House Republican leaders named 26 members to the Agriculture Committee on Monday, including former chairman Frank Lucas, who left the committee after the 2014 farm bill was enacted. The top item on the committee agenda will be updating U.S. food and agriculture policy this year. The 2018 farm law expires on Sept. 30.
From Chairman Frank Lucas through junior lawmakers, members of the House Agriculture Committee during a hearing told USDA to speed up a re-calculation of farm yields for crop insurance coverage. The re-calculation, required by the new farm bill, would result in growers being credited with higher yields in many instances and would allow a higher level of coverage.
Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, barred from another term as Agriculture chairman, may seek the chairmanship of the banking committee. "I've been approached by several members" about the post, Lucas told Politico.
Farmers will be able to buy crop insurance polices for crops planted in spring 2015 that allow them to get higher yield coverage by excluding catastrophic losses when they calculate average production, the government said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and 70 other members of Congress, mostly Democrats, got perfect grades from advocacy group Food Policy Action for their votes on food and agriculture issues over the past two years.
The House Agriculture chairman says he expects USDA to test the "work first" format as a way to move poor people up the job ladder and off the food stamp rolls. The approach worked as part of welfare reform, said chairman Frank Lucas during a hearing on employment and training programs associated with food stamps. "These programs are designed to get individuals to work as soon as possible and then offer additional training so they can improve their earnings," he said.
The House passed, 265-144, its bill to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the regulator of the vast derivatives market.
Rep Jim McGovern, who opposed food stamp cuts in the 2014 farm law, says opponents are not satisfied with narrowing the connection between utility assistance and additional food stamps.
House Republicans, who have accused states of cheating by averting cuts in food stamps, have raised a new argument -- that state governments discriminate against some poor people by holding on to food stamps for other poor people.
The panel writing the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans - the government's tips for healthy eating - is wading into the question of food systems sustainability.
The heat-and-eat "spat" could lead to Republican attempts to end the Low Income Energy Assistance Program and so-called categorical eligibility for food stamps, especially if the GOP gains control of the Senate...
Mike Conaway of Texas, chairman of the House Ethics Committee, said he began the footwork last year to succeed Frank Lucas as chairman of the Agriculture Committee in 2015.
Four House Agriculture Committee leaders filed a bill to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. A mark up is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET. The meeting will be Webcast.
States are following the law in averting cuts in food stamp benefits tied to utility costs, said Rep Jim McGovern of Massachusetts during a lively moment in a House Agriculture Committee hearing.