Senate Disaster Aid Bill Impasse Continues

Posted on 05/13/2019 4:38 AM

NAFB confab in Washington | USDA nominations | South Korea visits Washington


Continued focus on lingering U.S./China trade talks, continued differences to get a disaster bill through the Senate, three USDA nominations before the Senate Ag Committee and the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual Washington Watch confab are this week's top agenda items.
     The Senate meets Monday afternoon to resume considering nominations. The House meets on Tuesday, during the week lawmakers will take up measures aimed at protecting and expanding affordable health care and lowing prescription drug costs.
     President Trump on Wednesday holds a Cabinet meeting.

 

While the House last week cleared its $19.1 billion disaster aid package, the Senate continues bogged down on its version that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants by the weeklong Memorial Day recess.

The House cleared its bill, 275-150, with 34 Republicans crossing the aisle to support the bill (HR 2157) drafted by the Democratic majority. The measure bulked up by $1.8 billion via amendments for repairing damaged military facilities, highways, levees, dams and more. President Trump and House GOP leaders opposed the measure because it would provide more money into Puerto Rico, which hasn't yet been able to spend much of the $20 billion previously appropriated after 2017's Hurricane Maria.

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who represents a portion of southern Georgia hit by Hurricane Michael last year, derided the White House over the delay in disaster aid to farmers. “I appreciate the president’s favorable comments about the agricultural community," Scott said. "But when things are then handed off to people at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), who consider the American farmer and the American farm family nothing but subsidy-sucking freeloaders, then there’s a disconnect in what is actually coming out of the administration, and what the administration is telling us that they’re going to do.”

House Democrats rejected a GOP effort that would have added about $2.9 billion to deal with the costs of caring for unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S./Mexico border. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said Democrats are waiting on more information from the White House about the president’s recent request for billions to handle humanitarian and security needs at the border.

The focus now turns to the Senate, where GOP leaders and the White House want to impose more financial controls on Puerto Rico's management of funds run through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant program.

Senate Democrats are balking at a Trump request for the Senate to include $4.5 billion in border-related resources and a push by Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) to free up some $2 billion a year in harbor maintenance funds that currently have to compete with other discretionary programs.

Senate Ag Committee leaders announced the panel will hold a business meeting Tuesday to consider three nominations within USDA: Mindy Brashears to be Undersecretary for Food Safety, Naomi C. Earp to be an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights and Scott Hutchins to be Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics.

The controversial push to relocate D.C.-based Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) could get an announcement this week by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue as to which of three possible locations was chosen to be the new home of the research groups, despite continued efforts amongy some farm-state lawmakers and outside groups to stymie the move.

Economic updates for the week include:

Tuesday:
— Prices for U.S. imports are expected to rise 0.7% in April, after increasing 0.6% in March. U.S. export prices are expected to advance 0.6% in April after rising 0.7% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
— NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

Wednesday:
— Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May. Consensus estimates call for a 7.8 reading, down from April’s 10.1. The index is seen as a precursor to moves in the Philadelphia Fed index, which will be released on Thursday.
— National Association of Home Builders releases the NAHB/ Wells Fargo Housing Market index for May. Economists forecast a 64 reading, up from April’s 63.
— Census Bureau releases its April Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Service report. The consensus estimate calls for a 0.2% rise from March’s 1.6%.
— MBA Mortgage Applications
— Industrial Production
— Business Inventories
— Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations
— Treasury International Capital

Thursday:
— Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey index of general business activity is expected to rise to nine in May from April’s 8.5.
— Census Bureau releases housing starts for April. Economists see 1.22 million seasonally adjusted annual units, up from March’s 1.14 million unit pace.
— Jobless Claims
— Fed Balance Sheet
— Money Supply

Friday:
— Conference Board releases its Leading Economic Index for April. Expectations are for a 0.2% rise after a 0.4% gain in March.
— University of Michigan releases its preliminary Consumer Sentiment index. Estimates call for a reading of 97.5 in May from 97.2 in April.

Fed speakers on tap:

Monday:
— Federal Reserve Bank of Boston will host a FedListens conference.
— Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren gives opening remarks at the "New England Perspectives on Fed Policymaking" conference.
— Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Richard Clarida gives opening remarks at the "New England Perspectives on Fed Policymaking" conference.

