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.
Sam Clovis, co-chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and a Tea Party activist from Iowa, is the president's choice to run USDA's research and economics agencies, said the White House, in a selection criticized for weeks before it was announced. Trump tabbed Indiana state agriculture director Ted McKinney for the newly created post of agriculture undersecretary for trade.
Enrollment in food stamps, the premiere U.S. antihunger program, soared after the 2008-09 recession, prompting conservative lawmakers to say middle-class taxpayers could not afford the program. With the economic recovery, CBO estimates food stamp participation this year will be the lowest since 2010 and will decline annually through 2027.
About 70 percent of Americans want government regulations on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, yet government officials are poised to roll back coal restrictions, says The New York Times, laying out public opinion on climate change in a series of maps.
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.
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.
Less than two weeks before the Aug. 2 primary election, both candidates for the Republican nomination in the "Big First" U.S. House district in Kansas share a priority — getting a seat on the House Agriculture Committee after the first gap in membership in a century.
Tea Party-backed Milton Wolf, the radiologist who unsuccessfully challenged Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in the Republican primary last year, is fueling speculation that he will try again for the Senate, this time against incumbent Jerry Moran, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the USDA and FDA spending.
State Sen Chris McDaniel was expected to hold a news conference today to say if he will appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court or accept defeat in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, says the Jackson (Miss) Clarion-Ledger. Judge Hollis McGehee dismissed on Friday a lawsuit by McDaniel contesting the victory of six-term Sen Thad Cochran in the June 24 run-off. The judge agreed with Cochran's argument that there was a 20-day deadline to file challenges and that McDaniel filed too late.
In Missouri, the top agriculture issue is a constitutional amendment to create a "right to farm." Says the New York Times, "The debate over the proposed amendment has roiled Missouri for more than a year, with supporters saying it would end what they see as meddling by outsiders in its business practices.
The protracted battle over the Republican nomination for the Senate in Mississippi distracted activist conservatives and boosted the chances of third-term Sen Pat Roberts in Kansas, says Roll Call. Roberts, a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has a Tea Party challenger, Milton Wolf. "Outside spending in Kansas has been on a much smaller scale compared to the Mississippi race.
Lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the issue say immigration reform "is effectively dead and unlikely to be revived until after President Obama leaves office," said the Washington Post.
Six-term incumbent Thad Cochran, the Republican leader on the Senate Agriculture Committee, won the GOP run-off in Mississippi by 2 percentage points over state Sen Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite.
The defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary in Virginia "could have major implications for an immigration overhaul," says the New York Times.
For the third time in three weeks, AgSec Vilsack called on House Republican leaders to act on immigration reform. “The time has come, now, to get this done,” Vilsack said during a teleconference with Illinois Farm Bureau president Richard Guebert and dairy farmer Mark Edelman of Chenoa, Ill. …
1. North Carolina Rep Renee Ellmers won the Republican nomination for a third term on Tuesday in "the one House race where immigration matters," as Politico phrased it. Ellmers, with Tea Party roots, is one of a few Republicans to support legalization of undocumented workers. She beat her opponent, economic commentator Frank Roche, by a 3-to-2 margin, says the State Board of Elections Web site.
The New York Times says GOP leaders in the House, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor and six committee chairs, face Tea Party challengers in the primary elections.