Farm Bill

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.

Chuck Schumer Navigates the Resistance
The Senate’s Democratic leader wants to get along with everyone. Now he finds himself between Scylla and Charybdis

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer waves an American flag after unveiling the Democrats’ ‘Better Deal for Our Democracy’ platform in May. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Back when he was policy director for Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Jim Kessler had a conversation with his boss about working with a high-profile Republican. This is how it went, according to Kessler.

Schumer: I can call Newt, he likes me.

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. 

Another Farm Bill Trouble Spot: Ex-Prisoners Growing Hemp
The conference committee met Wednesday morning ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., opened the first public meeting of the farm bill conference committee Wednesday along with along with Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas (not pictured). (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Advocates for criminal justice reform hope to convince lawmakers to reject a provision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Senate farm bill that would deny people with drug felony convictions the chance to be hemp farmers.

Nine Senate and 47 House negotiators met publicly for the first time Wednesday to lay out their positions on how to proceed in reconciling House and Senate versions of the five-year legislation. Lawmakers will push to have a compromise bill ready before the current farm and food policy law expires Sept. 30.

Hurdles to Passing Spending Bills
CQ Budget, Episode 76

House and Senate leaders like to brag about their respective chambers' progress on passing spending bills but not one has won final passage, CQ budget and appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich says. She unpacks the reasons behind the bottleneck that now includes a new hurdle:President Trump's freeze on federal workers' wages.

Show Notes:

Outside Kavanaugh Cacophony, Congress Faces Looming Deadline on Government Spending
Despite steady progress this year, lawmakers have little time to pass funding bills

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., talks with reporters in the Capitol’s Senate subway before the Senate Policy luncheons on August 28, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The multiday media circus surrounding the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh notwithstanding, Congress is facing a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government, with appropriators struggling to work out their differences on fiscal 2019 spending. 

There are only 11 legislative days this month when the House and Senate are both scheduled to be in session. That means there isn’t much floor time in either chamber to vote on what could be as many as three conference reports with spending totaling more than $1 trillion, even if the legislation is privileged in the Senate and the House limits debate.

Road Ahead: The House Is Back, Looking for Deals on Spending and Farm Bill
Lawmakers return with hearings headlined by Supreme Court nomination, social media

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and the rest of the members of the House are returning from August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most of the cameras will be focused on President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, but he’s far from the only attraction this week on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s week of confirmation hearings with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and outside witnesses kicks off Tuesday morning, but House members are arriving back in Washington, D.C., this week after more than a month back in their districts.

Pentagon Still Faces Possible CR, Even Government Shutdown
Congress may be moving faster than usual this year on spending bills, but no one should be celebrating yet

Aerial view of the Pentagon building photographed on Sept. 24, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Defense Department stands a 50-50 chance of operating under the constraints of a continuing resolution for at least the first couple months of fiscal 2019 and quite possibly beyond, a number of Washington insiders predict.

What’s more, analysts and lobbyists say, one or more government shutdowns are not out of the question.

Here Are All the Republicans Jockeying for Committee Leadership Positions (So Far)
Roughly half of the House committees will have new GOP leadership next year

Dozens of House Republicans are running for committee chairmanships that will be open in the next Congress, hoping to obtain gavels like the one pictured. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Roughly half of the House’s 21 committees will have new Republican leadership next year, creating several competitive races among colleagues looking to move up the ranks.

The majority of the openings come from retiring GOP chairmen, most of whom have reached the six-year limit Republicans place on their committee leaders.

Schumer: Republicans ‘Co-Conspirators’ With Trump If Silent on Cohen, Manafort
President’s former campaign chairman and personal attorney guilty on eight charges each

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the GOP was a “co-conspirator” with President Donald Trump if its members did not speak out against the “culture of corruption” surrounding the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer slapped a searing label on the Republican party Thursday, saying that if his colleagues across the aisle remain silent on the “culture of corruption” surrounding President Donald Trump, the GOP as a whole would be a “co-conspirator” with the president.

Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of campaign finance, bank loan, and tax fraud and directly implicated the president for directing him to commit a crime in a New York courtroom Tuesday.