agriculture

Trump denies calling Andrew McCabe's wife a ‘loser’ as feud intensifies
Former acting FBI boss is under president’s skin ahead of Kim summit, China tariffs deadline

Then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe prepares to testify before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee. Since fired, he is at war with President Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Donald Trump is at war with Andrew McCabe, accusing the former acting FBI director of “Treason!” and accusing him of a “lie” by claiming the president once called his wife a “loser.”

Even during and after a long weekend at his South Florida resort after a chaotic mid-December to mid-February stretch, Trump was unable to ignore claims McCabe, who ordered a counterintelligence investigation into Trump and his possible coordination with Russians, is making as he peddles a new tell-all book.

Trade talks with China ‘intensive’ but tariffs still set to balloon on March 1, White House says
‘Much work remains,’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders said ahead of new round next week

U.S. and Chinese officials made “progress” in trade talks this week in Beijing, the White House said. But spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not provide details as a new round of talks is slated for next week in Washington. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images file photo)

The White House on Friday said “intensive” trade talks this week with Chinese officials yielded “progress,” but there was no indication President Donald Trump is ready to delay a substantial ballooning of tariffs on Chinese-made goods set to take effect March 1.

“These detailed and intensive discussions led to progress between the two parties,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Much work remains, however.”

Chuck Grassley has no problem with corn syrup in beer (but he doesn’t drink it)
Senate Finance chairman responds to the Bud Light Super Bowl ads

Sen. Charles E. Grassley does not drink beer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee were a beer drinker, he would not be a fan of Bud Light.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley took a moment out of a call with reporters Tuesday morning to thank brewers who use corn syrup, in response to a Super Bowl advertising campaign by Anheuser-Busch InBev that trashed competitors for including the ingredient.

Trump teases national emergency declaration could come during SOTU
‘Good chance’ he will use his executive powers amid border wall standoff, president says

President Donald J. Trump claps during his first State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2018. (POOL Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday said there is a “a good chance” he will declare a national emergency at the southern border to unlock Defense Department dollars for a wall, and signaled he may announce it during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

“I think there’s a good chance we’ll have to do that,” Trump said of a coming emergency declaration, which Democrats and pro-immigration groups have said would be met with an immediate legal challenge.

Soybean shocker: China surprises Trump administration with Oval Office announcement
Tons or bushels question causes initial confusion inside West Wing

Amid tough trade talks with China, President Donald Trump says American farmers will be “happy” with increased Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans — though there was initial confusion about quantity. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Chinese official surprised the Trump administration by announcing plans to increase purchases of American soybeans in an Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump, a senior U.S. official said Thursday as a round of trade talks concluded without a deal.

“Yes. The answer is yes. It was a surprise announcement in the sense I didn’t know about it until a very short time before,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told Roll Call during a briefing with a group of reporters following several of days of talks with Chinese officials.

Democrats propose legal status for undocumented immigrant farmworkers
Legislation would protect workers from deportation, ease labor shortages, proponents say

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says the legislation “would ensure that hardworking immigrants don’t live in fear and that California’s agriculture industry has the workforce it needs to succeed.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two California Democrats filed legislation Thursday that would give undocumented immigrant farmworkers and their families a path to legal resident status and possibly U.S. citizenship.

The legislation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Zoe Lofgren is designed to ease agricultural worker shortages and protect undocumented workers already in the United States from deportation. The bills come as the nation grapples with an extended partial government shutdown fueled by an impasse between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall and broader differences over immigration policies.

Trump again endorses immigration changes for seasonal migrant farm workers
‘You need people to help you,’ he says. ‘I’m not going to rule that out’

Farmland is watered by a large irrigation sprinkler in the desert near Palmdale, California, in May. President Donald Trump wants changes to make it easier for seasonal migrant farm workers to enter the country. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For the third time this week, President Donald Trump on Friday signaled support for immigration policy changes that would make it easier for seasonal farm workers to enter the United States.

Trump pleaded in a Friday morning tweet for someone to inform Speaker Nancy Pelosi that “her ‘big donors’ in wine country that people working on farms (grapes) will have easy access in!”

Pence signals little progress with China since Trump-Xi agreement
U.S. ‘remains hopeful’ Chinese officials will engage in serious talks

Vice President Mike Pence walks through Statuary Hall on his way to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday signaled that the Trump administration has made little progress in trade talks with China, even after what the White House portrayed as a breakthrough late last year.

Pence painted a picture of a new lull in U.S.-China trade talks even after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Dec. 1 over local steaks in Argentina to call a truce in what had been a tense tariff war that threatened to slow the global economy.

Dug-in Trump to Dems: ‘Only a wall will work’ as shutdown enters 25th day
President contends polls shifting toward him, but one shows he didn’t change any minds with address

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Capitol to attend a Senate Republican policy luncheon last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A day after appearing to downplay the stature of his proposed southern border wall, President Donald Trump sent a message to congressional Democratic leaders: “Only a wall will work” as a partial government shutdown over his demands enters its 25th day.

Trump sent mixed messages about his proposed border wall during a Monday speech to an agriculture conference in New Orleans. After first saying he would not “back down” on his wall demands, he appeared to downplay the proposal among his full collection of 2016 campaign promises.

States scramble to get February food stamps out amid shutdown

The lapse in funding for the Agriculture Department due to the shutdown is complicating people getting their food stamp benefits. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

State and county workers spent the weekend gathering information needed to make sure 38 million low-income people receive their February food stamp benefits early despite a partial federal government shutdown.

The Agriculture Department prompted the flurry of activity when it announced last week that it would tap the remaining budget authority in an expired continuing resolution to provide states $4.8 billion to cover February benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.