Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 9.9

Monday, September 9th, 2019


September 9, 2019

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 Marissa Dake

Big Picture Outlook
by Tara Smith

As children head back to school – complete with new backpacks and shiny new sneakers (do the kids even still call them that?) – Congress, too, is headed back to the grind. After five weeks of recess filled with Codel’s abroad, town halls back home, and maybe a family vacation here and there, Congress reconvened in Washington, DC on September 9.

They will have to hit the ground running in order to meet one of the most pressing issues – funding the government past the September 30 fiscal deadline. As you may recall, the House has already passed 10 of the 12 FY 2020 appropriations bills, with the Legislative Branch and Homeland Security bills outstanding. The Senate, on the other hand, chose not to work on their appropriations bills until after a budget deal was reached and topline numbers could be provided to the various Appropriations Subcommittees. Since a budget deal wasn’t signed until August 2 and recess began the same day, that means the Senate has not yet passed a single appropriations bill. It also means that Senate Appropriations staffers didn’t get much of a “recess” and have spent the last five weeks quickly drafting and negotiating their bills.

The path forward will be an attempt by the Senate to move at lightning speed – not something the Senate is typically known for. In the meantime, the House appropriators have signaled their lack of faith in the speed of the Senate by starting the drafting of a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded while the Senate passes their bills and rectifies differences with the House bills. Current expectation is that any CR will buy Congress another 30 to 60 days to package together an appropriations package to take us through the rest of the fiscal year.

But just because the appropriations process is likely to take up most of the oxygen in the halls of Congress, doesn’t mean it’s the only issue legislators are facing this fall. There are a multitude of other pressing issues – some of them with very real deadlines (…) keep reading.

The Week Ahead

The Senate will begin its appropriations process this week with markups of the Defense and Labor-HHS appropriations bills.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
  • The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing entitled, “Legislating to Connect America: Improving the Nation’s Broadband Maps.”

MTA In Action

MTA Welcomes Mya Taylor- In August, Michael Torrey Associates welcomed Mya Taylor to serve as Executive Assistant/Office Manager for the firm. Mya oversees office operations and assists with multiple association management priorities, including meeting planning, member services and administrative duties. Before joining the team, she served as an Executive Assistant for the Chairman of a mid-size environmental law firm where she provided high-level project and administrative support.
Smith Presents to Crop Risk Services- MTA Executive Vice President Tara Smith presented to a group of Crop Risk Services employees and agents in Tennessee in August. Smith shared insights on Congress, the farm economy, and potential challenges on the horizon for crop insurance.
Torrey Joines Farmer Tailgate in Green Bay- Michael Torrey joined Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative for the Dairy Business Association Packer Tailgate at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI.

A Quick Look Back