Drought Throws Off GOP Focus on Tax Cuts (via Roll Call)

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is fond of asking, “Where are the jobs?” The American Midwest is asking, “Where is the rain?”

The Congressional calendar this month has been full of little else but messaging bills and political posturing designed to shore up November voters, and this week looks to be no different, with a full extension of the George W. Bush-era tax rates on the House docket.

But try as it might to control the message, Congress cannot control the weather. A record drought is ensuring that despite its best efforts, Congress will have to do some actual bipartisan, bicameral legislating before it breaks for the August recess.

“Our livestock guys are in a world of hurt,” said Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), who introduced a roughly $350 million livestock disaster aid bill last week. She said much of her state is in a category 4 drought, the worst there is.

House leaders grappled with the way forward: Either pass a yearlong extension of the 2008 farm bill with disaster aid attached or pass a stand-alone disaster relief bill. Either route is troublesome politically.

And either way, what was once a week meant to highlight the House GOP’s united stand to extend the entirety of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will now become a quarrel over how to extend — and how to pay for — disaster aid. Rather than heading harmoniously into the August recess, the vote to dole out tens of millions of dollars in disaster aid is problematic for the GOP and highlights its divisions.

“The heat is definitely going to be turned up, and the one thing everyone can agree on is it’s untenable going into August without doing something on the drought,” a senior GOP aide said.

One GOP leadership aide confirmed that a yearlong extension of the 2008 farm bill with disaster aid attached will be on the House floor Wednesday.

That will anger conservatives, who tie the 2008 farm bill to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and are wary of leadership’s potential ulterior motives.

“Most conservatives don’t like the old farm bill any more than the new one, and we certainly won’t support any effort to use it as a vehicle to sneak the new farm bill past the House floor and go straight to conference committee,” one conservative aide said.

In an opposite stance, House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said last week that he would only support a short-term extension if it is used as a way to get to conference. That could cost the measure Democratic support.

Even if House leaders ultimately choose to decouple the aid from a farm bill, passing disaster aid has been a struggle this Congress. When Joplin, Mo., was leveled by tornadoes and Hurricane Irene slammed the East Coast last year, Republicans insisted any aid be offset with spending cuts elsewhere.

The same fight could rear its head this time around, as House leaders plan to pay for the measure by cutting direct farm payments and conservation spending.

“There are a lot of potential concerns depending on how they write the bill and what the end goal really is,” the conservative aide said. “To even be considered, it should reduce spending elsewhere to offset the cost. No gimmicks.”

The extremely arid conditions have devastated much of the country, but in particular those who raise livestock. Corn and soybean producers have been somewhat shielded from the drought because of crop insurance. Livestock farmers are not so lucky; their federal disaster relief program expired last year.

A vote on a short-term extension also gives Senate Democrats another opportunity to point out that the House has not moved on the farm bill while the Senate has.

“Our position is that there’s no good reason for the House not to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan farm bill. The House should not let petty politics get in the way of passing this important, bipartisan bill,” said Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell seems keen to address disaster aid in his home state of Kentucky. The Republican leader called Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday to discuss aid options.

“Kentucky farmers and livestock operators are very concerned they don’t have the tools readily available to enable them to manage the risk caused by the drought,” McConnell told him, according to a release. The Senator also urged Vilsack to “look at all legal authorities and budgetary options to assist Kentucky farmers.”

Senate Agriculture ranking member Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), whose state has been hard-hit by the drought, said Thursday that his top priority is getting the drought relief done regardless of whether that has any connection to the farm bill.

 

 

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House to Consider Farm Bill Extension Package with Livestock Disaster Aid (via Agri-Pulse Communications)

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., issued a statement Friday afternoon regarding a package to be considered in the House next week that includes disaster assistance programs and a one-year extension of current farm policy. The cost of the package is $621 million over 10 years with a net savings of $399 million.

The package scheduled for the House floor includes a section that extends the 2008 Farm Bill, as well as a section re-authorizing livestock disaster assistance policies for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Conservation program offsets are used to pay for these reauthorizations. Direct payments—which are currently paid on 85 percent of a producer’s base acres—will be paid on 84.5 percent as a partial offset, according to a release from the House Agriculture Committee today.

