House Democratic Leadership to Unveil Police Reform Legislation

Posted on 06/08/2020 5:04 AM

WASDE | FOMC | Dicamba repercussions | Land & Water Conservation Fund


Washington Focus


A House Judiciary hearing on the death of George Floyd, USDA's monthly supply and demand report, more U.S. businesses reopening, a presser by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and continued discussion of details and timing of the next Covid-19 relief package are the key items in the week ahead. The Senate is in this week and the House is in recess through June 30. However, House Democratic leadership is expected to unveil legislation on Monday that would, among other things, end qualified immunity for police officers established by the Supreme Court some 40 years ago.


The ag sector has still another “must change now” issue relative to a ruling June 3 by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocking the use of dicamba herbicide for several formulations, Bayer’s Xtendimax, BASF’s Engenia and Corteva’s FeXapan. The manufacturers of these dicamba products designed them to facilitate control of glyphosate resistant weeds in strains of soybeans and cotton that have been genetically modified to be dicamba tolerant (DT).


     The Petitioners that challenged EPA’s decision to extend the conditional registrations for these reformulated dicamba products include a group representing small farmers who claim that the new dicamba products have damaged their crops (National Family Farm Coalition) and several non-governmental organizations that routinely oppose new pesticide registrations (the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Pesticide Action Network North America).


     The court found unanimously in the 56-page ruling that EPA’s decision to extend the conditional registrations for the three dicamba herbicides did not satisfy the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The court found that the administrative record compiled by EPA did not include “substantial evidence” supporting EPA’s determination that registering the new uses “would not significantly increase the risk of any unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” The court concluded that EPA could not make this required determination because, the court stated, the record shows that EPA “substantially understated the risks that it acknowledged” and also “entirely failed to acknowledge other risks.”


     The court held that EPA’s rationale for determining that the risk of unreasonable adverse effects would not be significantly increased by the new dicamba uses, and that the registration for the new dicamba products could therefore be extended for two additional years, was not supported by “substantial evidence” in the administrative record taken as a whole. The court also held that remanding the matter to EPA for further action without vacatur would not be appropriate because EPA did not satisfy the requirement to extend the conditional registrations. Instead, the court simply vacated the registrations and invited EPA to try again. The court acknowledged that such a decision would cause disruption, especially for those growers that have already purchased DT seeds and dicamba herbicides for this year's growing season but concluded that no remedy other than vacatur would be appropriate given the deficiencies in the administrative record.


     EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement late Friday that it is “assessing all avenues to mitigate the impact of the court’s decision on farmers.”


     States have announced different actions relative to the court ruling:


     • States allowing continued use of dicamba include Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.
     • States saying the product cannot be used include Illinois and Minnesota.


     U.S. farm groups have been universal in their disdain for the court ruling. The National Corn Growers Assn. (NCGA) urged the EPA to immediately appeal the ruling and obtain a stay of this overreaching court order. “This decision to remove a weed control option, especially in the middle of the season, adds yet another challenge to an already difficult time and sets a concerning precedent,” NCGA said in a statement.

Farmers have invested in previously allowed dicamba products, “EPA should offer clarifying guidance and allow the use of existing stocks,” NCGA said.


     HTC crops


     HT Acreage


The Senate will vote today (June 8) on a motion to proceed on the vehicle for The Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan package introduced by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.). The bill would provide $1.9 billion a year for five years for maintenance at the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education. It would also provide annual funding of $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


Hearings and Events This Week


George Floyd's brother will testify before a key House committee this week, as lawmakers scramble to respond to nationwide protests demanding an end to police violence against African Americans. Philonise Floyd will talk about his brother's death during a hearing Wednesday on police brutality and racial profiling. Philonise Floyd’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, first reported by ABC News, comes as congressional Democrats are set to unveil legislation Monday aimed at addressing some of the concerns raised by protesters — it would ban chokeholds, limit “qualified immunity” for police officers, create a national misconduct registry, end the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases and make lynching a federal crime among other dramatic changes, according to an outline being circulated on Capitol Hill. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said on Sunday that there is "a lot of support" among House Republicans for the bill. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said the two parties "can find common ground" on the issue and that he hopes Congress "rises to the occasion." President Trump will host a roundtable listening session with law enforcement on Monday. Trump will also meet with his senior policy team to discuss potential executive actions and reform legislation that the White House is open to supporting.


