This week in Washington: July 4-July 8

Congress returns from a long holiday weekend with high hopes of passing a GMO labeling bill.

Front and center this week will be an attempt to pass the Roberts-Stabenow compromise bill for labeling of food that may contain genetically engineered materials in the Senate.

The first test will come Wednesday when the Senate will attempt to bring up a vote for cloture. Cloture votes require 60 members to advance for a full floor debate. Ahead of the holiday weekend in a procedural vote that essentially allowed for the bill to be attached to another bill on the Senate, members voted 68-29 to advance the bill.

As it stands, the House bill is significantly different from the Roberts-Stabenow compromise bill, and House Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway (R., Texas) has yet to publicly declare support or opposition to the compromise.

After July 5, there are only eight legislative days left before both houses of Congress adjourn for the rest of the summer, making it questionable as to whether a bill will reach the President’s desk before the next recess is scheduled to start July 15.

The House Agriculture Committee will hold two hearings this week. On Wednesday at 10 a.m. they have another hearing on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with this one focusing on error rates and anti-fraud measures to enhance program integrity. For more information on the hearing, click here.

Thursday the full committee will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. pertaining to on-the-ground experiences of former military leaders on how it relates to agriculture and national security. For more information, click here.

The House Natural Resources Committee subcommittee on oversight and investigations has another hearing on the Bureau of Land Management’s draft planning rule 2.0, this time featuring the state perspectives. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday. For more information, click here.  

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