 
“Next week’s schedule calls for consideration of a package that includes disaster assistance programs and a one-year extension of current farm policy,” Lucas said. “It is critical that we provide certainty to our producers and address the devastating drought conditions that are affecting most of the country and I look forward to supporting and advancing this legislation.”

According to the House Agriculture Committee, the package is broken down as follows:

Section 1.  One-Year Extension of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Provides a one-year extension of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, with certain modifications.

Section 2.  Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance.

The current livestock disaster policies expired in September 2011, one year before the end of the 2008 farm bill.  This legislation would re-authorize these policies for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.  Specifically, Livestock Indemnity Payments (LIP), Livestock Forage Disaster Programs (LFP), Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP), and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) are all generally reauthorized.

To pay for this disaster assistance, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program is capped at $1.4 billion; the Conservation Stewardship Program is capped at 11 million acres; the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program is capped at $150 million; and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is capped at $45 million.  These offsets are consistent with levels previously established by enacted appropriations—which reduced levels authorized by the Agriculture Committees—and will still allow these important programs to function at recent funding levels.  In addition, direct payments—which are currently paid on 85 percent of a producer’s base acres—is paid on 84.5 percent as a partial offset.

Several other of the 37 expiring farm bill programs were reauthorized as part of this package. To read the text of the draft language, click  http://www.agri-pulse.com/uploaded/Bill_112hr_07272012.pdf
 

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For more news, go to www.agri-pulse.com

RDL & Associates and Connolly Kuhl Group Launch “Fortune 500 Access” Service

RDL & Associates, in conjunction with the Connolly Kuhl Group, has created an innovative new service allowing Minnesota small businesses and trade associations the same public affairs support utilized by of national organizations & Fortune 500 companies. 

This new service allows the members of participating organizations access to a Washington D.C. based lobbying firm to investigate and advocate for their company’s specific issues and concerns with Congress and the Administration.  The service is coordinated by a trusted local contact that will work with each business to understand their needs, develop a strategy and oversee its execution. In addition to advocacy, this service could include semi-annual in-person presentations to participating organizations as well as a monthly newsletter with the latest updates from D.C. 

A participating organization would receive up to 20 hours of Public Affairs consulting.  These hours can be utilized by the individual organization or business to advocate for broad priorities or utilized by individual members.

Also availble is monitoring of media mentions of your organization and top issues through one easy platform.   You will receive daily or weekly emails filtering the news that’s important to you and your members from a platform that constantly monitors over 130,000 news sources including television and radio stations in 210 Direct Marketing Associations (DMA’s) within the United States, 15 international markets and over 20 million blogs.

In addition, we can assist leaders and organizations with little to no digital media experience get into the habit of effectively utilizing these platforms – as well as facilitating an understanding as to why these communications channels are critical in today’s environment.

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Strategic Planning

Building the foundation of a successful public affairs campaign means combining all efforts under one strategic message and goal.  We work with our clients to define their goal, develop their message and implement a strategic plan that utilizes every advocacy tool available.  

Government Relations
We have developed a proven method of working with and navigating the obstacles of all levels of government. We understand the internal and external workings of governmental agencies and how to best achieve our client’s legislative and policy objectives via strategic communications, message development and interaction with elected officials and their staff. 

We are seasoned in deconstructing complex issues and distilling messages to their base elements so that policymakers view our clients as the last and best source for information.

Coalition Building
Effective public policy and communications strategies begin and end with the ability to build and enhance relationships, with access to information being a critically important commodity.  We will build a coalition to help support your initiatives, products, and services – an essential element for a successful product launch or public policy campaign. We identify and work to develop the dialogue with third parties to lend credible support and build momentum for our clients.

Grassroots Marketing & Mobilization
Grassroots engagement in the pursuit of legislative success is critically important.  We work with our clients to build a powerful organization from the ground up and create strong alliances ensuring our clients gain momentum and strength for their advocacy campaign. We identify, recruit, educate and mobilize third-party stakeholders to become advocates for our clients.

