Natasha Eckard Hammond

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House Agriculture Committee Hearing to Focus on Watershed Programs

Legislative Activity House Agriculture Committee Hearing to Focus on Watershed Programs On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry is scheduled to hold a hearing focused on small watershed infrastructure, specifically the Watershed Rehabilitation Program and the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program. Both programs are administered by the United States … Continue Reading

International Food Assistance Programs in the Farm Bill

Legislative Activity International Food Assistance Programs in the Farm Bill On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to hold a full committee hearing focused on international food assistance programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. Three major food aid programs authorized under past farm bills are the Food for Peace Act, which is administered by the … Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue to Testify Before the House Agriculture Committee

Legislative Activity Sonny Perdue to Testify Before the House Agriculture Committee House Agriculture Committee leaders wasted no time in arranging for newly-confirmed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to testify before the committee. Nearly three weeks ago, Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Up until this … Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue’s Upcoming Challenges

Legislative Activity Sonny Perdue’s Upcoming Challenges  As President Trump is reflecting on his first 100 days in office, Sonny Perdue is just getting his feet wet in his new position as Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). On April 25, less than 24 hours after the Senate overwhelmingly approved his nomination by … Continue Reading

Senate Appropriators Send Letter to Government Accountability Office on Automated Vehicles; Lawmakers Aim to Vote on FAA Reauthorization Before August Recess

Legislative Activity Senate Appropriators Send Letter to Government Accountability Office on Automated Vehicles On Wednesday, April 26, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office regarding the impacts of … Continue Reading

Full Senate Set to Confirm Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary

Legislative Activity Full Senate Set to Confirm Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary It has been nearly 14 weeks since President Donald Trump nominated Sonny Perdue, former two-term governor of Georgia, to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). His long wait for formal confirmation is likely to come to an end this week. The Senate … Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue Awaits Full Senate Vote

Legislative Activity Sonny Perdue Awaits Full Senate Vote Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee easily approved Sonny Perdue’s nomination for the position of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary. The committee favorably reported his nomination by voice vote; however, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was the lone vote of opposition. Gillibrand stood behind her vote, … Continue Reading

President Trump Talks Trade in Agriculture Proclamation; Sonny Perdue Finally Gets Senate Spotlight

Legislative Activity President Trump Talks Trade in Agriculture Proclamation Last week was a big week for the agriculture community – even though most of Washington was focused on healthcare reform. Two days prior to the Senate Agriculture Committee’s confirmation hearing for Sonny Perdue, who is presumed to become the next Secretary of the U.S. Department … Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue to Testify Before Senate Agriculture Committee; USDA Funding Under President Trump’s “Skinny Budget”

Legislative Activity Sonny Perdue to Testify Before Senate Agriculture Committee It’s official; Sonny Perdue is scheduled to testify before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee on Thursday, March 23 – exactly nine weeks following President Trump’s formal announcement naming Perdue as his pick to head the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Over the past … Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue One Step Closer to Agriculture Secretary

Legislative Activity Sonny Perdue One Step Closer to Agriculture Secretary Nearly eight weeks ago, President Trump announced his intention for Sonny Perdue, former two-term governor of Georgia, to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Senate has yet to confirm two of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees, which include Perdue and Alex Acosta for the … Continue Reading

Homeland Security and Agriculture Issues Intersect: Agro-Terrorism Bills Introduced in Both Chambers; House Committee to Hold Markup

Legislative Activity Homeland Security and Agriculture Issues Intersect: Agro-Terrorism Bills Introduced in Both Chambers; House Committee to Hold Markup This week, the House Homeland Security Committee will mark up a bill, H.R. 1238, the “Securing Our Agriculture and Food Act,” introduced on February 28 by Reps. David Young (R-IA), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), and Daniel … Continue Reading

2018 Farm Bill Hearings Officially Underway; Kansas’ “Big First” Representative Roger Marshall Welcomes Panelists

Legislative Activity 2018 Farm Bill Hearings Officially Underway; Kansas’ “Big First” Representative Roger Marshall Welcomes Panelists Last week, leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee – Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – traveled to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, to kick off the first 2018 Farm Bill hearing. The discussion … Continue Reading

House Agriculture Committee to Debate SNAP Purchase Restrictions

Legislative Activity House Agriculture Committee to Debate SNAP Purchase Restrictions This week, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing to explore the effects of restricting certain purchases for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. The committee will hear from five witnesses representing varied backgrounds. The witnesses are said to represent the American Enterprise Institute, … Continue Reading

Outlook for the 115th Congress

Legislative Activity Outlook for the 115th Congress On Tuesday, January 31, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee – led by Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – held a brief business meeting to adopt the committee’s rules and funding resolution for the 115th Congress. Chairman Roberts announced that a separate … Continue Reading

House Agriculture Committee to Formally Organize for the 115th Congress

Legislative Activity House Agriculture Committee to Hold Organizational Meeting On Wednesday, February 1, the House Agriculture Committee will convene for a business meeting to consider, and likely adopt, measures intended to guide and organize the committee during the 115th Congress. During the committee’s formal organizational meeting, members will consider the rules, oversight plan, and staff … Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue Chosen to Lead USDA; Organic Animal Welfare Rule Issued by USDA

Legislative Activity Sonny Perdue Selected for USDA Secretary With the selection of Sonny Perdue, former two-term governor of Georgia, to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), President Trump’s Cabinet picks are complete. Perdue must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a simple majority vote before his position as USDA Secretary is official. As … Continue Reading

Agriculture Secretary Nominee Remains Uncertain

Legislative Activity Cabinet Confirmation Hearings This week, the Senate will be busy holding confirmation hearings for at least seven of President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees. The president-elect’s choice for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), however, has yet to be named. As history has shown, it is not unusual for the agriculture secretary … Continue Reading

USDA’s Catfish Inspection Program Revisited

Legislative Activity Catfish Inspection Program Although discussions surrounding government regulation of catfish have slowed on Capitol Hill since the enactment of the 2014 Farm Bill, the catfish inspection program at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is likely to once again be the subject of great scrutiny and debate as legislators begin to prepare … Continue Reading

Federal Nutrition Programs

Legislative Activity Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) During the 114th Congress, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) has carried out a top-to-bottom review campaign of SNAP to highlight potential areas of improvement to the program. This week, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a full committee hearing to examine food access. The United States … Continue Reading

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

Legislative Activity Child Nutrition Reauthorization After months of inaction, S. 3136, the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, got an unexpected jolt of life on September 15 when the bill was hotlined, boosting the hopes of supporters and removing a hurdle for the bill to be considered by the full Senate. Last … Continue Reading

Discussions Continue Regarding Federal Labeling Standards for Genetically Modified Organisms

Legislative Activity Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) The debate surrounding whether federal standards should exist for the labeling of GMOs will continue this week. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is charged with the regulation of GMOs and has determined that foods derived … Continue Reading

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Retailers’ Perspective Examined at House Agriculture Committee Hearing

Legislative Activity Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) On Thursday, May 12, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing to examine issues some retailers face while navigating SNAP requirements. During the first 16 months of the 114th Congress, the House Agriculture Committee, along with its Subcommittee on Nutrition, held 14 hearings that focused on SNAP. … Continue Reading
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