Congress will have a full docket in 2018

Legislative Watch: Congress has a lot of work to do in 2018, from keeping the government running to a new farm bill to welfare reform; FDAs contaminated food process questioned.

 

P. Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer

Dec 29, 2017

 

Congress will face a number of key issues when it returns in early January. The farm bill, immigration, infrastructure, welfare reform and keeping the federal government funded will be some of the issues for the second session of the 115th Congress.

 

Government funding One of the first items Congress will need to address is how to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year. The current continuing resolution expires on Jan. 19. The desire is to reach an agreement on the level of funding for defense and non-defense programs, and pass a bill to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2018. This may include raising the spending caps for both defense and domestic spending.

 

Farm bill The current farm bill expires on Sept. 30, 2018. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees leadership wants to complete the new farm bill early. Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, would like to finish the bill in the first quarter of the year. This all depends upon when the House leadership will give the committee floor time for consideration of the bill and the level of funding the committee receives for the farm bill.

 

The Senate Agriculture Committee would like to finish committee action early next year. Some of the key issues will be overall funding, cotton, dairy, sugar, number of acres in the Conservation Reserve Program, crop insurance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, funding level for trade programs Foreign Market Development Program and Market Access Program and establishment of a vaccine bank.

 

Farm bills are never easy to pass and this one will face numerous challenges. If it is to pass, there will need to be bipartisan support as has been the case since the first farm bill in the 1930s.

 

Immigration ...

 

Welfare reform ...

 

Infrastructure ...

 

State of the Union ...

 

FDAs food-recall does not always ensure food safety ...

 

more

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