Media Relations

We combine both traditional and digital media outlets to bring our clients message to the public and policymakers. Whether it’s a crisis situation or launching a new product or initiative, we will develop a media strategy that delivers the results our clients expect.

In addition, we assist leaders and organization with little to no digital media experience get into the habit of effectively utilizing these platforms – as well as facilitating an understanding as to why these communications channels are critical in today’s environment.

 For more information regarding the “Fortune 500 Access” Program, please contact Dave Ladd at daveladd66@gmail.com.

 

Meatless Monday (via Chris Clayton; DTN Ag Policy Editor)

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association criticized USDA for a “recent announcement” that USDA was embracing Meatless Monday. This release went about 2:25 p.m. CDT

“This is truly an awakening statement by USDA, which strongly indicates that USDA does not understand the efforts being made in rural America to produce food and fiber for a growing global population in a very sustainable way,” said NCBA President J.D. Alexander. “USDA was created to provide a platform to promote and sustain rural America in order to feed the world. This move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet.”

USDA had this “greening memo” detailing various energy efficiency initiatives and programs. Within it, sure enough there was the information asking others to join Meatless Mondays. The notion was that eating vegetarian for just one day a week helped save the world by mitigating some of the environmental problems from livestock.

Within two hours USDA’s press office was clarifying on Twitter and in an emailed statement over several media inquiries “regarding a rumor that USDA is encouraging ‘Meatless Mondays’

“USDA does not endorse Meatless Monday. The statement found on the USDA website was posted without proper clearance and it has been removed.”

By 4:45 CDT, NCBA got to take a victory lap.

NCBA President J.D. Alexander issued the following statement regarding this most recent USDA action.

“We appreciate USDA’s swift action in pulling this disparaging statement off its website. USDA publicly stated today that it does not support this campaign. We appreciate USDA making this right. The agency is important to all cattlemen and women, especially as we face unprecedented challenges, including drought and animal rights extremist groups spreading fiction to consumers who need to know the importance of beef in a healthy diet.

“USDA did right by scrapping this statement and acknowledging the important role of America’s farm and ranch families in providing food for the world. USDA denouncing support of the Meatless Monday campaign is an important step in correcting misinformation about the safety and sustainability of U.S. beef production.”

Democrats Seek to Stir GOP Pot in Missouri, Wisconsin Senate Races (via Roll Call)

Democrats are not waiting for the general election to officially start in the two most competitive states yet to hold a Republican Senate primary.

Democratic outside groups are playing an active role in defining the GOP candidates in Missouri and Wisconsin, and if they’re lucky, perhaps even helping push their preferred general election opponent ahead. Republicans are targeting both Democratic-held seats in their quest for the Senate majority.
“With the rise of super PACs, you’re going to see more and more of these sorts of tactics, but it’s really nothing new,” Democratic media consultant Mark Putnam said. “It’s just easier for a super PAC to do this because it’s not as transparent as when a Democrat or Republican tries to influence a primary on the other side of the aisle.”

Majority PAC, a Democratic-aligned group working to keep the party’s Senate majority, launched an ad Tuesday against Wisconsin Senate candidates Tommy Thompson and Eric Hovde, who have led in recent polling of the GOP primary.

The ad came two weeks after one from the independent expenditure unit of EMILY’s List, which is supporting Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in the Senate race. Both ads went directly after Thompson and Hovde, ignoring the other leading candidate in the race, former Rep. Mark Neumann, who trails well behind the two frontrunners in recent polling and is viewed as less of a threat in November.

Nearly the same thing happened in Missouri, where it’s clear Democrats would rather have Sen. Claire McCaskill face Rep. Todd Akin in November than either of his top Republican primary opponents, businessman John Brunner or former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman.

For McCaskill, Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbent, the strategy could be vital to her winning a second term, with the goal being to either land a less competitive opponent or stifle any momentum coming out of the primary for the eventual GOP nominee.

Majority PAC recently began airing a TV ad in Missouri challenging Brunner’s business record. A trio of ads from the McCaskill campaign followed last week, with each appearing to attack her potential opponents and define them for the general election.

