President Trump plans to press key issues of importance to agriculture in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. Trump in his third prime-time address to the nation from the U.S. House chamber will call on Congress to work with him on several fronts: infrastructure, lowering health care costs, immigration reform, ratifying the USMCA, and confronting China on unfair trade practices. However, Trump will continue to face a hostile reception from Democrats amid a fierce standoff over his efforts to build a border wall, and the longest-ever government shutdown, with another shutdown deadline on the 15th.
AFBF’s Director of Advocacy and Political Affairs Cody Lyon said much will depend on how aggressively majority House Democrats investigate the president and his administration.
“Incoming chairs are just chomping at the bit, to start their investigations of the president, on a variety of different areas. I think that’s going to determine what’s going to be the tone for the 116th Congress.”
And whether the House and Senate, where Republicans expanded their majority, can work together on farm trade and infrastructure, AFBF Executive Director Dale Moore said.
“The repair and the maintenance…and more to the point, in some cases, replacement, of our locks and dams infrastructure, is so critical to agriculture, in so many different parts of the country.”
But, ahead of any new possible deals on infrastructure, Washington faces more fighting on Homeland Security and a border wall that Trump threatens to fund by declaring a national emergency, and an under-the-radar fight over food stamp work requirements kept out of the farm bill, but USDA is moving ahead with through regulations.
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