Ag Committee on Farm Bill; Trade Talks Under Trump
**Leaders of the House Ag Committee intent on getting the next Farm Bill done on time say budget limitations are the biggest obstacle.
During a listening session this month, Chairman Mike Conaway, of Texas, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, of Minnesota, expressed their intentions of completing the 2018 Farm Bill by the end of next year.
Peterson tells Brownfield while farm programs like crop insurance are the target of potential federal budget cuts, farmers need additional resources.
**The president of the American Foreign Service Association says trade discussions are being framed differently under the Trump Administration.
Ambassador Barbara Stephenson tells Brownfield there have been challenges resulting from President Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership in favor of bilateral trade agreements and outspoken criticism of current deals like NAFTA.
She says farmers recognize the importance of trade and it’s her job to expand markets for American agricultural products regardless of political rhetoric.
**Cook County, Illinois, and the state’s Department of Human Services are working to resolve USDA concerns about the county’s tax on sweetened beverages in order to avoid a cutoff in funding used to administer nutrition programs.
Food and Nutrition Service Regional Administrator Tim English told IDHS last week that Cook County’s decision to allow retailers to charge the tax, and then provide a refund, violates Food and Nutrition Act regulations prohibiting state or local sales tax collection on
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program purchases.
The 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages went into effect August 2nd.