agriculture

Trump Takes Post-Election Victory Lap Despite Close Races
Experts still forecasting tough races ahead for Republicans

Republican congressional candidate Troy Balderson celebrates after giving his victory speech Tuesday night in Newark, Ohio. He holds a lead, but the race with Democrat Danny O'Connor remains too close to call. (Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is taking a victory lap after Tuesday’s congressional and gubernatorial elections, but the president’s football-spiking might be premature.

Trump first tweeted Wednesday morning that Republicans went “5 for 5!” In another tweet about 45 minutes later, the president declared GOP candidates “have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats” that have been up for grabs since he took office. He also slammed the “Fake News Media,” contending its coverage would make “you would think we are being clobbered.”

Trump Reiterates Falsehood About California Water Diversions
California officials not sure what to make of presidential claims

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn to Marine One on their way to Joint Base Andrews on July 27. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Monday again falsely stated that the California government is diverting river water into the Pacific Ocean that could be used to fight forest fires, but he also signaled he will fast-track federal help.

For the second consecutive day, the president took to Twitter to contend Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is sending water from “the North” into the Pacific Ocean. Trump contended Monday that water could be used for “fires, farming and everything else.”

Mitch McConnell Is Already Running for Re-Election — In 2020
Formally announced his plans in Kentucky on Saturday

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday that he will seek re-election in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proved again this weekend he won’t be caught asleep at the wheel when it comes to his own campaigns in Kentucky.

McConnell formally announced Saturday his plans to seek a seventh term, speaking at a Republican breakfast in western Kentucky ahead of the Fancy Farm picnic, which is the bipartisan political event of the year in the commonwealth.

Trump’s Threat to Leave the WTO Alarms Many, Even in Congress
And it might be a tipping point for Republicans on the Hill

President Donald Trump, here at the Capitol in June, says World Trade Organization members are not playing fair with America. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The United States once viewed the World Trade Organization as the wave of the future, an improvement over the aging General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade system and a hub of rules-based stability for countries — rich and poor, democratic and nondemocratic — engaged in the international buying and selling of goods and services.

Now President Donald Trump is eyeing the exit door from the WTO, a Geneva-based body the U.S. helped to create in 1995 to negotiate trade standards among its 164-member nations and to referee disputes among them using a playbook of agreed upon rules.

Senators Ask ‘What Is Milk?’
Dairy industry wants to limit the word to what comes out of cows

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., wants clarity on milk, and what it is. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This morning senators asked themselves, “What is milk?” when voting on a proposal to block funding for a review of whether the word milk should be limited to products made from cow’s milk.

The Senate voted, 14-84, to defeat an amendment, offered by Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, that would kill spending on a Food and Drug Administration study on what can be marketed as milk.

McConnell Hopeful Farm Bill Conference Report Ready for Vote After Labor Day
Treatment of work requirements under SNAP an issue

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he is hopeful a farm bill conference report will be ready for a vote after Labor Day. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate agreed by voice vote Tuesday to go conference with the House to negotiate a new version of the farm bill before the current legislation expires, even if that means working through the summer recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he was hopeful the farm bill conference report would be ready for a vote after Labor Day. The Senate is expected to name nine negotiators, five Republicans and four Democrats.

US, EU Trade Officials Split Over Agriculture in Trade Talks
“We feel the EU has become increasingly aggressive in their agreements,” Perdue says

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says agriculture will be a part of upcoming trade between U.S. and EU officials, contradicting a statement by a European Commission spokeswoman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The apparent U.S.-European Union trade truce is less than a week old and the two parties disagree on whether agriculture will be on the table in follow-up discussions to flesh out an agreement, adding more uncertainty to the American farm economy.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue reiterated the U.S. trade representative’s position that agriculture will be part of further talks. Robert Lighthizer last week told Senate Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Chairman Jerry Moran that no matter what the EU says, the U.S. “view is that we are negotiating about agriculture, period. That’s part of the process.” The panel questioned Lighthizer about the administration’s overall trade strategy.

Trump Trade Czar Talks Lobsters, ‘Farmers of the Sea’ and ‘Playing Chicken’
Robert Lighthizer tells Senate panel trade dispute with China won’t end soon

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the Trump administration’s aggressive trade push will eventually result in better deals for American companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told Senate appropriators Thursday it could take years to get China to change trade policies that he says undercut U.S. businesses. But he added that the Trump administration’s aggressive push for change in Beijing will eventually result in better deals for American companies.

While Lighthizer defended the administration’s tariffs action on Chinese imports, lawmakers on the Senate Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee pressed for quicker action to open up additional export markets for U.S. products.

11 Eyebrow-Raising Comments From Trump’s Midwest Swing
‘You’re not going to be too mad at Trump,’ he told Iowa farmers

President Donald Trump at the White House earlier this year. He visited Iowa and Illinois on Thursday, making more false statements at both Midwest stops. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump started his day trip to Iowa and Illinois by ducking reporters’ questions and ended with a spirited event on the GOP tax law that quickly took on the feel of a campaign rally.

At both stops — one a roundtable and one a speech with a podium and teleprompter — the president spent ample time ticking off a list of things his administration has done since it took office. Vice President Mike Pence did the same at an event in West Virginia sponsored by his political action committee.

Crickets on the Chopping Block in Senate Spending Bill
Jeff Flake not too keen on bug-based food development

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., doesn’t want federal funds going to the development of crickets as a food source. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona’s junior senator has a beef with crickets, and the use of federal funds to develop easier and more delicious ways to eat them.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has submitted an amendment to the four-bill spending package (HR 6147), under consideration on the Senate floor this week, that would prohibit funds “to support the development of insect-based foods for human consumption, including cricket farming and taste-testing of insect-based foods.”