But, as The Hotline noted last week, McCaskill’s ad targeting Akin clearly could also have the effect of boosting the Congressman’s prospects in the GOP primary by calling him “a crusader against bigger government” and “Missouri’s true conservative,” while highlighting his “pro-family agenda.”

While the ads could help define the GOP nominee coming out of the primary, Putnam was skeptical that a Democratic ad could have much of an effect on a GOP primary outcome, or vice versa.

“Regardless of whether it’s a candidate or a super PAC funding the ads, it’s a mixed bag as to how well playing across the party aisle really works,” Putnam said. “Primary voters are usually better informed and can often see through ads like these.”

Client Spotlight: Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation

For over 90 years, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation has been working to preserve, promote and strengthen American agriculture. This effort began in the beginning of the 20th century with the realization for the need of an effective voice in agriculture. The first county Farm Bureau on record in Minnesota was organized in 1913. On November 8, 1919, 24 county Farm Bureaus forming a combined membership of 16,457 statewide ratified the articles of incorporation.

The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation was officially born in November of 1919 as a general farm organization of affiliated county Farm Bureaus. Within four months of its incorporation, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation joined the newly formed American Farm Bureau Federation. Today with 78 county Farm Bureaus and nearly 30,000 members the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation continues to follow the ideals of its creators by promoting the beliefs and policies of its members.

To learn more about the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, please visit their website http://fbmn.org

 

House Leaders Wary of Farm Bill, Postal Bill Showdowns (via Foodmarket.com)

 Copyright 2012 NPR

Senate-passed bills to cut farm subsidies and food stamps and overhaul the financially teetering Postal Service have been put on hold by House Republican leaders wary of igniting internal party fights or risking voters’ ire three months before the election.

The House is scheduled this week to take up a bill to replace the Obama administration’s offshore drilling plan, and the Senate will ignore it, and some measures to reduce government red tape. What’s not on the schedule are a farm bill important to farmers coping with a drought and a Postal Service bill dealing with politically unpopular but inevitable post office closings and a scaling back of mail delivery.

“There is no excuse not to bring the farm bill to the floor,” Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said Friday. “We’ve wasted the last two weeks on political messaging bills that are going nowhere.”

That doesn’t appear likely to change before Congress departs for a five-week August recess. In the final week before the break, the Republican-controlled House is set to vote on a bill to extend for one year the Bush-era tax cuts, including those for wealthier people. Again, that’s a bill that the Senate would reject, but it will lay down stakes as the election approaches.

The Democratic-led Senate is doing its own political messaging.

In the past week it tried to bring up doomed bills to force outside groups, mainly conservative, to disclose their wealthy donors and to discourage the outsourcing of jobs, a subtle dig at Mitt Romney and his former private equity company that was involved in relocating jobs overseas.

That doesn’t leave much time for the farm and postal bills, which affect the future of food production and mail delivery but generate controversies that politicians would prefer to avoid in an election year.

The farm bill puts fiscal conservatives from rural districts in a position of having to vote against federal subsidies for farmers and could force Democrats to vote for cuts to the federal food stamp program. The postal bill might require lawmakers to decide on shutting post offices or terminating Saturday service.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., co-author of the Postal Service bill that passed the Senate in April, said the House’s “refusal or inability to act is making a bad situation worse by creating more uncertainty, further undermining confidence in the Postal Service’s future.”

This politicking has frustrated Republicans as well.

Two dozen House Democrats and 38 Republicans, including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, a member of the GOP leadership, wrote a letter last week urging House leaders to bring up the farm bill before the August recess. “The message from our constituents and rural America is clear: We need a farm bill now,” said the letter, organized by Republican Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Democrat Peter Welch of Vermont.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California was on board, saying “inaction means economic, nutritional and employment crisis throughout our rural communities.” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared before White House reporters to urge Congress to act on the farm bill and to revive expired disaster assistance programs in the face of the worst drought to hit farmers in decades.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said in an interview with the radio program AgriTalk that he had “politely and respectfully” informed his leadership that his committee had approved a bipartisan farm bill and that “as soon as possible, it was my hope and the hope of the committee, that we would have floor time.”

