Before leaving for Thanksgiving - the Senate approved funding to settle black farmers' discrimination claims against USDA.
The House must still approve the funding before class members can pursue their individual claims through a non-judicial claims process. John Boyd of the National Black Farmers Association says he’s optimistic that House action will occur during the lame-duck session.
Michigan’s Stabenow Now Senate Ag Committee Chair
It’s official. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan will serve as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry during the 112th Congress. One of her prime challenges will be writing the next farm bill.
Troxler Attends Dedication of Historic Home
Late last week, the historic L.L. Polk House was dedicated near downtown Raleigh. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler was at the dedication, and explains that L.L. Polk was the state's first ag commissioner, responsible, in part, for the founding of NC State University and Meredith College, as well as many other notable achievements.
Senate Food Safety Debate Delayed
The U.S. Senate will not continue to debate food safety legislation until after Thanksgiving. There are several issues, including a revised amendment by Montana Senator Jon Tester, co-sponsored by NC Senator Kay Hagen, to exempt smaller operations from some requirements.
Earmarks Out for 112th Congress
Earmarks are the process by which lawmaker can requested and receive funding for pet projects. The WallStreet Journal reports that House Republicans have stepped up and unanimously adopted a ban on earmarks for the entire 112th Congress.