Washington Insider

All Column Articles

  • Politico is reporting that the Senate sidestepped controversy Monday and overwhelmingly passed a sweeping $692 billion defense policy bill for the new fiscal year.

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that Senate appropriators are slowly working to establish a more bipartisan negotiating position with appropriations bills that includes more funds and fewer conservative riders than the House-passed omnibus. Still, so far...

  • Well, there are a lot of things going on in Washington now, mainly focused on health care, the tax reform proposals and other national economic matters. However, Politico focused the result of a Senate Ag hearing on the Supplemental Nutrition (SNAP) program...

  • The Associated Press is reporting this week that that a European Union court ruled Wednesday in favor of an Italian activist farmer who has defied his nation's laws by planting genetically modified corn.

  • Amid all the toxic fights in and about Congress, one of the bitterest is the fight over the definition of a "reasonable" expectation for future economic growth. Administration spokespeople often note that "while our country has recently grown about 2% annually, or less, other countries...

  • It seems a little strange, but USDA says it is moving forward with its reorganization, in spite of the bitter fights underway on the tax, trade and other fronts, according to Politico. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week announced a raft of additional changes to USDA offices and...

  • Politico is reporting this week that in spite of the recent happy talk about bipartisanship in Congress, House Freedom Caucus leaders told White House officials last week that Republicans need to release a tax plan soon or the conservative group may put out one of its own.

  • Lest you think that the political tempest gauge has declined since the bipartisan deal on storm damage, Politico is reporting this week that House Democrats appear to be prepared to shut down the government in December unless Congress adopts protections for Dreamers.

  • The ag industries have been concerned over "misuse" of product names, especially since products labeled "soymilk" entered the mainstream two decades ago, Bloomberg is reporting this week. Dairy groups argued the term broke the Food and Drug...

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that the President's decision to end the program preventing the deportation of immigrants illegally brought to the U.S. as children "risks a deep wedge between the Republican Party's leaders and its conservative base ahead...

  • The New York Times is warning this week that that while chicks and ducklings seem unlikely health culprits, they have been found to be responsible for infecting more than 900 people with salmonella this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The president's top economic advisers remain deeply divided over the possible withdrawal from the free trade agreement with South Korea, as negotiators from both countries struggle to rewrite the five-year-old deal. And, this debate is taking place as the...

  • The month of August saw solution of none of the main issues the administration faces and a new concern that likely will rearrange the government's priorities. This could affect the debt ceiling fight, the budget battle, the administration's tax cut agenda as well as other issues. It is the...

  • There seems to be a growing expectation for yet another debate regarding recovery after Hurricane Harvey in spite of the already crowded agenda. Bloomberg says there is a renewed appreciation for impacts of global warming, stated or not, and for built in "resilience."

  • The retail food business is intensely competitive as studies have shown over the years. Still, most retailers would rather do almost anything than lower prices. So, the spectacle of perhaps the most dyed in the wool, high price believer of all, Whole Foods Markets moving to lower prices is...

  • It is often said that ag producers' concerns about trade negotiation focus on protecting trade deals now in place under NAFTA. However, Bloomberg is reporting this week that as U.S. trade representatives begin to renegotiate NAFTA, fruit and vegetable farmers in the Southeast have emerged...

  • President Trump's negotiation strategies often include bearish assessments of the outlook and it seems the current NAFTA talks are no exception, Politico is reporting this week. He has threatened many times to pull out of NAFTA if he doesn't get a deal to his liking.

  • It seems the impossible is happening; that tensions are rising even more between the Congress and the administration. The surprise is that this time, it is not just the debt ceiling that is festering, but that "President Trump's demand to build border wall could upend sensitive negotiations on...

  • Advocates of privately financed and operated infrastructure often claim that contracts shift risks from the public to private investors and operators. "But all risks are not created equal," states an op-ed in The Hill on infrastructure.

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