The Senate passed its version of the farm bill last month, a five-year, $500 billion package that makes fundamental changes to federal safety net programs, including eliminating direct payments to farmers who don’t plant anything. It also reauthorizes an expired livestock disaster assistance program. Lucas’ committee, by a strong bipartisan vote, has approved similar legislation. The House bill would cut $35 billion from the deficit over 10 years, compared with $23 billion in the Senate bill.

The current farm bill expires at the end of September, and “time is short,” wrote the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Corn Growers Association and 44 other farm groups. The farm bill “is among the most important pieces of legislation Congress will consider this year” and “we reject calls for delay.”

But the House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., have brushed aside pressures to bring the bill up. Besides the focus on election-year topics, there’s a reluctance to spend time on a farm bill that could produce hundreds of amendments and might not pass.

Some conservatives dislike the bill because of its high cost and its continued federal subsidies for farmers. They are certain to try to increase cuts to the food stamp program, which consumes some 80 percent of the farm bill budget, nearly $80 billion a year. Some Democrats, on the other hand, might vote against the bill because they object to cuts the committee already made to the food stamp programs, about $1.6 billion a year.

“No decisions have been made on the farm bill as yet,” Boehner told reporters Thursday without saying when a decision might be made.

The situation is similar for the Postal Service bill.

The Senate-approved bill gives the agency an $11 billion cash infusion and reduces future retiree health payments while delaying a move to five-day delivery for two years. A bill that emerged from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last October was more aggressive in cutting costs, raising Democratic criticism that it would put more federal workers out of jobs.

The agency is losing $25 million a day and faces two payment deadlines — of $5.5 billion on Aug. 1 and $5.6 billion at the end of September — for future retiree health costs. Without congressional action the service will be forced to default. Congress has extended those payment deadlines in the past and could do it again.

Congress Delays Farm Bill as Drought Spreads (via Politico)

 To understand how far this Congress will go to kick the proverbial can down the road, consider the farm bill — yes, the farm bill.

In the midst of a severe drought, the House Republican leaders are proposing to walk away from farm states and decades of precedent by not calling up the new five-year plan before the current law expires Sept. 30.

Whatever its flaws, the bill promises $35 billion in 10-year savings from exactly the type of mandatory spending that Congress promised to tackle in last summer’s debt accord. But rather than disrupt its political messaging, the GOP would put it all at risk by delaying action until after the November elections.

There’s little institutional memory left in the Capitol — or perspective on the accumulation of cans rolling down the road these days. But the farm bill delay is new ground for any Congress.

Never before in modern times has a farm bill reported from the House Agriculture Committee been so blocked. POLITICO looked back at 50 years of farm bills and found nothing like this. There have been long debates, often torturous negotiations with the Senate and a famous meltdown in 1995 when the House Agriculture Committee couldn’t produce a bill. But no House farm bill, once out of committee, has been kept off the floor while its deadline passes.

If pushed into November’s lame-duck session, farmers will join Medicare physicians whose pay will be running out, idled workers worried about jobless benefits, and very likely, millions of families faced with expiring tax breaks.

For all the backslapping over the recent transportation bill, that measure expires in just 15 months. The Democratic Senate no longer even tries to do 12-month appropriations bills. Already in mid-July — when the floor used to be humming — the “smart money” is plotting a stop-gap continuing resolution to get to November or beyond.

Such a CR was once treated as a backstop by the Appropriations committees. Now the practice is so prevalent in all areas of government that the letters might stand for “Congress Retreats.”

“It’s to the point where you almost think you should vote against extensions because they are extensions,” Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) told POLITICO. “If you were looking at the United States from outside, you look and you say, ‘What are these people? Fools?’”

Elections do matter, and there’s some logic to letting the voters reshuffle the deck before tackling tough issues. But that’s not what’s happening here.

The presidential campaigns are already being criticized for lacking all substance. But whoever wins, neither President Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has shown any appetite for this debate — or even knowledge of farm issues.

