What Can Possibly Be Accomplished During 2018 Lame Duck Session of Congress?

Congress left many issues undone for the 16-days scheduled in the legislative calendar after the 2018 midterm elections, known as the lame duck session of Congress. Below are some of those remaining issues. FY 2019 Appropriations Bill Congress enacted 5 (of the total 12) annual FY 2019 appropriations bills prior to the beginning of the…

Federal Budget Changes Coming. Is Your Organization Ready?

No matter the outcome of the upcoming mid-term elections there is an important policy issue that will take center stage early in the coming 116th Congress.  Its an issue that everyone knows Congress must begin to address and its an issue that could impact everyone’s favorite federal program — the federal debt and growing federal…

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at Forefront of Emerging Technologies

The U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has unanimously approved the National Institute of Standards and Technology Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 6229), introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology. The U.S. House was scheduled to adopt H.R. 6229 by unanimous consent this week. However it no…

FDA Animal Drugs/Feeds Programs User Fee Reauthorization 

In 1968 amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act established the Animal Drugs and Feeds Program in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The new law extended authorities to FDA to regulate animal drugs, devices, and feed. Animal Drugs and Feed Regulated Under 21 Different Laws Today, the animal drug and feed industries are regulated under…

Cansler Keynotes Annual Conference for Tennessee Farm Bureau Presidents

“Tim Cansler’s behind the scenes Washington knowledge on agricultural and farm issues makes him an excellent choice for hearing the “rest of the story” about current Washington happenings. His agricultural and Farm Bureau background provide a solid foundation and understanding of the issues important to farmers.” Jeff Aiken President Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Cansler Consulting,…

Food Labeling and Whom it Impacts Most

In response to agency regulations and laws enacted last year food & beverage companies are preparing to spend billions of dollars to change their food labels for nutrition and the presence of bioengineered material. Previous food labeling policy discussions centered on country-of-origin labeling, organic labeling and menu labeling.  More recently, policy discussions have begun on how…

Collection of Accurate & Voluntary Data = Federal Program Integrity

On January 19, farmdoc Project- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign posted a USDA Study by Robert Johansson, USDA Chief Economist, Anne Effland, USDA Economic Research Service and Keith Coble, Mississippi State University, entitled “Falling Response Rates to USDA Crop Surveys: Why It Matters.” As background and explained in the report, “USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)…

New Farm Bill: Preview and Analysis

Since the 1930’s and the Great Depression about every 5-years the U.S. Congress adopts a Farm Bill.  The Farm Bill contains production agriculture & food policies under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Farm Bill titles include Commodity Programs, Conservation, Trade, Nutrition, Credit, Rural Development, Research & Extension, Forestry, Energy, Horticulture and Crop…

Federal Budget & Economic Forecast (p.2)

Budget Revenues 2016

Budget Revenues 2016

To give you some perspective, since 1966 the U.S. has maintained an annual deficit, where federal spending surpassed federal income, in all but 5 years (1969, 1998-2001). Over this 50-year period the U.S. deficit has averaged 2.8 percent of U.S Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the World Bank estimated 2014 GDP for the U.S. was $17. 4 trillion, #1 in world followed by China with a GDP of $10.4 trillion.…

Federal Budget & Economic Forecast (p.1)

President Obama announces his annual budget

President Obama announces his FY 2017 budget

As in each year preceding, on February 9, President Obama released his annual budget for the U.S. that tops $4 trillion.  The budget outlines the current Administration’s policy proposals, budgetary projections, and economic forecasts for the next decade. This will be the last annual budget report for his administration.

The Obama Administration can be commended for controlling the federal budget deficit as the deficit has improved over the last 6 years.  But, prior to the budget announcement, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their annual Budget and Economic Outlook report saying the U.S. will be unable to sustain improving deficits in the next decade (2016-2026).  CBO’s analysis is conducted assuming current federal policies remain in place. Congressional leaders and others use the data to assess recent policy decisions and to guide future policy decisions for federal programs.…

Omnibus Package to White House

The FY 2016 omnibus spending package H.R. 2029, now heads to the White House after the 65-33 Senate and 316-113Shutdown Avoided iStock_000028362162_Medium House votes.

The $1.15 trillion omnibus spending bill funds federal government agencies for the remaining ten months of FY 2016 ending September 30, 2016. The bill includes funding for all 12 annual appropriations bills and reflects the increased domestic discretionary funding provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, enacted on November 2.…

Year-End Tax Extenders Legislation Still Being Negotiated

U.S. Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chairman, U.S. House Ways & Means Committee

U.S. Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chairman, U.S. House Ways & Means Committee

Ongoing discussions are proving fruitful between the Treasury Department and House and Senate tax lawmakers. Kevin Brady (R-TX) is the new House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and according to Brady a new tax package is being finalized for consideration by Congress toward the end of the 1st session of the 114th Congress.…

President Signs Transportation Reauthorization

With one day remaining before the deadline for the current surface transportation Dollar symbol on endless roadauthorization to expire President Obama signed HR 22, a 5-year (FY 2016-2020), $305 billion surface transportation reauthorization.  The bill will require offsets to make a $70 billion general fund transfer to the Highway Trust Fund.  About $52 billion of this would go to highways and a little over $18 billion to mass transit.

Multiple offsets were found to fund the overall measure, some of which are controversial.  Some of those offsets include; cutting the dividend the Federal Reserve (Fed) pays to member banks, transferring funds from the Federal Reserve surplus account to help the Fed offset losses and selling a portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).…

FY 2016 NDAA Heads To POTUS For Likely Signature

FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Heads To POTUS For Likely SignatureLast week the U.S. Senate passed the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by an overwhelming margin, 91-3.

The NDAA was amended into an unrelated Senate-passed bill, S 1356, the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014. Since the Senate had adopted S. 1356 previously on May 14, only one, simple majority vote was required for passage.

The U.S. House adopted the NDAA on November 5 by a vote of 370-58.…

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