Weekly Food & Agriculture Update-11.27

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017   /  Tags: agriculture, Capitol Hill, D.C., MTA news


NOVEMBER 27, 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 – Congress is back in session after the Thanksgiving recess.  They face a Dec. 8 deadline to pass government funding legislation.  The Senate will be consumed with tax reform this week. Worth noting: The Alabama Senate election is Dec. 12.
  • Tax Reform – It’s perhaps the biggest week yet for tax reform, with all eyes on the Senate.  The Senate Budget Committee will vote on the reconciliation legislation for tax reform on Tuesday, and the full Senate is expected to vote on the bill either Thursday or Friday.  The legislation still may not have the 50 votes required to pass, so we expect changes to emerge during negotiations in the next few days.
    • President Trump is talking with Senate Finance Committee members today about the legislation, and with Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi tomorrow.
  • Appropriations – President Trump will discuss year-end funding with McConnell, Ryan, Schumer and Pelosi tomorrow during a meeting at the White House.  There continues to be wrangling about whether to include a DACA fix in the appropriations bill.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • On Wednesday, the Senate HELP Committee will hold a nominations hearing for President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of HHS, Alex Azar.  Azar was nominated on Nov. 13 following the resignation of former Secretary Tom Price.

The Week Ahead

 Tuesday, Nov. 28

2:30 p.m. – Senate Budget Committee business meeting to consider FY 2018 reconciliation legislation

All-Day – Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago annual agriculture conference on “Midwest Agriculture’s Ties to the Global Economy”

 Wednesday, Nov. 29

 9:30 a.m. – Senate HELP hearing to consider the nomination of Alex Azar to be Secretary of HHS

10 a.m. – Senate EPW business meeting to consider several nominations, including:Andrew Wheeler to be Deputy Administrator at EPA, Kathleen Hartnett White to be a Member of the Council on Environmental Quality

10 a.m. – House Natural Resources oversight hearing on “Modernizing NEPA for the 21st Century”

10 a.m. – House Science Environment subcommittee hearing on “The Future of WOTUS: Examining the Role of States”

10 a.m. – House Appropriations Ag subcommittee hearing on “USDA’s Role in Disaster Recovery”

10 a.m. – House Appropriations Interior subcommittee hearing on “Supplemental Oversight – U.S. Forest Service”

10 a.m. – House Education & Workforce subcommittee hearing on “Financial Challenges Facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Implications for Pension Plans, Workers, and Retirees”

Thursday, Nov. 30

 2 p.m. – House Natural Resources markup of legislation (H.R. 4419, sponsored by Rep. Dan Newhouse) to streamline water projects


 A Quick Look Back

  •  The fifth round of NAFTA negotiations concluded in Mexico City last Tuesday.  Negotiators agreed to host the sixth round of negotiations from Jan. 23-28 in Montreal, Canada.
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report with recommendations for USDA to enhance its oversight of federal check-off programs.

 Pertinent Timing Ticker

  •  10 legislative days (8 for House), and 12 days overall, until government funding expires (Dec. 8, 2017)
  • 307 total days until the farm bill expires (Sep. 30, 2018)