Inside the House Agriculture Committee

Add to Briefcase
Sept. 19, 2013, 4:38 a.m.

From the food stamps bill on the House floor this week to farm­land con­ser­va­tion and com­mod­it­ies reg­u­la­tion, there is very little about the na­tion’s food sup­ply that the House Com­mit­tee on Ag­ri­cul­ture doesn’t help gov­ern. In its latest Spe­cial Is­sue, Na­tion­al Journ­al Daily ex­am­ines the chan­ging nature of the com­mit­tee, the people who run it and the is­sues and chal­lenges they face. Click here to see the is­sue

Search­ing for the Fu­ture of Food
Serving on the House Ag­ri­cul­ture Com­mit­tee may be little fun these days, and even less polit­ic­ally re­ward­ing. The fight to re­new the five-year farm bill — dom­in­ated by how much to cut from the food-stamp pro­gram — has been ac­ri­mo­ni­ous. Mean­while, the heavy in­volve­ment of House lead­er­ship, dif­fer­ences over ag­ri­cul­ture and nu­tri­tion policy, and the de­clin­ing abil­ity of in­di­vidu­al mem­bers to in­flu­ence le­gis­la­tion gen­er­ally have made a seat on the pan­el less at­tract­ive.

Chair­man: ‘The Safety Net Still Has to Ex­ist’
Rep. Frank Lu­cas comes from the tough world of Ok­lahoma farm­ing, but run­ning the House Ag­ri­cul­ture Com­mit­tee is no easy job, either. Bo­nus: meet the 16 people closest to the chair­man.

Don’t Un­der­es­tim­ate Col­lin Peterson
Rep. Col­lin Peterson, D-Minn. may be one of the most un­der­es­tim­ated people ever to lead a con­gres­sion­al pan­el. But Peterson has proven to be like the pro­ver­bi­al coun­try law­yer who shocks the city law­yer with his skill.

Fight Over Food Stamps Dom­in­ates Farm Bill
When House law­makers take to the floor this week to ad­dress a bill that will set fund­ing levels for the food-stamp pro­gram, they will be fin­ish­ing a fight that has torn the tra­di­tion­al five-year farm bill in two. Lit­er­ally.

The Two Sides of Crop In­sur­ance
De­pend­ing on whom you talk to, the crop-in­sur­ance pro­gram is either an es­sen­tial risk-man­age­ment tool that helps farm­ers when dis­aster strikes or a Robin Hood-in-re­verse scheme that takes from the poor and gives to the rich.

The Shrink­ing State of Farm­land Con­ser­va­tion
The num­ber of acres the gov­ern­ment idles for con­ser­va­tion is con­tract­ing, and that’s caused as much by mar­ket forces — or “nature,” as one ag­ri­cul­ture ad­voc­ate put it — as it is by any­thing Con­gress has done.

Sug­ar Grow­ers Reap Sweeter Res­ults Than Dairy Farm­ers
Two ma­jor lob­by­ing fights over ag­ri­cul­ture have taken place between grow­ers and users, with vastly dif­fer­ent res­ults.

Con­gress is Pay­ing More At­ten­tion to Fruits and Ve­get­ables
For years, spe­cialty crops — gen­er­ally defined as fruits, ve­get­ables, and tree nuts — have been treated as af­ter­thoughts in ag­ri­cul­ture policy, but with each farm bill comes a little more help.

It’s Corny, But Don’t Call the Ag Com­mit­tee
The re­new­able-fuel stand­ard has a pro­found im­pact on the ag­ri­cul­ture in­dustry. Yet it isn’t con­trolled by the House Ag­ri­cul­ture Com­mit­tee.

It’s North Versus South on Com­mod­it­ies De­bate
Dif­fer­ing al­le­gi­ances and philo­sophies among House and Sen­ate Ag Com­mit­tee lead­ers have led to a House com­mod­it­ies sec­tion of the farm bill that ap­peals to South­ern­ers and a Sen­ate ver­sion that is more pal­at­able to North­ern­ers.

Pro­tec­tions, Reg­u­la­tion at Play in CFTC Reau­thor­iz­a­tion
Law­makers’ de­sire to re­spond to the fail­ures of MF Glob­al and Per­eg­rine Fin­an­cial, and linger­ing dis­putes over Dodd-Frank, could be a part of the de­bate.

When Michelle Obama Says ‘Let’s Move’”¦
The first lady has made child­hood nu­tri­tion one of her sig­na­ture policy pri­or­it­ies — and it seems to be work­ing.

For staff pro­files, graph­ics and more, see the full is­sue.

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
2 days ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
2 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
2 days ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
ANALYSIS FROM CBO
32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login