Tag Archives: President Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is siding with House Republicans in the showdown over work requirements for food stamp recipients, adding a new wrinkle to difficult negotiations that are set to begin this fall.

Trump on Thursday tweeted that he hopes lawmakers “will be able to leave the WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD STAMPS PROVISION that the House approved” in the final version of the legislation.

“Senate should go to 51 votes!” Trump tweeted, reiterating his position that Senate Republicans should abolish the filibuster for legislation. Republicans have rejected the idea, leaving the 60-vote hurdle in place for most bills.

The House and Senate are preparing to begin formal negotiations on the farm bill after Labor Day. The House measure significantly tightens work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, while the Senate version largely leaves the program alone.

The House passed its version of the farm bill in June on its second go-around, after a group of GOP lawmakers initially blocked its passage over an unrelated immigration issue.

Currently, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to maintain their SNAP benefits. The House bill raises the age of recipients subject to work requirements from 49 to 59 and requires parents with children older than 6 to work or participate in job training. The measure also limits circumstances under which families who qualify for other poverty programs can automatically be eligible for SNAP, and earmarks $1 billion to expand work training programs. By contrast, the Senate bill was bipartisan, offering modest adjustments to existing farm programs and making no changes to SNAP.

The House bill, which did not receive a single Democratic vote, is consistent with the Trump administration’s priorities. Earlier this year, Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to enforce existing work requirements and review all programs, waivers and exemptions.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has made clear he wants the stronger work requirements to be part of the final farm bill.

“We feel very strongly about our position,” he said in a July news conference.

But Senate leaders say such provisions won’t pass their chamber.

At an event in Louisville, Ky., last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he thinks House GOP members “understand that the level of work requirement in the House bill, which turned it into a totally partisan bill in the House, wouldn’t pass the Senate.”

McConnell said he personally supports work requirements, but added that “we can’t pass that in the Senate. And in order to make a law, we have to pass the House and Senate.”

The Republican leader said he’s “optimistic that the bill, in the end, will look a lot more like the Senate version.”

Farm bill programs expire on Sept. 30 unless Congress acts. The programs include crop insurance and land conservation.

During National Shooting Sports Month, we celebrate the wonderful American tradition of shooting sports.  Shooting sports are a terrific reminder of our constitutional liberty and the attendant benefits that accrue to a free people: active friendship within families, between peers, and among communities, and the opportunity for Americans living in small towns and large cities to experience the bounty of America’s great outdoors.

Shooting sports help reinforce many of the bedrock values of our people, such as the free exercise of the Second Amendment.  Mastery of shooting sports requires rigor, discipline, and training.  State and local shooting sports programs—and instruction by trained family members and mentors—affirm the role of local communities as the primary teacher of the rule of law and personal responsibility.

This month, we recognize the sportsmen and hunters who practice and teach firearm safety and exercise proper stewardship of our land.  Sportsmen and hunters not only help others to understand the responsibilities of owning and using a firearm, but they also ensure that our open space and natural resources are safeguarded.  Under existing Federal law, for example, a portion of Federal excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition is dedicated to American wildlife research and habitat conservation.  That is one reason why my Administration has prioritized making it easier for Americans to participate in shooting sports on public lands.  By doing so, we are enhancing Americans’ ability to experience the unsurpassed beauty of our blessed Nation and we are better protecting our national treasures for future generations.

I encourage all Americans engaged in shooting sports to continue promoting a culture of safety and to continue exercising the responsibility and duty associated with the right to keep and bear arms.

The aid package announced to offset harm by the Trump administration’s trade policy for agriculture could be ready to go by October, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

While in Argentina as part of the G20 meeting of agriculture ministers, Perdue told Reuters the aid package could have payments reaching farmers by late September. The plan would include between $7 billion and $8 billion in direct cash relief as the Department of Agriculture expects U.S. farmers to take an $11 billion hit due to retaliatory tariffs after Washington placed duties on Chinese goods.

However, Perdue cautioned: “Obviously this is not going to make farmers whole.” Checks will go out to farmers “as soon as they prove their yields,” according to Perdue, who says the yields will be based on actual production, not historical averages. The program is a response to trade tariffs implemented on U.S. agriculture goods for the 2018 crop year only, as Perdue says “we do not expect to do this over a period of time.”

