Ellyn Ferguson

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: Beware the Dog Days of August
A critical month to figure out which party has the initiative into the fall

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to his Capitol office after the Republican Senate policy lunch that took place at the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Nothing happens in August, right? At least that’s always the usual explanation for the mass exodus that leaves Washington nearly uninhabited for much of D.C.’s dog days.

But actually, throughout history, August has been a month of big events, especially in the realm of politics and war. The Brits burned Washington, and World War I started with the “Guns of August.” Women got the right to vote. Social Security became law, and we dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

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.

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.”

Allies, Lawmakers Brace for Fallout of Steel, Aluminum Tariffs
“‘Make America Great Again’ shouldn’t mean ‘Make America 1929 Again,’” Sasse says

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, here at the Capitol in 2016, said it was “simply ridiculous” to see trade with his country as a threat to U.S. national security. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mexico, Canada and the European Union threatened to retaliate with tariffs on American-made goods after the Trump administration announced that it would reimpose steel and aluminum tariffs, as it tries to pressure them to crack down on imports of the metals from China, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday.

The tariffs will take effect Friday. U.S. companies that import steel from Canada, Mexico and the 28-nation EU will pay an additional 25 percent duty on steel and a 10 percent duty on aluminum.

GOP Senators Dislike Trump’s Threat of Tariffs on Car Imports
“Any time you start raising taxes and tariffs, I’m not very happy about it,” Hatch says

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., says “a lot of people are upset” over President Donald Trump’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican senators expressed unease Thursday about the president’s threat of tariffs on imported automobiles during a Senate lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, amid a widening debate over contentious trade talks with a number of countries, including allies.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said the Commerce Department’s national security review of imported automobiles was “deeply misguided.”

Podcast: Trump Misses NAFTA Deadline
CQ on Congress, Episode 103

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says NAFTA partners are ''nowhere near'' a deal to update the trade pact. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump's trade agenda is in disarray after his negotiators failed to reach a deal to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico by May 17, when congressional Republicans said they would need it in order to ratify it by year's end. CQ trade reporter Ellyn Ferguson explains what is holding Trump's team up.

Farm Bill Gets Two Days of House Rules Committee Consideration
Work requirements for SNAP among contentious topics on tap

House Agriculture Chairman K. Michael Conaway, will continue to make his case for the GOP-drafted farm bill this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Rules Committee will devote Tuesday and Wednesday to the 2018 farm bill as members plow through a long list of amendments, raising the possibility of heated debate before it faces a floor vote later this week.

At the Tuesday afternoon session, the panel has scheduled a general discussion from House Agriculture Chairman K. Michael Conaway of Texas and ranking member Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota on the five-year farm bill, which would set policy for nutrition, conservation, crop insurance and other programs. The current farm bill expires Sept. 30.

GOP Senate Hopefuls in House Nominate Trump for Nobel Peace Prize
Move comes ahead of key primary battles in Indiana, West Virginia

Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., is among the House Republicans who’ve nominated President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five incumbent House Republicans running for Senate have co-signed a letter nominating President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

It’s a move that could curry favor with the president and his supporters just a week before pivotal primaries in states such as West Virginia and Indiana, two Trump states where GOP candidates are trying to align themselves with the White House.

Dentists on the March to Congress
November could see two more join the cavity-fighting caucus

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., walks up the House steps for a vote in the Capitol in February. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress is probably as popular as going to the dentist, but a handful of dentists are looking to make their way to Congress.

Of course, the first step to growing the number of dentists on the Hill is re-electing the current ones. Considering they represent heavily Republican districts, their prospects are good, even though the political winds might be blowing against them.