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This week in Washington: Sept. 12-16

This week Congress will tackle wildfire legislation markup and CFTC nominations in the Senate and Cuba in the House.

Congress looks to get back to work this week with markups and hearings beyond the work that remains on funding bills. Here's a quick rundown of some of the important ones to watch for the week that will be of interest to those in agriculture.


Wildfire legislation markup: On the Senate side, Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) will hold a business meeting to consider H.R. 2647, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015. Tuesday’s business meeting will be webcast live on ag.senate.gov. The Committee held a hearing on wildfire stakeholder perspectives in November 2015.

Roberts’ will offer a substitute amendment to H.R. 2647 which contains provisions to reduce administrative burdens for Federal land management agencies and provide greater efficiencies for collaborative forest management activities through a variety of authorities. Further actions regarding provisions like wildfire funding will be determined through other Committees of jurisdiction in coordination with the Agriculture Committee. Click here to read a summary of the substitute amendment.

SNAP hearing: On the House side, the House Agriculture Committee will hold another hearing on the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP). This one will focus on improving innovation and success in employment and training programs.

Food and agriculture priorities for next administration: For policy enthusiasts, the Farm Foundation will host a forum featuring experts who will explore four broad topics of importance to the nation’s food, agriculture and rural communities on the ag and rural policy platforms of the presidential candidates.

The Forum will be 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EDT in the Holeman Lounge of the National Press Club, 519 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. A free, live audiocast will also be available.

There is no charge to participate in the September 13 Forum, but registration is requested.

  • Register HERE if you plan to attend the Forum in person at the National Press Club.
  • Register HERE to participate in the live audiocast.


Cuba hearing: On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing called “American Agricultural Trade with Cuba” next Wednesday, September 14 at 10 a.m. The hearing will be streamed here.

Fall forum: Last month, ag secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA would hold a Fall Forum series to highlight the progress made on the top issues facing the future of agriculture and to set the stage for the next Administration to continue to support a strong future for American agriculture. Each Forum will be hosted in partnership with a leading university and focus on a different agricultural issue. The USDA Climate Variability, Water and Land Use Fall Forum hosted at Arizona State University is the second in the series and will focus on how agriculture is adapting to threats posed by climate change.

On Wednesday, September 14, Vilsack will deliver keynote remarks at Arizona State University to kick off the USDA Climate Variability, Water and Land Use Fall Forum. After his remarks, Vilsack will moderate a panel discussion with representatives from the Arizona Department of Agriculture, the National Audubon Society, the Kellogg Company and Arizona State University.


CFTC nominee hearing: The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will hold a hearing to consider nominees for Commissions of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The hearing will take place on Thursday, September 15 at 10 a.m. and will consider Christopher Brummer and Brian Quintenz as Commissioners of the CFTC. The hearing will be live streamed here.

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