     Attorney General William Barr said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation that “everyone” in the Trump administration agreed that active-duty military personnel should only be deployed in response to demonstrations over the death of George Floyd “as a last resort.”


     Meanwhile, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said Sunday that deploying the military domestically to respond to the protests sparked by George Floyd’s death would negatively affect its relationship with the American people. Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Sunday that he doesn’t think there is a “systemic racism problem” among law enforcement across the U.S. after unarmed George Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest.


     A public memorial is scheduled for Monday in Houston, where Floyd spent most of his life, followed by a private funeral on Tuesday. Also on Monday, Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with killing him, is expected to appear in court.


Several Senate hearings of note this week include:


     • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing Wednesday on the nomination of Russell Vought as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
     • Small Business Administration head Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will testify Wednesday before the Senate Small Business Committee on the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program.
     • Senate House, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on reopening schools.
     • Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday will discuss subpoenas related to the Russia investigation.


USDA will give two webinars on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) — Tuesday for specialty crop producers and Thursday for dairy and non-specialty crop producers.


Monday, June 8


     • Law enforcement. President Trump roundtable with law enforcement, at the White House.
     • USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue continues his road trip to promote the $3 billion Farmers to Families Food Box program. The next step is Orlando, Fla.
     • NATO post COVID-19. Atlantic Council webinar on "NATO 2030: Strengthening the Alliance in a Post-COVID-19 World."

     • Policies coming out of COVID-19. Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) discussion via webcast on "A New Policy Toolkit Is Needed as Countries Exit COVID-19 Lockdowns."

     • BIO international convention. Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) international convention via webcast, including FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn participating in a "fireside chat."

     • Covid-19 & trade supply chains. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on-the-record virtual discussion on "The Future of Global Supply Chains," examining "the stress Covid-19 has placed on global supply chains, the vulnerabilities of 'just-in-time' manufacturing and rigid supplier systems, and ongoing production risks during the pandemic."

     • Renewable energy. Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) webinar on "Just Transitions, Renewable Energy Jobs and the Fossil Fuel Phase-Out."

     • Fiscal policy & recessions. Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project, and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth webcast on "Recession Ready: Fiscal Policy Options to Support Communities and Stabilize the Economy."

     • NDAA markup. Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee closed markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2021.


Tuesday, June 9


     • CFAP. USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program webinar for specialty crop producers.
     • Hong Kong autonomy. American Bar Association (ABA) discussion via webcast on "Hong Kong's loss of Autonomy. Is One Country, Two Systems Dead?"

     • NDAA markup. Senate Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee closed markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2021.

     • Covid-19 & procurement. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on "Evaluation the Federal Government's Procurement and Distribution Strategies in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic."

     • Housing oversight. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on "Oversight of Housing Regulators."

     • Essential workforce. Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) webinar on "Strengthening Our Essential Infrastructure Workforce."

     • Exploitation & Covid-19. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Covid-19 Fraud. Law Enforcement's Response to Those Exploiting the Pandemic."

     • Menezes nomination. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee markup to vote on the nomination of Mark Menezes to be deputy Energy secretary.

     • Rural telecommunications. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) meeting via conference call to discuss Rural Digital Opportunity Fund final auction procedures, modernizing and expanding access to 70/80/90 GHz bands, state and local approval of wireless equipment modifications, promoting broadcast Internet innovation through ATSC 3.0, and Enforcement Bureau actions.

     • BIO international convention. Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) international convention via webcast, focusing on international activities.

     • Climate mitigation. Resources for the Future (RFF) webinar on "Managing Forests for Climate Mitigation — From Theory to Practice."

     • Covid-19 & pollution. House Energy & Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on "Pollution and Pandemics. Covid-19's Disproportionate Impact on Environmental Justice Communities."

     • Covid-19 & transportation workers. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing on "On the Front Lines. The Impacts of Covid-19 on Transportation Workers."

     • Covid-19 & restaurants. Washington Post Live online discussion on "The Path Forward. The Restaurant Industry," examining how restaurants are struggling to stay open while millions of Americans are seeking help from food banks as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

     • NDAA markup. Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2021.