The Senate has already approved its farm bill; even if Republicans were to win control in November, the GOP’s majority will be so narrow that Democrats will be able to block wholesale changes. In the House, the only certainty about a lame duck is there will be even more unhappy people hanging around.

This story can be read in its entirety by visiting http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78832.html

Members Prod House Leaders for Vote on Stalled Farm Bill (via Roll Call)

Members are renewing a push for House consideration of the chamber’s stalled farm bill, tying the legislation to a record drought devastating much of the country.

The efforts, however, are unlikely to sway Republican leaders, who still see the bill as far too contentious to bring to the floor so close to the November elections.

“No decisions have been made on the farm bill yet,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Thursday. That comes despite lobbying by two members of his leadership team to bring the measure to a vote and conference it with a Senate-passed bill before current legislation expires Sept. 30.

Rep. Kristi Noem, a freshman member of leadership, and Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) — both of whom represent agriculture-heavy districts — signed on to a letter Thursday asking Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) to bring the bill to the floor before August.

Noem, a member of the Agriculture Committee, led the bipartisan effort, which drew 62 signatures. The South Dakota Republican said in an interview that she met recently with Boehner and on Tuesday evening with Cantor, but “they said they’re concerned the bill wouldn’t pass.”

“They obviously don’t want to send the farm bill to the floor to have it fail,” she said, noting the roughly $16 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are too deep for many Democrats but not enough for some Republicans.

That was the point of the letter, said Rep. Peter Welch (Vt.), who led Democrats in the effort.

“We’ve got to encourage the leadership that rank-and-file Members support giving America a farm bill,” he said.

Noem said she is also making the case based on the recent drought, the most expansive in about 50 years. Livestock disaster programs included in the 2008 farm bill have expired, she said, and passing a new bill would help ranchers in case of a catastrophe.

Notably, Boehner mentioned the farm bill when asked about the drought.

“Most farmers in my district … avail themselves of crop insurance,” he said. “That’s why it’s in the farm bill, that’s why our government subsidizes the cost of crop insurance, to encourage farmers to buy that. In most cases, it should be sufficient to deal with this drought.”

But GOP aides said the most likely scenario remains that an extension of the 2008 farm bill would come to the floor in September.

Noem’s message echoes that of prominent Democrats, such as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow.

“This drought underscores the need for risk-management tools, better crop insurance, and it underscores the need for a farm bill,” the Michigan Democrat said on the Senate floor Thursday. “We need to get a farm bill done now more than ever.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made the same argument in a Thursday letter to several agriculture groups.

“The need for disaster assistance isn’t just about farmers and ranchers; it affects consumers, rural communities, and farm equipment manufacturers,” the California Democrat wrote.

The same letter underscored why leadership has been reticent to allow the bill on the floor.

“I do not support the cuts to the food and nutrition programs,” Pelosi wrote. “But, these differences are all the more reason to bring the bill up for a vote under an open rule that provides all Members with an opportunity to debate the issues [and] offer amendments.”

Such an amendment debate could be brutal for Republicans. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who sits on the Agriculture panel, offered an amendment to cut SNAP further in committee and said he would do so on the floor, too.

He and other conservatives would also consider an amendment to lop the bill in half, splitting the nutrition aid from farm programs.

“I think we need some assurances on the floor that we can get some food stamp reforms,” the Kansas Republican said. “There’s going to be a fight on that. I’m not afraid to fight.”

 

Client Spotlight: Minnesota Milk Producers Association

Founded in 1977, the of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association (MMPA) is to advance the success of Minnesota dairy farmers.  Working with industry supporters, the MMPA provides professional education opportunities to members, as well as opportunities to connect with dairy producers and others in the industry. 

The MMPA also has an impact on policies that create a better environment for its members, including timely action in support or opposition to issues impacting the organization’s members.

In addition, the MPPA provides programs that further the professional goals of its members, thereby creating additional opportunities for prosperity.  As such, the organization is seen as providing value to dairy farmers and others within the industry.  In the last ten years, dairy farmer membership (revenue) has grown over 55 percent and support from others in the dairy industry has tripled.    

Additional information, including the organizations leadership structure, can be accessed by visiting http://www.mnmilk.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=13