico agreement to control imports of sugar from Mexico "is not good for bakers or all other users of sugar," says Baking Business.
Setting ethanol mandate takes longer than expected-EPA
Rulemaking for this year's ethanol mandate "has been more time-consuming than originally anticipated," says the Environmental Protection Agency.