House tees up vote to avert shutdown

Politico Politics 3 weeks ago

With help from Catherine Boudreau and Doug Palmer

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Quick Fix

— The House today plans to vote on a short-term spending bill that would stave off a government shutdown. But the long-term forecast for fiscal 2020 is less clear, as no progress has been made on the 12 annual spending bills.

— Drug companies say the Agriculture Department needs more funds to avoid a shortage of vaccines to control major threats like African swine fever or foot and mouth disease.

— Lawmakers will review the U.S.-China trade war and its impact on farmers and businesses at an unofficial briefing on the Hill.

HAPPY TUESDAY, NOV. 19! Welcome to Morning Ag. Here’s some news you can use if you’re traveling for Thanksgiving next week (and planning to pack some leftovers). Send tips to rmccrimmon@politico.com and @ryanmccrimmon, and follow us @Morning_Ag.

Driving the Day

HOUSE TEES UP VOTE TO AVERT SHUTDOWN: House and Senate leaders reached an agreement over a one-month continuing resolution that would extend funding through Dec. 20, POLITICO’s John Bresnahan and Caitlin Emma report. House Democrats published the text on Monday and the chamber is scheduled to vote today — followed by a Senate vote by Thursday, when a current stopgap spending bill expires.

What’s next: The bill, H.R. 3055 (116), should have relatively smooth sailing through both chambers, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the measure. But there’s still no agreement on full appropriations for fiscal 2020, which started Oct. 1. Top appropriators haven’t been able to strike a deal on divvying up defense and domestic spending among the 12 annual appropriations bills.

Hitting the wall: Negotiators at some point will need to find a way around the partisan dispute over funds for Trump’s promised U.S.-Mexico border wall. A standoff over the wall last December sparked the longest government shutdown in history.

ANIMAL VACCINE MAKERS SEEK USDA FUNDING BOOST: Speaking of federal funding… if Congress eventually passes a full-year fiscal 2020 spending package, the legislation should include a $4 million boost to USDA’s center that oversees the safety and effectiveness of products for diagnosing, preventing and treating animal diseases, including vaccines, according to the Animal Health Institute.

The group, which represents drug companies like Elanco, Bayer and Merck, has been warning House and Senate appropriators that the funding increase is needed to avert potential shortages of important vaccines for foot and mouth disease, African swine fever — which has decimated hog herds in China — or other diseases. Vaccines are also key to reducing the use of medically important antibiotics on farms, said Will McCauley, AHI’s director of veterinary biologics. (ICYMI, it’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week.)

A perfect storm: USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics has operated on a flat budget of about $16.5 million annually for at least a decade, AHI said. The center has done more with less for too long, McCauley said, citing a backlog of maintenance on laboratories and other infrastructure, as well as staff vacancies in part because of the increasing cost of salaries. These employees play a role in approving every animal vaccine in the U.S. that’s produced domestically or is imported, he added, and a slowdown in that process could limit the availability of vaccines.

The House Agriculture-FDA spending bill included a spending boost of $2 million for the center, while the Senate version would hike funding by $1 million. Lawmakers have yet to reach a compromise on fiscal 2020 appropriations.

FOOD TRENDS ON THE MENU FOR 2020: Alcoholic tea, “drinkable collagen” and drive-thru groceries are likely to grow their foothold in the food industry in 2020, according to researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The school released its annual report predicting likely trends in food and gardening for the next year. There are some familiar entries, like meal kits and organic foods. The researchers also expect growth in sales of “nutrient-dense convenience foods.”

On a more serious note, the report projects that “climate disruptions and extreme weather events” will drive some prices higher at grocery stores, especially for goods like coffee, bananas and avocados that are grown in more specialized environments. Check out the full list of predictions here.

Trade Corner

HOUSE MEMBERS TO TALK CHINA TRADE WAR: It’s not an official congressional hearing, but Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s (D-Fla.) “briefing” today on the U.S.-China trade war has most of the trappings of one: lawmakers, witnesses and questions.

Murphy, a member of the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee, has invited former chief U.S. Agricultural Negotiator Darci Vetter, who served in the Obama administration, and other experts to share their views on whether the Trump administration’s tactics are likely to force Beijing to make meaningful changes, our Pro Trade friends tell MA.

The inaugural session of Murphy’s “Congressional Trade Series” will also focus on “the precise impact that U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports — and China’s carefully calibrated retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports — are causing to American companies and farmers, consumers and economic growth,” her office said.

Row Crops

— AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will meet today with freshman House Democrats, including those who have been calling for quicker action on USMCA, which has been delayed in part by concerns over labor provisions in the trade pact. POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris and Heather Caygle have more details.

— Last month marked the second-hottest October ever recorded, barely trailing October 2015, according to NOAA’s monthly climate report. Arctic sea ice cover dropped to its lowest level ever measured for the month, Pro Energy’s Alex Guillén reports.

— Yogurt companies are hoping that a suite of new products can boost sales that have slumped since 2015. Yogurt sales this year are expected to fall to $8.2 billion, down by 3.6 percent from 2018, and they’re projected to drop to $7.4 billion by 2024. Read more from the AP.

— California’s Sonoma County wineries largely escaped significant wildfire damage this year, but growers are worried about the impact on tourism in the increasingly fire-prone region, CNBC reports.

— The United Farm Workers endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris for the Democratic presidential nomination, the farm labor union announced this weekend at the California Democratic Party’s fall convention. Read more.

— The House could vote as soon as today on legislation to ban the sale of shark fins nationwide. Shark finning is already illegal in U.S. waters, but fins can still be bought or sold in the country. Pros can track the legislation here.

— Farmers on the High Plains are restoring soil and grasslands in a rush to preserve the Ogallala Aquifer, a critical underground water source for Western agriculture that is rapidly depleting. Civil Eats has the story.

— Barron Segar was named president and CEO of the World Food Program USA starting in January 2020. Segar is executive vice president and chief development officer for UNICEF USA. Read the announcement.


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Read also:
CNN › Politics › 2 weeks ago
The Senate will vote on Thursday on a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown as the clock ticks down to an expiration of government funding that would trigger a shutdown if lawmakers don't act in time to prevent it.
CNN › Politics › 3 weeks ago
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on Tuesday to approve a short-term funding bill in an effort to avert a government shutdown before funds expire later in the week.
CNN › Politics › 2 months ago
The Senate is expected to vote on Thursday to temporarily extend government funding into November in a bid to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month, which would send the package to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature.
CNN › Politics › 2 months ago
The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to temporarily extend funding for the federal government and avert a shutdown at the end of the month.
The New York Times › Politics › 2 weeks ago
The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation to avert a widespread government shutdown later this week with a bill extending temporary federal funding through Dec. 20.
UPI › Politics › 2 weeks ago
The House passed a short-term spending bill late Tuesday in an effort to avoid a federal shutdown, as government funds are set to run out this week.
UPI › Politics › 3 weeks ago
The House will vote next week on a resolution to keep the federal government funded for the next six weeks, House Majority leader Rep. Steny Hoyer said Wednesday.
UPI › Politics › 3 weeks ago
The House plans to vote next week on a resolution to keep the federal government funded for the next six weeks, House Democratic leader Rep. Steny Hoyer said Wednesday.
Fox News › Politics › 2 weeks ago
The Senate approved a short-term spending bill Thursday afternoon with less than 12 hours to spare before a government shutdown deadline, aligning their proposal with a House bill and sending it to President Trump's desk.
The New York Times › Finance › 2 weeks ago
The Republican-held Senate has passed a temporary government-wide spending bill that would keep federal agencies up and running through Dec. 20 and avert a government shutdown after midnight Thursday.
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