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Budget Deal's Fate Looks Good in Senate

Updated 3:26 p.m. | Senators feel confident a two-year budget deal that also lifts the debt limit before the Nov. 3 deadline has the necessary support.

Roberts, McConnell Announce Crop Insurance Fix

Updated 1:57 p.m. | Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts has assurances from his leadership to reverse crop insurance cutbacks in the budget and debt limit deal that’s currently on the Senate floor.

Aderholt Prays on the Poultry Industry's Dime

House Agriculture Appropriations Chairman Robert B. Aderholt has broken bread for years at international prayer breakfasts, courtesy of trips paid for by a private foundation funded by an Arkansas poultry company.

Farm Groups Seek Partnership for Safety Rules

The Food and Drug Administration will kick off a multiyear process requiring farmers to get hazard-prevention and water-testing plans in working order when it publishes final rules for produce safety early next month.

House GOP Civil War Takes to the Airwaves

Just two days after House Speaker John A. Boehner stunned Washington by announcing he will leave Congress next month, two top members of his House Republican conference traded barbs in a remarkably public display of internal dissent on a Sunday network news show.

McCarthy Profile: Genial Party Loyalist Rose Quickly

Speaker John A. Boehner's resignation at the end of October makes his top deputy, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, the likeliest candidate to inherit the gavel. Boehner even offered his unqualified endorsement, saying the five-term lawmaker would be an "excellent" speaker.

Solving School Lunch Program Fraud, Washington Style | Commentary

Five federal employees were charged in August with theft and fraud for falsifying documents to qualify their children for free lunch at Prince George’s County, Md., public schools. The alleged fraudsters — all employees of the Government Accountability Office — were discovered after an audit into the National School Lunch Program by the very federal agency for which they work.

Boehner Profile: Achievements and Pitfalls Mark Recent Years

Speaker John A. Boehner's stunning announcement Friday that he will resign from his House seat next month caps a 25-year career marked by legislative victories and intra-party conflicts. 

Boehner Quits; McCarthy Seen as Successor

Speaker John A. Boehner told fellow Republicans Friday morning he will resign from Congress and give up his House seat at the end of October, according to members.

Lending Programs Key to Restoring Rural America | Commentary

In its most recent “Rural America at a Glance,” the Department of Agriculture found that, “while the U.S. economy is now in its sixth year of recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-’09, its performance remains weak in some respects, and this is especially true in rural areas.” The report goes on to say the unemployment rate has fallen in rural areas, but due only to a decline in the labor force participation. In other words, Americans living in small towns and rural environments have given up on finding work.

House Appropriations' Rogers Likely to Give Up Gavel

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers says he likely will give up his gavel rather than seek a waiver when his third two-year term expires next year, leaving an opening for the chairmanship of the spending panel.

Confederate Flag Flap a Death Knell for Appropriations Work

The fiscal 2016 appropriations process effectively screeched to a halt Friday, the day after bitter divisions over a Republican Confederate flag provision sunk the Interior-Environment appropriations bill and apparently laid claim to the rest of the spending measures as well.

USDA Announcement Shows Need for Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act | Commentary

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent decision to certify a company’s process to develop corn free of genetically modified organisms is being wrongly interpreted in that the agency has broad authority to establish standards for GMO or non-GMO labeling of food. The USDA’s decision actually spotlights the limitations currently facing the agency, and the need for congressional action on this issue.

Country of Origin Labeling: All Cost, No Benefit | Commentary

The World Trade Organization ruled against the U.S. for the fourth and final time in an ongoing dispute between the United States, Canada and Mexico regarding the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) program. Retaliation by Canada and Mexico will soon become a reality, meaning economically devastating tariffs on a broad spectrum of U.S. exports, from meat and fruit to jewelry, furniture and biofuels. Ripple effects will be felt in nearly every industry, every state and every consumer’s wallet. This is why COOL for beef, pork and chicken — nothing more than a failed government experiment— must be repealed.

End the Catfish-Inspection Boondoggle | Commentary

Leave it to Washington to create a multimillion-dollar solution to a nonexistent problem that requires the creation of a new bureaucracy, all for the sole purpose of increasing the profits of a small number of catfish farmers. Kafka would understand, but U.S. taxpayers should be angry.

Hastert Delivers Personal Pitch for Ethanol

Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert delivered a blunt reminder to farm-state lawmakers about the clout of the ethanol industry with a visit for nearly an hour to the main lobby off the Senate floor during votes on Tuesday, while he worked to stave off a call by conservatives to eliminate the renewable fuels standard.

Trade Policies That Work for America's Farmers and Ranchers | Commentary

Agriculture is a cornerstone of our national economy, supporting 16 million jobs both on and off the farm. American farmers and ranchers are the most innovative and productive in the world, providing us with the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world.

Cooking Up Food Aid Reform | Commentary

As a chef, it’s my job to feed people delicious, fresh and nutritious food in a reasonable amount of time. Doing this well is often a race against the clock and it always requires working together.

Innovation Deficit Threatens America's Health and Prosperity | Commentary

In the center of the country there’s a quiet revolution taking place that holds great promise for our nation, though only if we address the growing innovation deficit facing America.




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