Weekly Food & Agriculture Update- 10.16

Monday, October 16th, 2017   /  Tags: agriculture, Capitol Hill, D.C., MTA news

Weekly Food & Agriculture Update

October 16, 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 is in recess this week, but the Senate is back in session.  The budget is priority for the Senate – they’re also expected to take up the disaster relief bill the House passed last week, as well as some nominations.
  • Budget – The Senate will vote to start debate on the budget on Tuesday, followed by 50 hours of debate (which could be shortened), then a “vote-a-rama” on a series of amendments to the resolution, likely to occur on Thursday.
  • Tax Reform – This week is a big one for tax reform – President Trump is having lunch with Leader McConnell to discuss the topic today, he speaks to the Heritage Foundation about it tomorrow, and then meets with Senate Finance Committee members on Wednesday.  Likewise, the aforementioned movement on the budget will bring Congress steps closer to unlocking the fast-track reconciliation process for tax reform.
    • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said last week that once Congress finalizes an FY 2018 budget, the House will introduce a tax reform bill, and the Senate would then likely introduce its own.
  • Trade – Ag trade, particularly Canadian dairy policy, was a big part of NAFTA discussions over the weekend, and a broad coalition of groups, including agriculture, was on the Hill last week to encourage progress on NAFTA renegotiation.
    • Vice President Pence meets today with Japanese officials for the second round of the Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue, and a bilateral trade deal could be a topic of discussion.
  • Appropriations – The Senate Appropriations Committee is back at it this week, holding two subcommittee markups and one full committee markup, as the Dec. 8 deadline for funding the government approaches.

    Nominations & Confirmations

  • The Senate Ag Committee could vote on the nominations of Bill Northey and Greg Ibach just off the Senate floor today at 5:30, when the full chamber has a scheduled vote.


  • President Trump nominated Kirstjen Nielsen as Secretary of DHS, and named Eric Hargan as acting Secretary of HHS.
  • The President also tapped Kathleen Hartnett White to be a Member of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

The Week Ahead

 Monday, October 16

Tuesday, October 17

  • Senate Appropriations subcommittee markup of FY 2018 Interior-Environment appropriations bill

Wednesday, October 18

  • Senate HELP business meeting to consider ten nominations, including: Patrick Pizzella to be Deputy Secretary of Labor. Cheryl Stanton to be Administrator of the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division
  • Senate EPW business meeting to consider six nominations, including: Michael Dourson to be Asst. Administrator of EPA for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. William Wehrum to be Asst. Administrator of EPA for the Office of Air and Radiation. David Ross to be Asst. Administrator of EPA for the Office of Water

 Thursday, October 19

  • Senate Appropriations full committee markup of FY 2018 Interior-Environment and Homeland Security appropriations bills

 A Quick Look Back

  •  The House passed a $36.5 billion supplemental funding package for relief efforts for hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, and wildfires in California.

    Pertinent Timing Ticker

    • 34 legislative days (24 for House) until government funding expires and debt ceiling is reached (Dec. 8, 2017)
    • 349 total days until the farm bill expires (Sep. 30, 2018)