Roll Call

Conaway sets precedent with Agriculture Committee prayers

House Agriculture chairman Mike Conaway has decided that every hearing or markup at his committee will begin with a prayer, says Roll Call.

Vulnerable list includes one-third of House Ag Democrats

The Frontline Program to assist Democrats in competitive House districts includes one-third of the Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee.

Moran, overseer of USDA funds, has $1.4 mln for campaign

Kansas Republican Jerry Moran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture, has $1.4 million in cash in his campaign fund, said Roll Call.

Sessions may chair Senate Judiciary panel on immigration

Alabama Sen Jeff Sessions, a vocal critic of the administration's immigration policies, "is in line to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee with authority over immigration law," says Roll Call.

Johanns joins Deere board, Nelson become Illinois ag director

Mike Johanns, who completed a term as senator early this month, was elected to the board of directors of Deere and Co, the world's largest farm equipment manufacturer.

Incoming House Ag chair calls for vigorous USDA oversight

Texas Republican Mike Conaway, the incoming chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said he expects "vigorous oversight" of federal programs from crop insurance and food stamps to farm subsidies and the futures markets in the new session of Congress. Conaway redrew the jurisdiction of the Agriculture subcommittees and said, "All six subcommittees will be expected to carry out vigorous oversight of their mission areas." At present, there are five subcommittees.

Four Republicans on House Ag oppose Boehner as speaker

Ted Yoho, the only Florida Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, got two votes for House speaker on the opening day of the 114th session of Congress. Yoho voted for himself and also got the support of Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

School lunch, EPA scale-backs ride on gov’t funding bill

The government-wide funding bill being assembled in private on Capitol Hill would scale back school lunch reforms approved in 2010 and "curtail some clean-water regulations," says the New York Times.

Do immigration piecemeal, says incoming Senate chairman

The incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the Senate ought to take the same approach to immigration reform as the House - do it one piece at a time rather than assemble a comprehensive bill. "A provision dealing with just agriculture would pass Congress easily," Iowa Sen Chuck Grassley told reporters but action on popular items is stalled by advocates of a full-spectrum approach.

Algae blooms in Lake Erie put spotlight on agricultural runoff

The algae bloom that shut down Toledo's drinking-water supply for two days this summer has put the spotlight on agricultural runoff, although farmland is not the only source of the pollutants that cause the explosive growth of the cyanobacteria, says...

US organic food standards on the menu for debate

USDA's organic food label, the gold standard for shopper wanting food free of genetically modified organisms and chemical pesticides, "has come under increasing attack as a handful of consumer groups question the USDA’s handling of the National Organic Standards Board," says Roll Call.

Ernst leads in Iowa for Senate, Kansas is neck-and-neck race

Republican Joni Ernst led Democrat Bruce Braley by 7 points, 51-44, in the latest Iowa Poll of the Des Moines Register. It was Ernst's largest lead in any poll in a month.

Roberts, Orman “haven’t closed the sale” in Kansas

"The race for the U.S. Senate seat from Kansas is about to get nastier," says the Kansas City Star in a story headlined, "With a week to go, U.S. Senate candidates in Kansas still haven't closed the sale."

An aggie as House banking chairman?

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.

Cotton stands taller in Arkansas

Arkansas Sen Mark Pryor's chances are fading against Republican Tom Cotton, saysSabato's Crystal Ball, adding "it’s increasingly hard to see him overcoming Arkansas’ hard shift to the right.

“I’ll be chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee”

Kansas Sen Pat Roberts, during a campaign stop at a livestock auction barn, told listeners, “When we get a Republican majority, I’ll be chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and we are gonna put the livestock producer first."

Pryor and Cotton debate in key farm-state Senate race

In the first debate of the Senate race in Arkansas, Sen Mark Pryor, chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture, said opponent first-term Rep Tom Cotton, a Republican, is more interested in foreign policy than...

Electoral path clears for school lunch critic in House

House Agriculture Committee member Rodney Davis of Illinois, a critic of new school lunch rules, looks like a surer bet for a second term from central Illinois.

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