Congress

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.

Advocates urge Congress not to raise FSA loan limit

A coalition of 19 farm and advocacy groups and lenders wrote a letter to members of Congress Wednesday urging them not to raise the cap on loans issued by the Farm Service Agency.

Congress set to pass bill to keep shark fins out of soup

A bill that would prohibit the shark fin trade nationwide is poised to pass in Congress with deep bipartisan support. Shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, can bring in $100 or more for a bowl.

EWG counts 32 lawmakers who received farm subsidies

Although only a couple of members of Congress are known as active farmers, 32 current lawmakers have received farm subsidies, according to the Environmental Working Group database.

Two aggies running for gubernatorial nomination in Florida

Two former members of the House Agriculture Committee are running for governor in Florida — Democrat Gwen Graham, who served one term in Congress, and Republican Adam Putnam, the state agriculture commissioner since 2010. Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, is term-limited so the race for the governor's mansion is wide open, said Roll Call.

Safeguard nutrition programs, antihunger groups ask Trump, Congress

The antihunger community asked President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress to protect public nutrition programs, from food stamps and school lunch to commodity donation programs.

Campaign for immigration reform aims for action in 2017

The "Reason for Reform" campaign launched by proponents of comprehensive immigration reform is trying to persuade Republican lawmakers to support an overhaul in 2017 with the argument that the U.S. economy would benefit, says Politico. The campaign, backed by a group led by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, underscores that "reform — should it occur next year — will be a fiercely contested legislative fight."

Newcomer Marshall defeats Tea Party incumbent in Kansas

Political newcomer Roger Marshall, an obstetrician and self-described peacemaker, defeated three-term Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a die-hard Tea Party conservative who wore out his welcome, in a landslide in the Republican primary in the "Big First" congressional district of Kansas.

Food companies on board with healthy school food

Politico’s Helena Bottemiller Evich examined how food companies that were once fighting healthier school-nutrition standards are now embracing them because of profits derived from churning out healthier fare.

Vilsack touts school-meals program as reauthorization debate looms

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicks off his campaign for reauthorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which is set to expire on Sept. 30. It is one of the major agenda items when Congress returns from its August recess.

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