The Wind Machine

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Occasional thoughts on the politics and activities of Washington, D.C., as they may have relevance to our tree fruit industry.

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PMA/United

● The merger talks between the Produce Market Association and the United Fresh Produce Association have failed. It appears that the break point was over who would lead a combined trade association: PMA’s board is said to have wanted its own Brian Silbermann to be the designated CEO, while [...]

Farm Bill IV

● The House Committee on Agriculture approved by a bipartisan vote of 35-11 its version of the Farm Bill late Wednesday night. H.R. 6083 now is poised to go before the full body for debate and a vote on passage. When will this happen? As soon as Speaker Boehner [...]

The Supremes

● The Farm Bill is set to be marked-up by the House Agriculture Committee on July 13. Controversy has been sparked by both regional crop differences on policy, and the pressing need to control the federal budget. It would surprise no one if a new Farm Bill was not [...]

Farm Bill III

● The U.S. Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S. 3240, passed last Thursday by a vote of 64 to 35. Attention now pivots to the House of Representatives, where committee action on the  Farm Bill will likely start the week of July 9. While great pressure for passage [...]

Mexico

●   President Obama acted last Friday to help many young people—those without the correct residency papers, but otherwise clean records—to  stay in our country and be employed. This bypass of Congress causes further uncertainty over how a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform package might be eventually crafted. And while it [...]

Farm Bill II

●  The U.S. Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S. 3240, now has over 220 floor amendments floating about it. Some of these are straight-forward policy modifications; others would kill or cripple specified USDA programs (such as the sugar program and the Market Access Program); a few seek to [...]

Farm Bill

● The Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S.3240, today cleared its first procedural hurdle by easily surviving a cloture vote (90-8). Debate will now take place over the next few weeks on floor amendments to this measure, which includes federal funding for such things as nutrition, agricultural research, [...]

A Slow Boat to China

The annual meeting of the Western Governors’ Association will be held at the Cascade Mountain Range resort of Suncadia, Washington, on June 9-12.  Governor Christine Gregoire will host the event, which is scheduled to include on its program a roundtable discussion on agricultural trade exports featuring Ambassador Isi Siddiqui [...]

Primaries

● Oregon: No surprises on Tuesday in terms of federal elections. All five members of the House of Representatives from Oregon appear to hold safe seats for reelection this fall. As with Idaho, there is no U.S. Senate seat up for election this fall.

● Idaho: The two incumbents in [...]

Jenkins Hill IX

●  Senator Richard Lugar (R/Indiana) lost his primary reelection race on Tuesday. The senator, age 80, who has capably served in the U.S. Senate for 36 years, was thus denied the chance for another six years in office. While serious public policy differences were involved in Senator Lugar’s defeat, [...]