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W E E K L Y  U P D A T E  September 10, 2018
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CBO Estimates, Commodities, and SNAP Stand in the Way of Finalzing Farm Bill Negotiations

The conference committee between the House and Senate tasked with negotiating a final Farm Bill hit a roadblock last Friday due to the recently released cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO examined the various compromise proposals put forward by the conference committee and it appears that the estimates were higher than the conference committee anticipated.

The top Republican and Democrat of both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees met on Wednesday and Thursday of last week to iron out differences between the two versions.  They plan to meet again this Wednesday.  Senator Pat Roberts, the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said the four leaders had a target for completing negotiations by the end of this week. 

The Farm Bill's provisions regarding commodities and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program remain as issues yet to be resolved in the negotiations. The current Farm Bill expires September 30th.

For more information, please contact Eric Heath, Senior Policy Counsel for the Mississippi River Basin Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

President Trump Threatens New Tariffs That Would Cover All Chinese Imports into the U.S.

On Friday of last week, President Trump stated that he is prepared to impose an additional $267 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.  These new tariffs - in addition to the $200 billion in tariffs the administration is preparing to implement and the $50 billion it has already implemented - would, if implemented, cover the entirety of Chinese goods imported into the United States for sale. 

China has previously responded to U.S. tariffs with reciprocal tariffs on U.S. goods imported into China, specifically targeting key U.S. industries like the agricultural sector.  While the Trump Administration claims it is pursuing a resolution to the ongoing trade war with China, there are no ongoing talks and no end in sight for the growing economic hostilities. 

For more information, please contact Eric Heath, Senior Policy Counsel for the Mississippi River Basin Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.
This Week in Washington

The following are hearings and markups of interest to the region.


The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing entitled "Perspectives on U.S. Agricultural Trade."  10:00 AM | 328A Russell SOB.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on the Environment will hold a hearing entitled "Air Quality Impacts of Wildfires: Mitigation and Management Strategies."  1:00 PM | 2123 Rayburn HOB.


On September 26th, The Senate Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management will hold a hearing entitled "The Federal Role in the Toxic PFAS Chemical Crisis."  2:30 PM | 342 Dirksen SOB. 

NEMWI: Strengthening the Region that Sustains the Nation