     • Trump & China’s Xi. Woodrow Wilson Center's (WWC) Kissinger Institute on China and the United States discussion via webcast on "Superpower Showdown. How the Battle Between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War."

     • Covid-19 & unemployment insurance. Senate Finance Committee hearing on "Unemployment Insurance During Covid-19. The CARES Act and the Role of Unemployment Insurance During the Pandemic."

     • Charitable giving & Covid-19. Joint Economic Committee hearing on "supporting charitable giving during the Covid-19 crisis."

     • U.S./China relations. Atlantic Council webinar on "Trump, Xi, and the Economy. The Future of US-China Economic Competition."


Wednesday, June 10


     • CARES Act. Senate Small Business Committee hearing on implementation of the CARES Act, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration.
     • EIDL. House Small Business Committee virtual hearing, “The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: A View from Main Street.”
     • OMB nomination. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup to vote on several nominations, including Russell Vought to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

     • George Floyd death. House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability." Testifying will be Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's brother.

     • China economy. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) holds a webinar on "Making China's Economy Grow Again."

     • EU & Covid-19. German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS) discussion via webinar on "Team Europe Working Around the Clock. How the EU and Its Member States Are Supporting the Global Fight against the Coronavirus."

     • NDAA markup. Senate Armed Services Committee closed markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2021.

     • CARES Act implementation. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on "Implementation of Title I of the CARES Act."

     • Covid-19 & schools. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on "Covid-19. Going Back to School Safely."

     • Immigration. Heritage Foundation webinar on "Immigration and Border Security. Where Are We Now and What's Next?"

     • Essential workers & Covid-19. House Oversight & Reform Committee hearing on "No Worker Left Behind. Supporting Essential Workers."

     • USMCA. Crowell and Moring discussion via webinar on "The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — A Substantial Rewrite of NAFTA or More of the Same?"

     • Covid-19 & rural areas. Brookings Institution webinar on "Mitigating the Economic Impacts of Covid-19 in Rural Areas."

     • Carbon capture post-pandemic. United States Energy Association (USEA) discussion via webinar on "the current status of, and prospects for, CCUS (carbon capture utilization and storage) commercial deployment in the post-pandemic world."


Thursday, June 11


     • CFAP. USDA CFAP webinar for dairy and non-specialty crop producers.
     • BIO international convention. Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) international convention via webcast, including remarks from Peter Marks, director of the FDA Centers for Biologics Evaluation and Research; Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and Bakul Patel, director of the FDA Division of Digital Health.

     • Farm Credit meeting. Farm Credit Administration meeting by teleconference of the board, including their Quarterly Report on Economic Conditions.

     • Race in America. Washington Post Live discussion via webcast on "Race in America. A Conversation with Valerie Jarrett on Social Justice and Police Brutality."

     • U.S./U.K. relations. Washington International Trade Association (WITA) webinar on "U.S./U.K. Relations."

     • World Food Prize. World Food Prize Foundation webcast to announce the 2020 World Food Prize Laureate.

     • Banking and pandemics. House Financial Services Task Force on Financial Technology Subcommittee hearing on "Inclusive Banking During a Pandemic. Using FedAccounts and Digital Tools to Improve Delivery of Stimulus Payments."

     • Elections & pandemics. House Administration Elections Subcommittee hearing on "The Impact of Covid-19 on Voting Rights and Election Administration. Ensuring Safe and Fair Elections."

     • Clean energy & Mexico. Woodrow Wilson Center's (WWC) Mexico Institute and the Institute of the Americas webinar on "Clean Energy in Mexico."

     • U.S. foreign policy. Stanford University's Hoover Institution discussion via webcast on "Projecting the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy."

     • Japan & China. Brookings Institution webinar on "Japan and China - Balancing Globalization and National Security."


Friday, June 12


     • Economic statistics. Bureau of Economic Analysis meeting by teleconference of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee on statistical methodology and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation, and analysis of federal economic statistics.

     • Covid impacts. Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies conference via webinar on Covid-19 impacts on the law, elections and more.

     • Covid-19. Health and Human Services Department’s National Institutes of Health meeting by teleconference of the Office of the Director, including updates on Covid-19 Science and the ACD Working Group Updates.

