Just in from National Farmers Union

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2014) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson, under direction from the NFU Board of Directors, sent a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner calling for the 2014 Farm Bill to be called up and voted on this week. “Farm bill [...]

Seems to Me I’ve Heard That Song Before

The title of this essay is that of a song I remember from bygone days. Frank Sinatra used to sing it. Listening to Barack Obama and John Kerry give their rationale for attacking Syria, gave me an ear worm – the song keeps running around in my brain and I’m sick of hearing it. The [...]

We, the people…and the Farm Bill.

Growing up in Massachusetts means a special kind of connection to the Fourth of July. Along with Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July is one of two holidays all Americans can claim as our own. Both were born in Massachusetts: Thanksgiving in Plymouth around a communal dining table and the American Revolution, which started with the [...]

Farm Bill defeated in House; traditional rural-urban alliance frayed

The old rural-urban alliance that married farm and nutrition programs failed to get a Farm Bill through the House this afternoon. The bill lost 195-234, with food stamps apparently the main issue. The House seemed ready to pass the bill this afternoon “after the Agriculture Committee leadership agreed to a sweeping en bloc amendment Wednesday [...]

Update on Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act

It’s growing season again – time to go out in search of farm markets and farm stands to purchase yummy local ingredients for your table. Besides treating your tasebuds to the freshest best tasting foods, supporting local farms and farmers keeps your food dollars in your community. And that is exactly what the Local Farms, [...]

House Republicans’ Full Plate

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson     Here are some of the bills filed since January 5 by members of the new House majority. They’re here to show you, as if you didn’t already know, where their heads are. (This is not meant as snark, honestly.) H.R. 1 – Reserved for the Speaker. By tradition H.R. 1 is [...]

New Session, New Rules — Part 1

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson  When the 112th Congress convenes on Wednesday, January 5, both the House of Representatives and the Senate have the opportunity to set new procedural rules for the session. Following established custom, as the first order of business each chamber will vote on its operating rules for the next two years. An [...]

House GOP Picks Frank Lucas for Agriculture

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson House Republicans today announced their picks for committee chairs for the 112th Congress, which begins in January. Frank D. Lucas (OK-3) got the nod to chair the Agriculture Committee. In the 111th Congress, Lucas was the ranking member on the committee, the title given the senior member of the minority party. [...]

Can’t Win for Losing

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson As the saying goes, Sometimes you can’t win for losing. That seems to be the theme of 2010 in the U.S., for all but the one percent of Americans whose income this year will be equal to that of the bottom 50 percent. Congressional Democrats can point to a couple of [...]

What Do You Want the Lame Duck Congress to Do?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The Hill, a blog for government junkies like me, lists 372 bills passed by the House that had not yet come to the Senate floor as of August 23, 2010. Now that the final session of the 111th Congress is about to convene, I thought it might be fun to fantasize [...]