Posts tagged Congress

US Congresswoman and Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette is pretty ace

I often post about my Congresspeople/MPs, as someone who ‘lives’ in two countries I get to :-).

Quick post to say Diana Degette, my representative in Colorado, is ace. She sent out an email survey asking for her constituents’ opinions on political priorities for 2014. To my knowledge, this is the only email like this I’ve ever received.

So, you know, well done, Congresswoman. Thanks for asking.

Ah, and that reminds me, we received a holiday card from our MP. So thanks, buddy Kaufman, for that lovely sentiment. Maybe that’s why he’s one of the longest serving MPs… naw, it’s probably just low voter turnout and the power of incumbency.

On the Administration’s part, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack attempted to cushion the political blow from the cuts, using language that emphasised the record-breaking farm revenue from exports in recent years. High farm incomes have made support for subsidies a political liability, due to the impacts of the ongoing recession.

For many observers, its still unclear whether or not there will even be a farm bill in 2012 - estimates have ranged from 15 to 50 percent on chances that any version of the legislation will pass. In the absence of a new Farm Bill, it is likely that Congress will authorise farm expenditures based on current legislation for another year.

See Bridges Weekly (ICTSD) for (HOORAY!) 'Obama Proposes Billions in Subsidy Cuts as Farm Bills Kicks Off'.

US agricultural subsidies have been distorting the global agricultural market for decades. By supporting the domestic agricultural market (keeping US farmers afloat and US produce costs [artifically] low for the consumer) with subsidies in core crops that the US no longer maintains a competitive edge, global competitors in less developed countries are forced to sell their agricultural products at the same artifically low price in the global marketplace.

At some point, the consumers in the US will feel this; prices on produce will adjust to what US consumers SHOULD have been paying for decades - but due to domestic subsidies and market distortion, they haven’t. I’m very pleased Obama is taking this initiative - as US agricultural subsidies ALONE have been a major reason for the lack of progress on Doha (see previous post) - to rectify the increasing gap between US consumers’ overconsumption and widespread hunger in less developed nations that rely on agricultural exports.

your executive is powerless.
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USDA’s healthy school lunches turn into starchy, tomato-ey mess
Pizza can continue to be the meal of choice: In a bit of a setback for the Obama administration, the USDA’s efforts to push for schools to provide healthier lunches ran into a wall of starchy special interests after members of Congress, in coordination with the food industry, added an unhealthy amendment to a spending bill. The amendment limits how much the government can regulate starchy vegetables like potatoes, as well as tomato paste (the fundamental ingredient of pizza), in school lunches. Why? Congress says it’ll be more expensive, due in part to vegetable prices. If the spending bill passes, we can blame kids’ unhealthy lunches on Congress. We love pizza too, but really now. (photo via USDA’s Flickr page) source
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your executive is powerless.

shortformblog:

Pizza can continue to be the meal of choice: In a bit of a setback for the Obama administration, the USDA’s efforts to push for schools to provide healthier lunches ran into a wall of starchy special interests after members of Congress, in coordination with the food industry, added an unhealthy amendment to a spending bill. The amendment limits how much the government can regulate starchy vegetables like potatoes, as well as tomato paste (the fundamental ingredient of pizza), in school lunches. Why? Congress says it’ll be more expensive, due in part to vegetable prices. If the spending bill passes, we can blame kids’ unhealthy lunches on Congress. We love pizza too, but really now. (photo via USDA’s Flickr page) source

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