Half a dozen farm-state senators urged Trump trade officials on Thursday to speedily resolve the Sino-U.S. trade war that is compounding hard times on the farm. Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts brushed aside assurances of a rosy future when trade deals are completed. “Some farmers aren’t going to make it,” he said.
According to Capitol Hill lore, the surest way to get a senator's attention is to shout, "Mr. President!" And the best spot to shout it this year would be a meeting of the Senate Agriculture Committee, where three of its 20 members, Democrats Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar, are running for president.
After warning against saddling small schools with big-city regulations, Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts said on Wednesday that Congress could act swiftly on the overdue renewal of child nutrition programs. The programs, headlined by school lunch and WIC, cost $30 billion a year.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley has lots of company in considering limits on the president’s power to impose tariffs on national security grounds. In the coming weeks, Grassley expects to introduce a bipartisan bill to reform these so-called Section 232 tariffs.
Questioned for the second day in a row on Capitol Hill, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he has the authority to tighten food stamp rules for able-bodied adults even if lawmakers don’t like it. Senate Democrats pushed back, urging Perdue on Thursday to withdraw the proposal.
Three nominations for senior USDA posts overseeing research, food safety, and civil rights died with the 115th Congress on Wednesday, and the path forward for those nominations in the two-year session that opened on Thursday is unclear.
Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a down-the-line backer of President Trump, handily defeated Democrat Mike Espy in a run-off election on Tuesday that tarnished her reputation as a political trail-blazer with memories of the state’s grim racial history. Appointed to the Senate in March, …
While some analysts expressed skepticism about passage of the farm bill, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell discussed the bill among must-do legislation on Thursday for action in the brief congressional post-election session.
Negotiators “are nearing agreement on many of the issues” in the farm bill, said Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts on Tuesday, although one committee member said he doubted there will be an agreement this year.