Washington, D.C. — After meeting with the president yesterday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (TX-11) issued the following statement concerning President Trump’s support for on-time passage of a strong, new farm bill and the administration’s announcement of emergency aid to help American farm and ranch families weather unjustified retaliation by foreign countries against U.S. agricultural exports:

“For years, our committee has highlighted that the U.S. is living up to its trade commitments even as foreign countries double-down on predatory trade practices that hurt America’s farmers, ranchers, businesses and workers. And for years, these concerns have largely been swept under the rug for fear that negative publicity might undermine support for free trade. Calling out our trading partners for failing to live up to the commitments they have made is not protectionism – it’s common sense. This task is made even harder by foreign countries that are now sanctioning unjustified tariffs against U.S. agricultural exports to pressure the administration to back off and simply accept the status quo.

“I thank the president and Sec. Perdue for having our farmers’ and ranchers’ backs, including today’s announcement on expanded market access in Europe. This follows on yesterday’s commitment to provide short-term assistance to our farmers and ranchers as they weather unjustified retaliatory tariffs. I also thank the president for once again reiterating in our meeting today that he expects Congress to send him a strong, new farm bill on time.”

The Trump Administration announced its $12 billion plan to help farmers struggling under the escalating trade wars.

Politico says there are still important details to be worked out, including just how much help farmers will get and how they’ll prove economic harm. More details are scheduled to come out after Labor Day. USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson says soybean farmers, who are big exporters, are expected to benefit the most. In addition, farmers won’t know until harvest exactly how much assistance they’ll be eligible for.

The USDA is relying on mechanisms authorized under the charter act of the Commodity Credit Corporation, which is a government-owned bank used to support or stabilize prices. That means it doesn’t require approval from Congress. However, the specifics of the plan will still be subject to a federal rulemaking process. The three-part plan will aid farmers through programs that are focused on payments, purchases, and trade promotion efforts.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the plan incorporates functions of the Farm Service Agency, Agricultural Marketing Service, and the Foreign Agricultural Service.

American farmers are carrying the burden of trade tariffs put in place by President Donald Trump and they were in Washington this week to discuss it during a congressional hearing. Farmers shared concerns that included shrinking export markets, rising costs, and bankers who would be more reluctant to loan money for operating costs.

Scott VanderWal, American Farm Bureau Vice President, says he is hearing from farmers that they still trust that the president knows what he’s doing. “We understand that other countries like China have not played fairly and we respect his desire to remedy those situations,” VanderWal says. But, he adds that other countries know what they’re doing when they “hit back” by targeting American agricultural exports. VanderWal points out that soybeans have lost 20 percent of their value since May. He says, “If sales have to be made at these price levels, this will show up as a massive shortfall in our financial statements.”

Farmer income has dropped 52 percent since 2013, making it more difficult for farmers to repay loans. In turn, that increases the level of uncertainty for the bankers who lend to farmers and ranchers.

President Donald Trump told Fox News he’s not going to rush into a new North American Free Trade Agreement. He thinks the U.S. can get a better deal by waiting until after the dust settles on the midterm elections in the fall.

Agriculture groups fall on the other end of the spectrum, wanting a deal done as quickly as possible, which would help to get rid of tariffs currently in place. The president spoke with Fox News on Sunday, saying he’s focused on trade. “Every country is calling every day, saying ‘let’s make a deal, let’s make a deal,’” says the president. “It’s all going to work out.” Canada and Mexico would also like to get a deal in place much quicker than after the fall U.S. elections.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office confirms that he spoke on the phone with new Mexican President Lopez Obrador about a “mutually beneficial economic and trading relationship between their two countries.” While President Trump is content to wait, tariffs assessed by all three NAFTA nations are in full effect. Retaliatory tariffs between China and the U.S. are also in place and continue to put a strain on American agriculture.

A Bloomberg report says President Donald Trump is threatening to put a tariff on every single import from China. The world’s two largest economies exchanged blows in a trade war that isn’t expected to end anytime in the near future.

After months of trade rhetoric back and forth, a 25 percent tariff took effect on $34 billion Chinese goods entering the U.S. just after midnight, Washington time, on Friday. Farm equipment and airplane parts are just a couple of the many items targeted by the duties. China immediately hit back with duties on U.S. shipments, including soybeans and automobiles.

Neither side appears to want to back down, either. Trump is already eyeing another $16 billion in tariffs and says the overall total could reach up to $500 billion. China’s Commerce Ministry is accusing the U.S. of “bullying” and igniting the “largest trade war in history.” Bloomberg says there is a risk that a spiraling conflict will undermine economic growth and inflict higher prices on both consumers and companies. The Federal Reserve has already noted that some firms have been slowing investments.