     • VA Covid-19 response. House Veterans Committee hearing on "Assessing the VA's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 90 Days Later."


Saturday, June 13


     • President Trump gives West Point commencement address.


Economic Reports for the Week


The Fed’s two-day meeting is the big event for markets in the coming week, and traders are hoping for more details on stimulus and a possible new program. Fed Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will be in the spotlight at his presser on Wednesday. He will likely face questions on the central bank's role in the economic recovery and what tools are still available to use. Also, the weekly jobless claims numbers due out on Thursday (June 11) will be important after May’s employment report showed a surprising record gain of 2.5 million jobs.


Monday, June 8
     — Quarterly Financial Report (Census Bureau)

Tuesday, June 9
     — FOMC two-day meeting begins
     — NFIB small business survey. The National Federation of Independent Business releases its Small Business Optimism Index for May. Consensus estimate is for a 91.5reading, up from April’s 90.9. The April data were the lowest for the index since March 2013.
     — JOLTS report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for April. Economists forecast 5.9 million job openings on the last business day of April, down from 6.2 million in March.
     — Wholesale trade

Wednesday, June 10
     — CPI. The BLS releases the consumer price index for May. The CPI is expected to be flat, after plunging 0.8% in April, the largest monthly decline since December 2008. The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is seen edging up 0.1%, after falling 0.4% in April.
     — Federal budget
     — FOMC statement. The Federal Open Market Committee announces its monetary-policy decision.
     — Fed Chairman Jerome Powell briefing.

Thursday, June 11
     — Jobless Claims
     — Producer Price Index. The BLS releases the Producer Price Index for May. Consensus estimate is for a 0.1% uptick in the PPI, while the core PPI is seen gaining 0.2%. This compares with declines of 1.3% and 0.3%, respectively, in April. The 1.3% fall was the largest for the index since December 2009.
     — The Federal Reserve releases the Financial Accounts of the U.S. for the first quarter. Total household net worth stood at $118.4 trillion at the end of 2019, up 88.5% from a decade earlier. Since the S&P 500 index plummeted 20% in the first quarter, household net worth probably declined for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2018, when the large-cap index fell 14%.
     — Fed Balance Sheet
     — Money Supply

Friday, June 12
— Import and Export Prices
— Consumer Sentiment. The University of Michigan releases its Consumer Sentiment Index for June. Economists forecast a 72.3 reading, roughly even with the previous two months’ data, and well below the recent peak of 101 reached in February, which occurred shortly before the Covid-19 outbreak spread across the U.S.



Key USDA & international Ag & Energy Reports and Events


Thursday is the key day as USDA issues is updated supply and demand forecasts (WASDE). Focus will also be on whether China continues its recent buys of U.S. farm products, especially soybeans.


Monday, June 8


     Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Crop Progress
  • County Estimates: Poultry
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • French Agriculture Ministry crop report due during week
  • Holiday: Australia, Malaysia

Tuesday, June 9


     Ag reports and events:

  • Census of Agriculture: Puerto Rico
  • Brazil’s Conab grains report

     Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • EIA monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO)

Wednesday, June 10


     Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Meat Price Spreads
  • International Grains Council virtual conference
  • FranceAgriMer crop report and press briefing
  • Crop report by Australia’s Abares
  • Malaysia MPOB palm oil stockpiles, export, production data for May
  • Cargo surveyors release Malaysia export numbers for June 1-10

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories

Thursday, June 11


     Ag reports and events:

  • Weekly Export Sales
  • Crop Production
  • Cotton: World Markets and Trade
  • Grains: World Markets and Trade
  • Oilseeds: World Market and Trade
  • World Agricultural Production
  • Season Average Price Forecasts
  • China CASDE monthly crop supply and demand report
  • Vietnam’s coffee, rice and rubber export data for May
  • Malaysian Palm Oil Council webinar: Palm oil in post-pandemic
  • Holiday: Brazil

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change

Friday, June 12


     Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report
  • Peanut Prices
  • Feedgrains Database
  • Wheat data
  • Coffee: World Markets and Trade
  • Fresh Apples, Grapes and Pears: World Markets and Trade
  • FranceAgriMer weekly update on crop conditions
  • Holiday: Russia

     Energy reports and events:

  • Baker Hughes weekly U.S. oil/gas rig counts



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