Iowa Sen. Grassley runs for eighth Senate term

While many Republicans were swamped by the Watergate tide, Republican Chuck Grassley won election to the House in 1974 and will surpass half a century in Congress if elected to his eighth Senate term in 2022. Grassley announced for re-election on Friday and is regarded as the heavy favorite by political handicappers.

Ten and done, says midwestern Democrat in House

Approaching her 60th birthday, Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, announced she will retire in 2022 after 10 years in the House. "It will be a new decade and I feel it's time for a new voice," said Bustos. Her decision also reflected the shrinking influence of the farm and industrial heartland in the House.

Peterson-Fischbach race stands out in House contests

If there were a "toss-up caucus" of U.S. representatives in the tightest races, House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson could be its premiere member. The Blue Dog Democrat from western Minnesota is running for re-election against a well-financed Republican, former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, in a district that that voted for President Trump in a landslide in 2016.

Faith leaders call for stronger worker protections at meatpacking plants

The crisis faced by meatpacking and food processing workers amid the coronavirus pandemic requires further intervention, say faith leaders. More than 100 religious leaders have signed a letter to be sent to Congress and President Trump demanding additional assistance for rural communities and food system workers. (No paywall)

Higher SNAP benefits backed by House Democrats for coronavirus relief

With the Senate stymied over a coronavirus relief bill, House Democrats drafted a 1,200-page alternative on Monday that called for a 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits and the donation of $300 million of food to food banks. (No paywall)

Why don’t we know how much livestock farms pollute the air?

America's thousands of confinement livestock operations pollute the air every day with chemicals like ammonia, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. Yet no one tracks exactly how much air pollution these farms produce, according to FERN's latest story, published with The Nation.(No paywall)

September is for USMCA deal-making, says Grassley

Congress “ought to take action early this fall” on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) so the trade pact can take effect before the end of the year, said Senate Finance chairman Chuck Grassley on Tuesday. Grassley told reporters that U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer …

The “big four” look to next steps for expiring farm bill

Farm bill negotiators are expected to acknowledge today that they will miss the only deadline they have set for themselves: Enactment of the 2018 farm bill by the end of September, now four days away. The "big four" leaders of the talks, who have been loath to discuss a Plan B in hopes of a last-minute miracle of consensus, will meet face to face to discuss the path to farm bill passage.

Senate will vote on farm bill before end of June, says McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the farm bill and a defense bill at the top of his list for Senate passage before the Independence Day recess three weeks from now.