AG/FDA Blog

John Block: Farm vs. D.C.

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block There is nothing more exciting, exhilarating, or rewarding than bringing in the harvest. After a whole year of planning, buying seed, plant protection chemicals, working the soil, applying fertilizer and planti… Read More
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John Block: Wish List

Last year in January, I presented my wish list for 2014. Let’s take a look at how that worked out. Wish No. 1: “Get a farm bill passed.” To my surprise, we did. Wish No. 2: “Deal with our immigration problem.” Well, the Cong… Read More
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114th Congress – What to Expect in Ag and Food

As the 114th Congress begins in earnest, there is rough sledding ahead this winter over the gulf between the governing philosophies of the President and the new Congress. Not to belabor the obvious, but early indications are that Republican victories… Read More
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U.S. Congress -- Both Chambers are controlled by Republicans: What now?

What now?  The answer is quite a lot. It remains to be seen whether the change-over in the U.S. Senate, putting both chambers of Congress in the hands of Republicans, will do anything to alter the modus operandi of the Obama presidency — which… Read More
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Important Dates for FY 2015 House and Senate Appropriations Committees Announced

Even though the President has yet to submit his FY 2015 Budget Proposal, including his detailed requests for all agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have… Read More
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The Budget Agreement and Some Thoughts About Next Steps

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) announced a two-year budget agreement that, in their words, “reduces the deficit—without raising taxes…it cuts spending in a smarter w… Read More
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It Is “That” Time of Year

No, it is not time to face the Christmas shopping crowds, the kids have their back to school supplies, and we have made our fantasy football selections.  So what is it I am supposed to be dreading?  Oh yes, final days for government budgets, contin… Read More
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A Farm Bill by the Boot Straps

After two years of not passing a Farm Bill out of the House, it should be obvious to everyone that Farm Bills, as we have known and passed them, are over.  This time around, a majority wanted to end direct payments; the Farm Bill did that.  Most Me… Read More
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New Obama Budget Includes Cuts for Federal Crop Insurance

Few Washington government programs escape un-cut in the new 2014 budget unveiled today by President Obama’s administration, and Federal crop insurance is no exception. 2012 saw Federal crop insurance emerge as the premier Federal backstop for Ameri… Read More
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Federal Budget Process Outline and Outlook

Congress did not complete three significant budget matters in 2012: an alternative to sequestration, full federal fiscal year appropriations legislation, and a budget resolution. Each of these items is interrelated, and expected to be taken up over t… Read More
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