Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 6.4

Monday, June 4th, 2018


June 4, 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- The House and Senate return from recess this week.
  • Senate Farm Bill: Roberts Aiming for June 6–  Senate Ag Chairman Roberts said last week he is aiming to release the Senate Farm Bill by Wednesday, June 6th, though nothing formal has been announced. With narrow margins in the Senate, Roberts said bipartisan effort will be necessary to secure 60 votes and that “everybody knows” the House’s version of the bill would fail in the Senate.
  • Response to Tariffs Falls on Ag– Thursday’s announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the EU has triggered retaliation on a broad list of products, including food and agricultural products. Ag products on the EU retaliation list include kidney beans, rice, cranberries, and peanut butter while Mexico plans to impose tariffs on $8 billion of goods, including American pork, apples, blueberries, and various cheeses. Canada intends to target whiskies, yogurt, tomato sauces, and chocolate, among other products.
  • Appropriations Process Moving Ahead– The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee advanced their FY19 Bill before the holiday recess. The bill, passed 31-0, will provide $145.1 billion in support for agricultural, rural development, conservation, and nutrition programs and includes $2 million in funding for a pilot program to address farmer stress and suicide. The House is expected to vote on its first set of spending bills this week. H.R. 5895 includes three bills: Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA, and Legislative Branch.
  • Immigration Overshadows Farm Bill– MTA’s Sarah Hubbart breaks down the state of play on immigration in the House of Representatives. There’s lots to cover between the Freedom Caucus, discharge petition, Queen-of-the-Hill rule, upcoming negotiations, and the upcoming June 22 vote on the Farm Bill. You can view the video here.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • Dana Baiocco to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Jelena McWilliams to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
  • Eliot Pedrosa to be United States Alternate Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, June 5
  • The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will examine the 2018 Wildland Fire Outlook and Wildland Fire Management Programs.
Thursday, June 7
  • The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on Wildfire Risk, Forest Health, and Associated Management Priorities of the U.S. Forest Service.

MTA In Action
Highlights in the week ahead for Michael Torrey Associates

  • CRISPRcon: Discussions on Gene Editing – Michael Torrey and Barbara Patterson, Director of Government Affairs are in Boston this week at the annual CRISPRcon. The conference cultivates dialogue on science, society and the future of gene editing.
  • Farm Foundation Round Table–  Michael Torrey and Tara Smith, Vice President of Federal Affairs, will be at the Farm Foundation’s Infrastructure and Agriculture round table event in Bettendorf, IA later this week. The event includes tours of John Deere facilities and presentations on broadband, transportation, and global infrastructure.

A Quick Look Back

Pertinent Timing Ticker

118 total days until the farm bill expires (Sep. 30, 2018).