Agriculture

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

Word on the Hill: Happy Birthday, Dianne Feinstein!
‘Game of Thrones’ and Japanese agriculture

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein arrives at the Capitol for the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s Dianne Feinstein’s birthday. The oldest currently serving senator turns 84 today. The California Democrat has been in the Senate since 1992.

Feinstein also happens to share a birthday with other powerful Democrats in Congress: Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts turns 68 today.

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Karen Handel gives her victory speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, as her husband Steve Handel looks on. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.

Newhouse Gets Challenger For Washington Seat
Democratic former news anchor to challenge two-term Republican

Christine Brown says her experience as a TV anchor will serve her well in Congress. (Christine Brown for Congress via Facebook)

Democrat Christine Brown formally announced Wednesday that she will run against two-term Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse for Washington's 4th District congressional seat.

Brown is a former reporter and TV news anchor, which she said would be an asset in her run for office. 

Ad Says Bacon Fights to Keep Base Open — But Nobody’s Trying to Close it
In reality, Offutt Air Force Base is getting a new $1.2 million investment

Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon’s district includes Offutt Air Force Base. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New ads from a Republican super PAC emphasize GOP Rep. Don Bacon's fight to “keep Offutt Air Force Base open.” The problem is, there are no current efforts to close the base or cut its funding.

In fact, the base is currently receiving new investments that include $1.2 billion for a U.S. Strategic Command headquarters.

Commodities Agency Gets Cool Reception on Funding Bump Request

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., didn't seem to buy the CFTC's argument that it needs more money. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The acting chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission is asking for a funding bump above the White House’s fiscal 2018 proposal, a request being declined by Republican agriculture policymakers despite their endorsing the agency’s message of keeping a balance between regulatory enforcement and vibrant futures and derivatives markets.

California’s David Valadao, the No. 2 Republican on the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, brushed aside J. Christopher Giancarlo’s $281.5 million request for fiscal 2018 at a hearing on Thursday. Valadao, said the panel would focus on President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 request of $250 million.

Schumer Passes on Chance to Star With Kate Mara
Capitol Hill gets cameo in new film ‘Megan Leavey’

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, left, is portrayed by actor Andrew Masset in the new film “Megan Leavey.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo, Ben Rose/Getty Images for Corday Productions)

The old saying that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Sen. Charles E. Schumer and a camera? New evidence suggests otherwise.

“I didn’t want to ruin the film,” the New York Democrat said about turning down an offer to play himself in the new movie “Megan Leavey.”

Trump Administration Gives Ethics Waivers to Ex-Lobbyists
President pledged to limit influence of lobbyists during his campaign

President Donald Trump pledged to limit the influence of lobbyists during the 2016 campaign. But  ethics waivers have been provided to a number of ex-lobbyists now serving in government roles.  (McNamee/Getty Images)

A fresh batch of ethics waivers made public Wednesday offers new insight into the roles that ex-lobbyists and other one-time industry representatives have taken in the Trump administration to shape health care, immigration and other policy matters.

President Donald Trump pledged on the campaign trail that he would limit the influence of lobbyists, and he issued an executive order that would prohibit them from working on their recent client matters while serving in the executive branch. But the waivers allow them to override the official policy and to weigh in on policy measures that affect clients they had within the past two years.

Zoe Barnes Returns to Talk Animal Policy
Kate Mara joins Reps. Blumenauer and McSally for USDA transparency

From left to right: Rep. Martha McSally, actress Kate Mara, Rep. Earl Blumenauer. Behind Mara is Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society. (Alex Gangitano/ CQ Roll Call)

So the president didn’t kill Zoe Barnes and she’s now advocating for animal welfare?

Sorry, wrong alternate universe.

Trump Budget a Shock to Farmers, Needy and Environment
The Week Ahead, Episode 55