Stabenow questions Clovis on Russia and his campaign role

The senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee asked USDA nominee Sam Clovis in a letter why, as a co-chair of the Trump presidential campaign, he encouraged an off-the-record meeting with Russian government officials. The meeting was proposed by foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his repeated contacts with Russians in 2016.

Why is rural America Republican? Because Democrats live in town.

The most partisan members of the Republican and Democratic parties — the people who vote in primary elections — cluster in different parts of the country. Democrats live in cities and Republicans in rural areas, says the Daily Yonder.

Trump and Clinton camps agree: Keep food stamps in the farm bill

Donald Trump will not back a popular conservative proposal to split food stamps from the rest of the farm bill, said Sam Clovis, a senior advisor to the Republican presidential nominee. Speaking for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, former deputy agriculture secretary Kathleen Merrigan said food stamps are a key element of farm bills and Clinton would oppose cuts to the premiere U.S. anti-hunger program.

Food movement group targets House ag appropriator

Founded four years ago as the first lobbying group for the food movement, Food Policy Action said it will work to defeat second-term Rep. David Valadao, a California republican and member of the House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing USDA and FDA funding.

Farm groups flex muscle in surprisingly urban “Big First” district of Kansas

Traditionally conservative farm groups, from the Kansas Farm Bureau to the National Association of Wheat Growers, lined up against Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a Tea Party favorite, ahead of today’s Republican primary in the “Big First” congressional district of Kansas.

Senate candidate voted against farm bill due to food stamps

The Republican nominee for Senate in Arkansas, Rep Tom Cotton, says in a campaign advertisement that he voted against the farm bill because it had "turned into a food stamp bill with billions (of dollars) more in spending," says the Associated Press. Cotton was the only Arkansas lawmaker to vote against the $500 billion, five-year farm bill. Democratic Sen Mark Pryor, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture, has criticized Cotton for the vote.

Toss-up Senate races in Arkansas and Iowa

Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg says in a Roll Call blog the Senate race in Arkansas involving the chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee for agriculture, Democrat Mark Pryor, is a "dead heat, though with (Republican Tom) Cotton holding a small advantage."

House Republicans nix immigration reform-GOP lawmaker

Florida Republican Mario Diaz-Balart, an advocate of comprehensive immigration reform, said House Republican leaders told him "they have no intention to bring this bill to the floor this year,” said Roll Call. Diaz-Balart had drafted a reform bill. It was the latest setback for reform, stalled for a year in the GOP-controlled House. The outlook has been increasingly bleak for the past two weeks.

Majority of US House opposes new EPA water rule

Some 231 U.S. representatives, including 18 committee chairmen, signed a letter asking the Obama administration to withdraw a proposed rule on federal jurisdiction over waterways, says Drovers CattleNetwork.