Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 2.3

Monday, February 3rd, 2020


February 3, 2020

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

House Democrats Fight the Final SNAP Rule– Last month, 15 states filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s final ruling to limit SNAP benefits for certain recipients. This plan imposes stricter work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) and could alter the eligibility of nearly 700,000 individuals. House Democrats have added their support to block the final rule, which is set to go into effect on April 1. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11), Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, said at a recent press conference that the new rule “is not returning people to work, it’s kicking people off SNAP.” The anti-hunger group, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), also released a statement in support of the litigation.

House Committee Discusses Labeling, Standards of Identity– The House Energy and Commerce, Health Subcommittee held a hearing last week on “Improving Safety and Transparency in America’s Food and Drugs.” Congressional members discussed ten bills, including those that addressed standards of identity, food allergen labeling requirements, and continuous manufacturing. The 13 witnesses did not include representatives from FDA or USDA, and members voiced disappointment at the FDA’s lack of response to complaints filed by the witnesses’ organizations. Click here to read MTA’s coverage of the hearing.

The Week Ahead

Monday, February 3
  • 12:00pm: The Heritage Foundation and the Pacific Legal Foundation hold a discussion on “Assessing the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule.”
  • The 2020 Election Primaries begin with the Iowa Caucus at 7:00pm CST.
Tuesday, February 4
  • President Trump’s State of the Union address will begin at 9:00pm.
Wednesday, February 5
  • 9:00am: The House (Select) Climate Crisis Committee will hold a hearing on “Creating a Climate Resilient America: Overcoming the Health Risks of the Climate Crisis.”
  • 10:00am: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will discuss “Oversight of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.”
  • 10:00am: The House Natural Resources Committee will discuss H.R. 5598, “Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act.”
  • 10:00am: The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Keep on Truckin’: Stakeholder Perspectives on Trucking in America.”
  • 1:00pm: USDA’s Economic Research Service hosts a webinar on “Farm Income and Financial Forecasts, February 2020 Update.”
  • 2:00pm: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will discuss “The Wuhan Coronavirus: Assessing the Outbreak, the Response, and Regional Implications.”
Thursday, February 6
  • 9:00am: The US Agency on International Development will host a webinar on “Markets in Fragile Contexts: Lessons from the Seed Market System in Eastern DRC.”
  • 10:00am: The House Oversight and Reform Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee holds a hearing, “A Threat to America’s Children: The Trump Administration’s Proposed Changes to Broad Based Categorical Eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”
Unless noted, all times are in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

MTA In Action

Tara Smith Presents at Great Lakes Crop Summit– Last week, MTA Executive Vice President, Tara Smith, traveled to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan to speak at the 2020 Great Lakes Crop Summit. The summit had over 1,100 attendees from the Michigan Corn, Wheat, and Soybean organizations. Smith presented two sessions to the group, “How Crop Insurance Can Work for You in an Increasingly Risky World,” and “A Crop Insurance DC Update: Threats and Opportunities.” Smith was also featured in this week’s “Ag View Solutions” podcast. Her interview with Shay Foulk begins at the 15:35 mark. Click here to listen.

A Quick Look Back