Policy Changes |

Federal Budget & Economic Forecast (p.2)

To give you some perspective, since 1966 the U.S. has maintained an annual deficit, where federal spending surpassed federal income, in all but 5 years (1969, 1998-2001). Over this 50-year period the U.S. deficit has averaged 2.8 percent of U.S Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the World Bank estimated 2014 GDP for the U.S….


Federal Budget & Economic Forecast (p.1)

As in each year preceding, on February 9, President Obama released his annual budget for the U.S. that tops $4 trillion.  The budget outlines the current Administration’s policy proposals, budgetary projections, and economic forecasts for the next decade. This will be the last annual budget report for his administration. The Obama Administration can be commended…


Presidential Election Year Holds Little Promise

2015 Productive Legislative Year For Congress, But 2016 Presidential Election Year Holds Little Promise The U.S. House and Senate reconvened in January for the 2nd Session of the 114th Congress after closing out a very productive and bipartisan 1st legislative session.  Major accomplishments during the last session of Congress included: repairing how the Medicare program pays…


Government Relations is a Marathon…

Government Relations is a marathon… not a sprint. Changes in public policy is typically a long process, from providing regulatory comments to an agency issuing a final rule, or from convincing congressional committee members to allow changes in legislation to the enactment of law.  Businesses and organizations who need to have their voices heard in…


U.S. Electorate Sends Washington More of the Same: Gridlock!

Going into the 2012 general election there was much fanfare about the U.S. electorate being upset with partisan bickering and wanting more accomplished by the lawmakers they send to Washington, DC.  Presidential, Senate, and House candidates throughout the country spent months harshly campaigning and over $6 billion1 . The result – the President was re-elected…


Panama, South Korea and Columbia Trade Agreements Signed

After 5 years of deliberations, with broad bipartisan support, the House and Senate adopted free trade agreements with Panama (HR 3079), South Korea (HR 3080) and Colombia (HR 3078).  The President signed the agreements on October 21.


Farm Bill: With Clock Ticking Proposals Begin to Surface

The JSCDR must generate at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years. Between $10 and $50 billion of budget savings are targeted from the Farm Bill. Agricultural businesses need to push for legislative reforms that enable them to survive and thrive, which subsequently keeps more people employed.


Rural Development & The President’s Jobs Plan

During the President’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress on September 8, he said, “Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past.”  Typically, the opposition party would be totally dismissive of such remarks, but with the U.S. economy on the ropes and a…


Don’t Get Thrown Under the Policy Bus – Again

Learning Lessons From Trade Dispute Votes in Congress Recently, the Obama Administration announced that U.S. and Mexican negotiators finalized a program that will allow Mexican trucks carrying imported goods to travel throughout the U.S. to their destinations, a promise made by the U.S. eighteen years ago and codified in the North American Free Trade Agreement…


Distribution May Be A Key to Alternative Energy

Wal-Mart maintains one of the best distribution systems in the world which in turn makes their products more affordable to consumers globally. Can alternative energy learn a lesson from the retail giant?


On Solutions to US Debt, It’s Compromise, Not Capitulation

Congressional leaders and The White House STILL cannot reach an agreement on how to move forward on reducing U.S. debt. While the politicians deal with the issues, businesses need to prepare for the days beyond the budget crisis and how they intend to capture some of the benefits that will undoubtedly pour out of Washington targeted at jump-starting the economy.


A Farm Policy Battle Continues This Week, But The War is Far From Over!

A Farm Policy Battle continues to wage in the U.S. House of Representatives this week showcasing the escalating issue over how Congress must change current U.S. agricultural programs in the 2012 Farm Bill ruled as “trade distorting” by the World Trade Organization (WTO). “Do NOT Pay the $147 Million…” Passed By Voice Vote During the U.S….


Congressional Budget Office Releases Budget Projections

Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their annual budget projections for direct spending costs of farm legislation over the next 10 years. These, and perhaps subsequent projections, will be used by lawmakers to write the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill. Congress is set to begin writing the next re-authorization of the Farm Bill as most…


House Investigates Economic Impediments & their Impact

U.S. House leaders are directing committees to identify regulations & procedures that impede economic growth. The U.S. House recently adopted House Resolution 72 by an overwhelmingly bi-partisan vote of 391 – 28 that directs the following congressional committees to “inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government…