Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 11.13

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018


November 13, 2018

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

  • Schedule: Lame Duck Session Begins- The House and Senate will convene this evening for their lame duck session. The session will last just 12 joint legislative days and 19 legislative days in total.
  • Ag’s Midterm Election Recap- There is no shortage of analysis from last week’s midterm elections. Here are a few races that impact food and agriculture. As the Democrats take the House, Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN)–currently House Ag Committee’s Ranking Member–will become the next Ag Committee Chairman. Committee member John Faso (R-NY) lost his House seat and Jeff Denham‘s (R-CA) race is still too close to call. Incoming House members and potentials for House Ag Committee include Cindy Axne (D-IA), Angie Craig (D-MN), Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), and Pete Stauber (R-MN). Three ag state Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Claire McCaskell (D-MO) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) lost their re-election bids while Jon Tester (D-MT) managed to eke out another term. Former members of House Ag Tim Walz (D-MN), Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) were elected as governors of their respective states. The team at Michael Torrey Associates will be sharing an elections recap with in-depth information for clients and sharing the video tomorrow afternoon. Please contact MTA with any additional questions.
  • Farm Bill Crunch Time–  House and Senate Ag leaders are adamant about passing a farm bill, despite a short time window for action in the lame duck session. The docket also includes government spending legislation, congressional leadership elections, and a list of nomination confirmations in the Senate. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) held a pre-lame duck meeting yesterday to discuss the farm bill. Last week, Peterson said the negotiators are “relatively close” and he thinks the committee can “get this done before this Congress adjourns”. After the meeting, Conaway compared the negotiations to a “turtle on the fence post — legs are going 900 miles an hour, but you can’t make any progress.” At a post-election news conference last week, the president shared his support for SNAP work requirements in the House version of the bill.
  • Second Round of Trade Aid Expected in December– USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is expected to announce a second trade aid payment to assist producers impacted by retaliatory tariffs in the ongoing trade war. Registration is expected to start the week of December 3rd and farmers and ranchers who have already applied and qualified for the first round of assistance will be automatically eligible for the second round.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • Congress resumes this week and the number of outstanding executive and judicial nominations are high on the list for Senate leadership during the lame duck session.

The Week Ahead

A Quick Look Back

Pertinent Timing Ticker

  • 44 days since farm bill expiration (Sep. 30, 2018).
  • 17 days until the USMCA Signing (Nov. 30, 2018).
  • 24 days until funding for USDA expires (Dec. 7, 2018).