Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 1.8

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019


January 8, 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

  • Government Shutdown Continues On- Today is the 17th day of the partial government shutdown, and USDA and FDA are among the agencies that are closed. Over 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or are working without pay. The 116th Congress began its session on January 3rd and immediately launched back into appropriations negotiations with the Trump Administration, in order to reach an agreement to fund the government and end the shutdown.
  • The Shutdown’s Impact on Ag-  Due to the lapse in federal funding, the National Agricultural Statistics (NASS) and Office of the Chief Economist will be delayed in the release of the Crop Production Report and the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE). The publications analyze grain and rice stocks, winter wheat and canola seedlings, and cotton ginnings and were originally scheduled to be released on Friday. USDA has published their shutdown plans, which include detailed information on the internal departments like the Food Safety and Inspection ServiceRisk Management Agency, and Agricultural Marketing Service. Additionally, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers will postpone a public hearing on the new “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) proposal, released by the Trump administration nearly a month ago.
  • Ag Committees See New Members, Leadership– Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) was formally elected as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee on Friday. Peterson previously held the position from 2007-2011 and most recently served as the ranking member. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) will be leaving the committee to serve as the chairman of the House Rules Committee, where he was formerly ranking member. McGovern had also served as the ranking member on the House Ag nutrition subcommittee and has been a vocal advocate for anti-hunger efforts. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) will now chair the nutrition subcommittee. On the Senate side, Senator Daines (R-MT) will be stepping off the Ag committee, giving his seat to Senator Braun (R-IN). Senator Roberts (R-KS) announced on Friday that he will not run for re-election in 2020 and will retire at the end of his term.
  • House Preparing Disaster Aid Package– House Democrats are hoping to hold a vote next week on disaster aid for states that faced devastating wildfires and natural disasters last year. The package, worth $12.1 billion will go toward rebuilding efforts in California, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. The bill also addressesfunding for nutrition benefits for about 1.4 million people in Puerto Rico. The funding will run out in March without Congressional action.

Nominations & Confirmations

The Senate has not made any confirmations in this session yet.

The Week Ahead

The 116th Congress resumes this week with the House and Senate in session through Thursday.

A Quick Look Back

Pertinent Timing Ticker