Farm Bill Work & EPA Pressure
Currently - the federal government is working under a continuing resolution - which will end January 15th. Congress has to pass individual appropriations bills or a combined funding bill by then to avoid another government shutdown. Since Congress reached a budget deal last week - House and Senate Appropriations committees and subcommittees must now work through details of spending bills. The farm bill is still on Congress' list of tasks - and House and Senate Ag Committee staffers are said to be working on the new farm bill and other bills over the holidays so they are ready when lawmakers return in January. While the House approved a one-month extension of the 2008 farm law - the Senate did not - and there are some unresolved issues left to be dealt with.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is pressing the White House and EPA hard to back off a proposed rule to curb the Renewable Fuel Standard. Grassley met last week with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and had made his opinion clear.
GRASSLEY: She ought to join us and the anti-trust way that we have against big oil that they're putting pressure on their retailers not putting in E-15 pumps and there's no blend wall if we can use E-15 pumps.
Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.
Today is Boxing Day for those living in the U.K. and other Commonwealth countries, and according to some historical accounts is a holiday focusing on making sure that those who were not able to have a Christmas Day holiday received a box of gifts, which included agricultural tools, food, cloth and even money. The clergy even got into the act by opening alms boxes and giving the contents to the less fortunate. In other words, it was a way to take care of the "servants" or service people. You were supposed to box up and give away what you had excess of, or didn't need. Quite a good idea really. Of course, many of our English cousins would tell you that their Boxing Day has turned into nothing much more than a version of our own "day after Christmas sale extravaganzas", where consumers continue to snatch up store bargains while still trying to figure out how to store all the newly acquired goodies from the day before. Ah well, I suppose it was inevitable really. It would have been nice though, if Americans had adopted the true spirit of Boxing Day, instead of the other way around. Now, its just another day to stand in line searching for yet another elusive bargain.
Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.