Archives: Agriculture and Food

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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

EU Public Policy December 12 Update

EU Public Policy Comes to Capital Thinking Given the growing influence that global policy initiatives are having on the development of U.S. policy, our colleagues in Brussels will now bring boots-on-the-ground coverage of policy developments in EU to Capital Thinking. Council of the EU Agrees on WiFi4EU Initiative The EU 28 Member States Telecommunications Ministers met on … 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

Senate Considering 3 Bills: FY 2015 Agriculture Spending; Commerce, Justice, Science; Transportation and Housing and Urban Development

Legislative Activity FY 2015 Agriculture, Rural Development, and FDA Appropriations On Tuesday, June 17, the Senate is expected to consider the FY 2015 agriculture spending bill, which also allocates funds for the Food and Drug Administration. The bill will be considered along with two other spending bills: the Commerce, Justice, Science bill and the Transportation … Continue Reading

House Scheduled To Consider The Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Spending Bill

Legislative Activity House Agriculture, FDA Appropriations Bill The House is scheduled to consider the Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spending bill this week. The House Appropriations Committee approved the spending bill on May 29, which includes policy provisions such as authorizing a waiver process for schools having difficulty meeting the nutrition standards for the … Continue Reading

Michelle Obama Will Make Two Separate Announcements At The White House To Celebrate The Fourth Anniversary Of Let’s Move!

Regulatory Activity Let’s Move! As part of a series of events to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move!, this week First Lady Michelle Obama will make two separate announcements at the White House  in addition to traveling to cities along the east coast to participate in scheduled events. On Tuesday, February 25, the First … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs The Farm Bill Into Law

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Signed into Law On Friday, President Obama signed the farm bill into law, which authorizes specific commodity, trade, energy, research, horticulture and organic, and nutrition programs until 2018. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Amy … Continue Reading

Farm Bill Conference Committee To Reach A Final Agreement On Issues Related to Country-of-Origin Labeling

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Conference Progress This evening, we expect the farm bill conference committee to file its conference report. The committee will likely use most of today to reach a final agreement on issues related to country-of-origin labeling, language in the House’s farm bill that would prevent states from denying the sale of products … Continue Reading

Farm Bill Conference Committee Cancels Public Meeting

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Conference Progress With the farm bill conference committee stalled because of strong disagreements over dairy provisions, last week the committee failed to release its draft bill and canceled its public meeting. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) continues to signal that he will not support a conferenced bill that includes a dairy … Continue Reading

House To Adjourn Until 2014 Without Passing A Farm Bill

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Conference Progress This week, we expect the House to adjourn until 2014 without passing a conferenced farm bill, despite House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) expressing his willingness to have the chamber consider a conference report. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) has indicated that the conference committee will most … Continue Reading

Farm Bill Conferees Have Yet To Agree On Draft Agreement

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Conference Progress Last week, farm bill conferees left for the Thanksgiving break without releasing a draft agreement. Despite the break, it seems as if conversations among conferees will continue. Today, Senate and House agriculture leaders, both chairmen and ranking members, will likely discuss the farm bill via conference call, and conversations … Continue Reading

Progress On Farm Bill Stalls

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Conference Progress This past week, progress on the farm bill seemed to stall. Conferees are no longer close to finding a compromise on the issue of tying crop price guarantees to planted or base acres, and dairy provisions remain on the negotiation table. Earlier this month, the chairwoman had commented that … Continue Reading

Senator Debbie Stabenow Publicly States That A Farm Bill Compromise is “Doable” Before Congress Leaves For Thanksgiving Break

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Conference Progress Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has remarked publicly that a farm bill compromise is “doable” before Congress leaves for the Thanksgiving break, as agreements may have been reached or are close to being reached on issues including dairy, crop insurance, and conservation. It also appears that the conference … Continue Reading

House and Senate Farm Bill Conferees Convened To Formally Kick-Off Negotiations

Legislative Activity Farm Bill Conference: Priority Issues At-A-Glance On October 30, the 41 House and Senate farm bill conferees convened at a public meeting to formally kick-off negotiations, although informal talks began a few months ago between agriculture leadership’s staff. Despite many conferees cautioning against pre-maturely drawing lines on issues, it was clear what issues … Continue Reading

Official Start To The Farm Bill Conference Involves House and Senate Conferees

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY Farm Bill Conference This Wednesday, October 30, marks the official start to the farm bill conference, which will be a public meeting involving the 41 House and Senate conferees. For months, agriculture leadership and their staff have met behind the scenes on an informal basis to start conversations on reconciling the two farm … Continue Reading

Agriculture Leadership Announces Date For Farm Bill Conference

Legislative Activity Farm Bill This week, agriculture leadership in both chambers will likely announce a date for the farm bill conference to begin. Last week, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) shared that the farm bill conference would begin when both chambers are in session, which means that a date will likely be scheduled … Continue Reading

John Boehner And Nancy Pelosi Name Farm Bill Conferees

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY Farm Bill Conferees On Saturday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) named farm bill conferees. The Republicans appointed 17 members, including 12 Agriculture Committee members, two Foreign Affairs Committee members, two Ways and Means Committee members, and one member to represent the Republican leadership. Republican conferees … Continue Reading