Millions of poor Americans will gain the opportunity for a better way of life if Congress toughens the work requirements for SNAP recipients and offers job training to them, says conservative Texas Rep. Micheal Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. The Republican-controlled panel could approve Conaway's restructuring of the largest U.S. anti-hunger program today, clearing the politically charged bill for an election-year floor vote.
The first overhaul of the tax code in three decades should result in a one-page tax return for most Americans, President Trump said in Missouri, while declaring that tax reform is the foundation of job growth. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said separately that the estate tax, a bugaboo of the farm sector, should be part of the overhaul expected to be a Republican priority in Congress this fall.
The first Republican elected governor of Georgia since Reconstruction is backing a key operative in the campaign, John Watson, in a four-way fight for Republican state chairman. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue endorsed Watson in an email that began circulating on Wednesday, saying, "I do not think there is anyone better prepared or positioned to lead our party organization to continuing victories."
Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah has introduced a bill to “dispose,” or sell off, 3.3 million acres of federal public land across 10 states — an area the size of Connecticut, reports The Guardian. The Wilderness Society calls the move “step two” of the GOP’s strategy to take public land out of federal hands, after the Republican House passed a rule allowing the government to sell off federal lands without requiring revenue from the transaction.
At least $93.4 million has been donated to candidates and political action committees in 2015 and 2016 by people, companies and groups in the agribusiness sector, says DTN in a perusal of campaign records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is not turning out the GOP base in farm country despite holding a 3-to-1 lead over Democratic Hillary Clinton in the countryside, says a poll by Aimpoint Research. Trump's level of support, 55 percent, is 12 points lower than the large majority of farmers and ranchers who identify themselves as Republican.
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."
Two Republican-held House seats in the heavily agricultural Central Valley of California could be ripe for picking by Democrats if voters are riled by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's criticism of Hispanics and immigrants, says the Los Angeles Times. Rep. David Valadao, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees USDA and FDA funding, represents a district that is 71 percent Latino, and Agriculture Committee member Jeff Denham has a district that is 26 percent Latino.
The Agriculture Department has run the $74-billion-a-year food stamp program since it was created half a century ago — "a mistake," according to the platform approved by delegates at the Republican National Convention. The campaign document says Republicans "will ... separate the administration of [food stamps] from the Department of Agriculture."
Seven-term Rep. Steve King, a rock-ribbed Iowa conservative, is being challenged in the Republican primary by state Sen. Rick Bertrand of Sioux City in a contest where ethanol may be the elephant in the room.