Tuesday:
— New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams participates in panel on "Past - Lessons Learned from an Evolving International Monetary System" at the Switzerland National Bank-International Monetary Fund High-Level Conference on the International Monetary System:"Past, Present and Future of the International Monetary System" in Zurich, Switzerland.
— Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George delivers a speech about the Federal Reserve and the US economy at the Economic Club of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Friday:
— New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams to attend a meeting of the Community League of the Heights in New York City. Williams also speaks at the "Equitable Growth Meeting in Chinatown" event, in New York City.

Key USDA and international agriculture and energy-related reports and events on tap:

Monday, May 13

Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Crop Progress
  • Dairy Monthly Data
  • Wheat Data
  • Feed grains Database
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • Earnings: JBS, Cosan, Cresud, Agrana

Tuesday, May 14

Ag reports and events:

  • Cotton & Wool Outlook
  • Oil Crops Outlook
  • Feed Outlook
  • Wheat Outlook
  • Rice Outlook
  • Fruit & Tree Nut Data
  • Vegetables and Pulses Data
  • Earnings: Minerva, Olam, Golden Agri

Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • OPEC monthly oil market report includes demand forecasts and production estimates

Wednesday, May 15

Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Feed Grains: Yearbook Tables
  • Season-Average Price Forecasts
  • Turkey Hatchery
  • Malaysia May 1-15 palm oil exports from AmSpec, Intertek and SGS
  • New York Sugar & Ethanol Conference 2019
  • BMO Capital Markets Annual Farm to Market Conference, New York, day one
  • USDA soybean crush and corn for ethanol
  • FranceAgrimer updates French crop estimates

Energy reports and events:

  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories

Thursday, May 16

Ag reports and events:

  • Weekly Export Sales
  • Global Pig Industry Forum, Wuhan, China
  • BMO Capital Markets Annual Farm to Market Conference, New York, day two
  • Port of Rouen data on French grain exports

Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change

Friday, May 17

Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report on various U.S. futures and options contracts.
  • Peanut Prices
  • Census: Congressional District Rankings
  • Honey
  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook
  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook
  • Global Pig Industry Forum, Wuhan, China
  • FranceAgriMer weekly update on French crop conditions
  • Earnings: Deere

Energy reports and events:

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

Other reports and events this week include:

Monday, May 13

  • President Trump will meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House. The two will discuss trade, energy and cybersecurity and opportunities to meet national security responsibilities. Trump may announce that Hungary will purchase military equipment from a U.S. supplier.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Russia for talks on Venezuela and Syria with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
  • National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual Washington Watch, through Wednesday.
  • USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue attends a U.S. Meat Export Federation promotional event to highlight the importance of the Japanese market.
  • South Korea’s trade minister comes to the U.S. to again request an exemption from the Trump administration’s potential auto import tariffs. Minister for Trade Yoo Myung-hee will meet with lawmakers and officials from the Commerce Department and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, a representative of the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
  • Alabama voting rights. House Administration Committee field hearing on "Voting Rights and Election Administration in Alabama."
  • Infrastructure event. U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) holds its seventh annual National Infrastructure Week event with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and others to appear.
  • Venezuela. Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) holds a meeting to consider "The removal of parliamentary immunity of several representatives of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," at the request of the Permanent Mission of Venezuela.
  • Food production. Smithsonian Associates holds a discussion on "The Global Grocery Store: How Your Food Gets From Farm to Table."
  • Green New Deal. The Sunrise Movement holds an event for the final stop of the "Road to a Green New Deal" tour to "explore what the pain of the climate crisis looks like in D.C. and for the country and what the promise of the Green New Deal means."

Tuesday, May 14

  • President Trump will tour the Cameron LNG Export Facility in Hackberry, Louisiana. While in Hackberry, the president will also speak about "promoting energy infrastructure and economic growth."
  • Vice President Mike Pence and El Salvador President-elect Nayib Bukele to speak at Washington Conference on the Americas.
  • USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue speaks at Cotton Council International’s annual Cotton Day.
  • Public land bills. Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee hearing.
  • Wireless 5G technology. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "5G: National Security Concerns, Intellectual Property Issues, and the Impact on Competition and Innovation."
  • Federal budget & spending. Senate Budget Committee hearing on "Fixing a Broken Budget and Spending Process: Perspectives of Two Former Chairmen" – former Sens. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).
  • Economic statistics. Commerce Department; Bureau of the Census holds a meeting of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee (FESAC) on statistical methodology and other technical matters related to the collection, tabulation and analysis of federal economic statistics.
  • U.S. & China. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) holds a discussion with Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) on U.S. policy in the Asia-Pacific region and the future of U.S./China relations after a recent congressional delegation to East Asia.
  • Rural development. Aspen Institute holds a discussion on "Rural Development Hubs: Action Infrastructure for Rural Prosperity."
  • Foreign policy issues. Hudson Institute holds a discussion on "American Foreign Policy and World Affairs," focusing on "Iran and the future of the Middle East; counterterrorism; Russia and transatlantic relations; the growing strategic challenge of China; defense modernization and readiness; and other concerns facing American policymakers."
  • Pandemic & biosecurity issues. Texas A&M University and the George HW Bush School of Government and Public Service's Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs hold the third annual Pandemic and Biosecurity Forum.

