Agriculture

Walter Huddleston, Kentucky Senator Who Preceded Mitch McConnell, Dead at 92
Democrat lost to current majority leader in 1984

Former Sen. Walter D. Huddleston, seen here in 1983, died on Tuesday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Walter D. Huddleston, a two-term Democratic senator from Kentucky, died Tuesday at 92.

Huddleston was upset in his 1984 re-election bid to a young Republican county-judge executive named Mitch McConnell.

Stick With Senate Farm Bill or Extend Existing Law, Groups Say
Agriculture committee staffers in both chambers continue to work on compromise

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., helped push through their farm bill that passed the chamber on an 86-11 vote. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Unless key farm bill negotiators use the Senate version as the template for a new bill, an extension of the now expired 2014 farm law would be better than using the House farm bill as the basis for a conference report, representatives from nutrition, environmental, small farmer and food policy groups said Monday.

At a briefing, the organizations said the House and Senate farm bills differ sharply in important areas. While they want a new bill to replace the farm law that expired Sept. 30, the organizations say they represent a broad coalition that would oppose a bill based on the House farm bill version, which calls for changes, including to farm payments and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

EPA Proposal Would End Summer Ban on Ethanol Motor Fuel — With the Midterms Just a Month Away
Some corn state Republicans facing tough re-election bids

The Environmental Protection Agency will propose an end to the summer ban on motor fuel made with ethanol according to a senior White House official. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The EPA will propose to end the summer ban on the sale of motor fuel made with 15 percent ethanol, according to a senior White House official.

The move is sure to please corn state lawmakers such as Iowa Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Joni Ernst, who have spent the better part of the last year and a half pushing the Trump administration to do more to enforce requirements under the so-called Renewable Fuel Standard — a federal mandate to boost renewable fuels like ethanol in the nation’s gasoline mix.

That Minnesota Blue Dog Still Does Hunt
Collin Peterson, the last Democrat who can hold his Trump seat, isn’t giving up

Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., right, tours Simply Shrimp, which raises saltwater shrimp, with owner Paul Damhof in Blomkest, Minn., last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BLOMKEST, Minn. — Rep. Collin C. Peterson shed his sport coat to inspect some shrimp. 

It was 86 degrees on a recent Thursday in the calf-barn-turned-tank room, where the son of two dairy farmers is raising saltwater shrimp in the middle of rural Minnesota. 

Ryan-Linked PAC Hits North Carolina Democrat for Late Tax Payments
GOP Rep. George Holding in tight race with Linda Coleman in 2nd District

Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., participates in the House Ways and Means Committee Trade Subcommittee hearing on "The Effects of Tariffs on U.S. Agriculture and Rural Communities" on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Monday released its second ad in North Carolina’s 2nd District, going after Democrat Linda Coleman for not paying her property taxes on time.

The new spot from Congressional Leadership Fund claims that Coleman, who is challenging Republican Rep. George Holding, has missed the deadline for paying her taxes “over 60 times.”

There’s Life Beyond the Hill but When Do You Explore It?
Former staffers share why they left

John Jones of Nareit just left his post as a House chief of staff for the private sector. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

John Jones was working on Iran sanctions legislation five years ago, when his boss, New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, turned to Arizona Sen. John McCain and said, “Look, I’m for it, but you have to convince Jones.”

The exchange left Jones “stunned,” he recalled, but also empowered, as the weight of his responsibilities as Schumer’s national security director dawned on him.

Pence Accuses China of Trying to Upend ‘America’s Democracy’
Trump touts relationship with Xi, but has little to show for it

Vice President Mike Pence warned China to avoid meddling in "America's democracy" in a speech Thursday that likely will further chill relations with the Asian power. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Trump administration struck a hard line on China Thursday, with Vice President Mike Pence alleging that Russia’s meddling in U.S. elections “pales in comparison” to China’s ongoing actions.

The vice president accused the Chinese government of “employing a whole-of-government approach to advance its influence and benefit its interests.” He cited the conclusions of career U.S. intelligence officials as he said China is “employing this power in more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies and politics of the United States.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley Defends Personally Taking Trump’s Farm Bailout
Iowa Republican owns 750-acre farm

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, will apply for a federal handout for his 750-acre farm. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley defended his intent to apply for a grant from the federal government for his farm business as part of President Donald Trump’s $12 billion bailout for farmers as they weather the fallout of his ongoing trade war. 

All farmers get the same deal, said Grassley, who grows corn and soybeans on his 750-acre farm in Iowa.

White House Celebrates Trade Pact, Prepares to Sell Congress
Toomey, Heitkamp among members expressing concerns as Trump takes victory lap

Sens. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., at a Senate Budget hearing earlier this year. Toomey expressed some concerns Monday about a new trade pact brokered by the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and his team convinced Canada to join a revised North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico. Now, the hard part begins: Convincing congressional Democrats, who could control one or both chambers next year, to approve it.

Trump and White House officials contend the deal, if approved by Congress, would benefit American dairy farmers and automakers. They have also highlighted new e-commerce and intellectual property protections, as well as a new six-year review mandate. And they say each should appeal to Democrats.

Trump Praises NAFTA 2.0, But Concerned Congress Will Determine Fate
With calendar tight and elections looming, several factors in play for approval

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government signed on to a new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement on Sunday, but Congress will ultimately determine the fate of the deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 2:01 p.m.President Donald Trump on Monday hailed a trade pact that could replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the fate of the deal is soon to pass into the hands of Congress, and lawmakers have their own concerns.

And a top author of the deal says there is no major flaw to prevent Democrats from supporting it.