agriculture

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.

Trump Largely Focuses on Own Re-Election at Iowa Rally for GOP Incumbents
President wants to find out if Elizabeth Warren really ‘has Indian blood’

President Donald Trump, here in July, was in Iowa on Tuesday night for a campaign rally for two vulnerable House Republicans. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

Very much in re-election mode even before next month’s midterms, President Donald Trump took jabs at potential Democratic candidates at an Iowa rally Tuesday night, calling their party “an angry mob.”

“You don’t hand matches to an arsonists. And you don’t hand power to an angry mob,” he told rallygoers in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “If you want to defeat the swamp, you’ll have to elect Republicans.”

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.

In Trade Pact, Trump Sees Trap for Democrats and Warning to China
Kudlow: If Democrats ‘want to help working folks, they’ll go with this deal’

President Donald Trump, with Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn, at a campaign rally Monday night in Johnson City, Tenn. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

One word stood out this week as President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, described an updated North American trade pact: “progressive.”

Also notable during a half-hour discussion about the agreement Lighthizer held with a group of reporters: He was complimentary of the Obama administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact with Asian countries from which Trump withdrew. He even admitted the new North American agreement is “built on” many aspects of TPP.

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 Hails Canada’s Trade Decision, But Hill Fight Awaits
President to speak about agreement at 11 a.m. from the White House

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in 2017. Canada joined a U.S.-Mexico trade pact that could replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Monday hailed Canada’s decision to join a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a pact that came about via his preferred negotiation style: Take a hard position then repeatedly double down.

Canadian officials resisted joining the new agreement for weeks after U.S. and Mexican officials announced they had agreed to terms. Trump and top aides signaled they were prepared to move ahead with a two-way pact by submitting it to Congress this week with or without Canada. But negotiators reached a deal just before a midnight Sunday deadline.

These Farm Programs Will Turn Into Pumpkins Sunday If Congress Doesn’t Act
Top negotiator on farm bill doesn’t want extension that could keep them afloat

Work requirements for SNAP recipients have been a sticking point as lawmakers try to reach a deal on the farm bill. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images file photo)

Dozens of programs for military veterans turned farmers, small rural businesses and expanding foreign markets for agriculture will end Sunday if lawmakers do not extend the expiring 2014 farm bill.

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas said Monday that “it’ll be a tall order” to get a replacement for the current law completed and enacted before the midterm elections in November.

Despite New Tariffs, China Still Not Budging on Trade Tactics, White House Says
Senior official indicates Canada no closer to joining Mexico trade deal than it was when talks started

U.S. and Chinese flags on a table where military leaders from the two countries met in 2014. Four year later, the economic giants are in the midst of a bitter trade dispute. Depsite President Trump’s tariff's little progress has been made, an official said Friday. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle)

The Trump administration is not aiming to “cleve off” the U.S. economy from China’s, but it intends to continue pressuring the Asian giant even though tough moves like repeated rounds of tariffs have yet to bring the fundamental changes President Donald Trump is demanding.

“Our goal is not to totally divorce our economies from each other,” said a senior official who briefed reporters Friday at the White House about trade matters. “Our goal is for China to stop behaving unfairly.”

Congressional Schedule Shows a Light Week Ahead
Agenda abbreviated by Rosh Hashanah on Monday and Tuesday

The congressional schedule is slightly abbreviated next year because of Rosh Hashanah. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Both chambers of Congress will have abbreviated schedules this coming week, largely due to Rosh Hashanah, which begins in the evening on Sept. 9 and ends on the evening on Tuesday, Sept. 11. 

On Monday and Tuesday, no votes are expected in either chamber. 

Big Sky Trip Highlights Trump’s Focus on Senate Races
President also involved in gubernatorial races, Pence takes House contests

President Donald Trump at the White House in July. He will spend part of Thursday and Friday in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota campaigning and raising funds for GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump will return to Montana on Thursday night for another political rally aimed at ousting incumbent Democrat Jon Tester, part of the president’s midterm focus on keeping the Senate under Republican control.

White House and Trump campaign officials have signaled Trump will hit as many as eight states this month alone before picking up the pace in October as the midterm campaign enters its final sprint. Trump will continue to publicly stump for Republican Senate and gubernatorial incumbents and candidates, while Vice President Mike Pence primarily focuses on competitive House races.