Wednesday, May 15

  • President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet meeting.
  • Workers rights. House Financial Services Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets Subcommittee hearing on "Promoting Economic Growth: A Review of Proposals to Strengthen the Rights and Protections for Workers."
  • Boeing 737 MAX. House Transportation & Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee hearing on "Status of the Boeing 737 MAX."
  • Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin testifies before the Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.
  • Forest Service. Senate Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.
  • Council on Environmental Quality. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.
  • Conservation programs. House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing.
  • FCC. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
  • Dept. of Interior budget. House Natural Resources Committee hearing.
  • House Energy-Water Appropriations Subcommittee meeting to consider its fiscal 2020 spending bill
  • House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee meeting to consider its FY 2020 spending bill.
  • Solar and wind energy. House Science, Space and Technology Energy Subcommittee hearing on “Advancing the Next Generation of Solar and Wind Energy Technologies.”
  • Health and climate change. House Ways and Means panel hearing on “The Economic and Health Consequences of Climate Change.”
  • Oversight of financial regulators. Joseph Otting, comptroller of the currency; Randal Quarles, vice chair for supervision, Federal Reserve; Jelena McWilliams, chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and Rodney Hood, chairman, National Credit Union Administration, testify at Senate Banking panel hearing.
  • Promoting economic growth. House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on “Promoting Economic Growth: A Review of Proposals to Strengthen the Rights and Protections for Workers.”
  • Foreign policy and sanctions. House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on “Assessing the Use of Sanctions in Addressing National Security and Foreign Policy Challenges.”
  • China commission. Congressional-Executive Commission on China holds a hearing on "Hong Kong's Future in the Balance: Eroding Autonomy and Challenges to Human Rights."
  • Estimating hog numbers. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) workshop on "Using Models to Estimate Hog Production."
  • WTO EU aircraft dispute. U.S. Trade Representative holds a hearing on the enforcement of US rights in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute against the European Union (EU) and certain EU member States addressed to EU subsidies on large civil aircraft.
  • American energy. Politico holds a discussion on "Reinventing American Energy: Modernizing U.S. Power Infrastructure for a Clean Energy Future."
  • China Belt & Road. International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) holds a discussion on "What Direction for China's Belt Road?"

Thursday, May 16

  • Preparing for the next recession. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke participate in Hamilton Project and Washington Center for Equitable Growth event on preparing for the next recession.
  • FDA meeting to discuss “Responsible Innovation in Dietary Supplements.
  • Global supply chain. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Supply Chain Summit.
  • Energy. Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
  • Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey, House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing.
  • Carbon capture, use, storage. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine Energy Dept.’s carbon capture, utilization and storage programs.
  • Freddie Mac. David Brickman, president and incoming CEO, Freddie Mac, speaks at CNBC Capital Exchange breakfast series event.
  • Financial accountability. House Financial Services Committee hearing on “Oversight of Prudential Regulators: Ensuring the Safety, Soundness and Accountability of Megabanks and Other Depository Institutions.”
  • China & digital issues. House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on "China's Digital Authoritarianism: Surveillance, Influence and Political Control."
  • Oil/gas exploration and water pollution. House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing on "Oil and Gas Development: Impacts of Water Pollution Above and Below Ground."
  • Election interference prevention. Senate Judiciary Committee markup of S 1328, the "DETER Act," to designate foreign persons who improperly interfere in United States elections as inadmissible aliens; and S 1321, the "Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act."
  • Ex-Im Bank. Washington International Trade Association (WITA) discussion on "The Ex-Im Bank, its Reauthorization, and the Implications for U.S. Business."
  • Energy storage. Atlantic Council holds a discussion on "The Future of Energy Storage."

Friday, May 17

  • President Trump addresses the National Association of Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, May 18

  • Trump's deadline to decide whether or not to put tariffs on car and car parts threaten U.S. national security. Under the law, the president could seek negotiations on trade agreements with major auto exporters, which could delay the decision until Nov. 14. Trump could also ask for additional analysis.

 

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