agriculture

Fight Over Food Stamps Among Big Hurdles Facing Farm Bill
As a fall deadline looms, Congress keeps stewing and squabbling

A sprinkler irrigates farmland in Palmdale, Calif., on May 26. Lawmakers have two options as the farm bill nears expiration: reach a compromise or extend current law through an expected lame-duck session in late fall or into 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If everything goes according to plan this month, House leaders will round up the necessary Republican votes to pass the chamber’s 2018 farm bill after an unexpected defeat on the floor put the legislation on hold.

The failed May 18 vote marked the second time in five years that a farm bill ran into obstacles in the House. In the Senate, meanwhile, leaders have indicated they want to pass the bipartisan legislation by the July Fourth recess.

Opinion: Work Requirements Don’t Actually Work
They do nothing to reduce poverty or address the underlying economic inequality

Demonstrators at a news conference with faith leaders on Capitol Hill on May 7. A growing body of social science research shows that work requirements do nothing to reduce poverty, DeLauro and Sánchez write. (Sarah Silbiger /CQ Roll Call file photo)

Under the guise of “promoting work” and “reform,” the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are seeking radical changes to the way we fight poverty in America.

Let us not be fooled, Republican proposals that tie strict so-called work requirements to anti-poverty programs are designed to make it harder for people to access basic services such as health care, nutrition and housing.

Opinion: Ignore the Hyperbole, Encouraging Work Is a Worthy Goal
Work requirements and other reforms offer a pathway out of poverty for many

Job seekers fill out registration forms at a career fair in San Francisco in 2015. The House Republican farm bill directs a significant portion of existing SNAP funds into job training programs for eligible adults, Thompson writes. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

The economy is soaring and unemployment is at its lowest point in more than a decade. Despite this good news, far too many Americans find themselves out of the workforce or lacking the skills needed to land a good-paying job.

Yet there are more than six million job openings throughout the country.

White House Hits China With New Tariffs, Ramping up Trade War
‘This situation is no longer sustainable,’ Trump says

The White House on Friday slapped new tariffs on some Chinese goods, further ramping up the Trump administration's trade conflict with allies and rivals. (Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle/U.S. Army)

The White House on Friday announced it is slapping tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods in response to alleged intellectual property theft, another escalation in President Donald Trump’s trade-related acts against allies and rivals alike.

“This situation is no longer sustainable. China has, for example, long been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology,” President Donald Trump said in a statement released Friday morning that formally announced 25 percent import penalties on some Chinese-made products.

Bank Seizes Valadao’s Family Farm
California congressman blames ‘burdensome government regulations’

The family of Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., had its dairy farm seized because of unpaid loans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bank seized a farm owned by California Rep. David Valadao and his family after they failed to repay $8.3 million in loans.

Court documents show that in November, agriculture lender Rabobank sued Triple V Dairy in Fresno Superior Court for failing to repay the loans, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Vague Pact Signed, Trump Sees ‘Arduous’ Process Ahead With North Korea
Trump shifts view of Kim, calling him ‘worthy negotiator’ and ‘very talented’

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talk during their signing ceremony during their meeting in Singapore on Tuesday. (Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a nuclear agreement Tuesday that is as sweeping as it is vague, with the U.S. commander in chief saying it merely kicks off an “arduous” process to potentially disarm the North.

Trump bemoaned the notion that he and U.S. officials gave up a raft of concessions to Kim even before the two leaders shook hands around 9 a.m. local time in Singapore. But he announced that part of the accord includes the United States ending its joint military exercises with South Korea, which Trump called too “provocative.”

Analysis: Trump Wanted a Fight. He Found One — With His Allies
Lawmakers are split over president’s tough-love approach for Europe, Canada

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron had a warm state visit in April. But since, relations have soured after Trump slapped  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was looking for a brawl with some of America’s closest allies Thursday morning. By evening, he had found — no, provoked — one. And lawmakers are split on his tough-love approach.

“Fight.”

Trump Heads to G-7 Isolated by Tariffs, Estranged From Allies
‘There is a growing frustration,’ Ways and Means Chairman Brady says

One analyst says this weekend’s G7 summit will be more like a “G6+1,” with President Donald Trump isolated from other leaders, angry over his steel and aluminum tariffs. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will arrive Friday at a G-7 meeting in Canada, with no specific goals for the summit and under fire from Republican lawmakers and the very world leaders with whom he will spend the weekend.

The U.S. leader’s steel and aluminum tariffs have upset other heads of state and caused many to retaliate with their own proposed fees on U.S. goods such as bourbon and cheese. Among the agitated leaders are those from G-7 countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom. But before the president hears new pleas from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May to drop the tariffs, he is getting an earful from members of his own party.

With Eye on Policy, and Politics, McConnell Scraps August Recess
Senate expected to be away the first week in August before returning for the rest of the summer

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in a Tuesday statement that the Senate would substantially curtail the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that the Senate will be in session throughout much of August, citing the need to move legislation and nominees. While widely viewed as a gambit to keep Democrats in competitive 2018 races off the trail, the move could have unintended and unpredictable political consequences. 

“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement.“Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.”

Corker Seeks to Push Back on Trump Trade Actions
Tennessee Republican wants congressional vote on future tariffs involving national security

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., says he’ll know by the week’s end if his proposal has sufficient support from Democrats and Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker plans to make a pitch to Republican colleagues at the Senate lunches Tuesday on a proposal to require a congressional vote on future tariffs involving national security before they can take effect.

The Tennessee senator said he’s found Democrats who are interested in the proposal, but he would not identify them. The fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill is a likely vehicle for the proposal, he said, “because it deals with national security. That would be the best vehicle.”