Weekly Food & Agriculture Update-10.2

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017   /  Tags: agriculture, Capitol Hill, D.C., food

Weekly Food & Agriculture Update

October 2, 2017

A quick look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C. that’s impacting food and agriculture. If you would like to subscribe to the receive the updates right to your inbox, please contact Kerry Lynch 


 Big Picture Outlook

  • Schedule –The House and Senate are both in this week – the Senate will be out next week for Columbus Day, but the House will be in.
  • Budget – It’s a big week for the federal budget – the House is finally expected to vote on its FY 2018 budget resolution, and the Senate Budget Committee, which released its FY 2018 budget resolution on Friday, is scheduled to hold a two-day markup from Wednesday to Thursday.
    • An FY 2018 budget resolution must pass Congress to unlock reconciliation instructions that are a key part of the strategy to passing tax reform.
  • Tax Reform – The President and congressional leaders rolled out a tax reform framework that was put together by the “Bix Six” (McConnell, Ryan, Mnuchin, Cohn, Hatch, and Brady), to much fanfare. The tentative plan is for the House to take it up in October, the Senate in December, and the two will conference their versions in December.
  • Immigration – Congress is starting to move in earnest on immigration.  Today, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6) introduced legislation – the Agricultural Guestworker (AG) Act – that would create a new agricultural guest worker program, H-2C, to replace the current H-2A program; Senate Judiciary is holding a hearing on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) on Tuesday; and House Judiciary is holding a markup for the Ag Act and Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-TX-21) Legal Workforce Act on Wednesday.
    • The AG Act is the most comprehensive immigration bill to date that would address ag labor.  It is an updated version of legislation that Goodlatte introduced during the 113th Congress.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • The Senate Ag Committee will hold a business meeting at 5:45 p.m. today to vote on the nominations of Steve Censky to be USDA Deputy Secretary and Ted McKinney to be Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.  The timing of consideration by the full Senate is still unclear.
  • Also this week, Senate Ag will hold a hearing to consider the nominations of Bill Northey to be Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, and Greg Ibach to be Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; and Senate Finance will hold a hearing to consider the nomination of Gregg Doud to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator at USTR.
  • Last week, President Trump announced the nomination of Raymond Martinez to be Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

    The Week Ahead

    Monday
    5:45 p.m. – Senate Ag business meeting to consider the Censky and McKinney nominations

    Tuesday
    10 a.m. – Senate Finance hearing on international tax reform
    10 a.m. – Senate Judiciary hearing on DACA

    Wednesday
    9:30 a.m. – House Ag markup of several bills
    10 a.m. – House Judiciary markup of the AG Act and Legal Workforce Act
    10 a.m. – Secretary Perdue speaks to the Washington International Trade Forum on the agricultural trade agenda
    10 a.m. – Senate EPW nominations hearing for several individuals to be Assistant EPA Administrators
    10 a.m. – House ENR full committee markup of nine bills, including five to amend the Endangered Species Act
    2:30 p.m. – Senate Budget markup of its FY 2018 budget resolution (day 1)
    3 p.m. – Senate HELP nominations hearing for several individuals, including Cheryl Marie Stanton to be Administrator of the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (enforces minimum wage, prevailing wage, and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act)

    Thursday
    9:30 a.m. – Senate Ag nominations hearing for Greg Ibach to be USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and Bill Northey to be Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation
    9:30 a.m. – Senate EPW nominations hearing for Paul Trombino to be Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration
    10 a.m. – Senate Finance nominations hearing for Gregg Doud to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator at USTR, et al
    10:30 a.m. – Senate Budget Committee markup of its FY 2018 budget resolution (day 2)

    October 9
    10 a.m. – House Ag farm bill listening session in Cobleskill, New York


    A Quick Look Back

    · HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned.
    · The FDA announced that it will extend the compliance date for changes to Nutrition Facts panels from July 26, 2018, to January 1, 2020.
    · Round three of NAFTA negotiations wrapped up in Ottawa, Canada.
    · The Senate Budget Committee unveiled its draft FY 2018 budget resolution, which includes reconciliation instructions for tax reform.
    · White House Chief of Staff John Kelly shifted the newly-created Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, run by Peter Navarro, from an independent office to one that will be housed under the National Economic Council, reporting to Gary Cohn.


    Pertinent Timing Ticker

  • 39 legislative days (32 for House) until government funding expires and debt ceiling is reached (Dec. 8, 2017) 
  • 363 total days until the farm bill expires (Sep. 30, 2018)

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