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Senate returns from its Christmas recess, and congressional members get busy with hearings scheduled for the week of Jan. 11.

Jacqui Fatka

January 8, 2016

2 Min Read
This week in Washington: Jan. 11-15

The U.S. Senate will return for votes beginning Monday evening after nearly a month-long recess. On the House side, one of the major actions this week will be a vote on the resolution passed by the Senate that disapproves of the Environmental Protection Agency's "waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule.

Small Business Assn. (SBA) international trade hearing - The House Small Business Committee's agriculture, energy and trade subcommittee is holding a hearing on "SBA's Office of International Trade: Good for Business?" at 4:00 p.m. (EST) Jan. 11. To watch a live webcast or an archived version following the hearing, click here.

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House to vote on killing WOTUS - The House announced that it will vote, likely on Wednesday, on a disapproval resolution that would kill the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' controversial WOTUS rule that was enacted in August 2015. The rule further regulates the way farmers and other land users do business and requires additional permitting in some circumstances. The Senate passed the resolution in November in a close vote; if passed, it's expected to face a presidential veto.

Senate to confirm FDA commissioner - The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions will be considering Robert Califf as the new commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. To watch the confirmation hearing live at 10:00 a.m. (EST) on Jan. 12 or archived, click here.

House Ag Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) hearing - The House Agriculture Committee's nutrition subcommittee is holding a hearing on the "Past, Present & Future of SNAP: Addressing Special Populations" at 10:00 a.m. (EST) on Jan. 12. To watch a live webcast or an archived version following the hearing, click here.

Rural America conditions - In a webinar at 1 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 13, Economic Research Service economist Lorin Kusmin will discuss the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on the U.S. rural economy, including employment, population, poverty trends and educational attainment trends. The Economic Research Service releases the "Rural America at a Glance" report annually, which summarizes the status of conditions and trends in rural areas. Register for the free webinar here.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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