Commentary: John Block Reports from Washington

“New Day”

Hello, everybody out there in farm country. Here’s the John Block commentary.

It took a lot of votes and too much time, but we do have a new Speaker of the House. For two years with Biden as president, Democrat control of the Senate and House, the liberal-leaning Democrat team had a lot more power to dictate policy. California Republican Kevin McCarthy was elected as Speaker to lead the House. Power in D.C. is now divided and we don’t expect very much to get done during President Biden’s next two years.

Congress is supposed to write a new farm bill. One hopeful reality is that farm bills are more bipartisan than a lot of other legislation. Keep your fingers crossed. You can be sure that the Republican leadership in the House will do what they can to cut spending. I support that. We need to position ourselves so that some day we can balance the budget.

Another concern that should be a very high priority is our open southern border. When Biden took office two years ago, he ordered a stop on construction of the border wall. His action made the border more porous and “here they come.” In two years under Biden’s policy we have seen one million more illegal crossings than came in under President Trump in four years.

At least – just last week President Biden finally visited the border. And he announced that he will take some restrictive actions that worked for President Trump. We need immigrants, but they should be legal. Just this week the Department of Energy reported the XL pipeline that President Biden shut down on his first day as president “cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars.” That line would have carried 800,000 barrels of oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. So in the last two years, instead of keeping our energy independent status we have been emptying our oil reserve, and we have been begging Saudi Arabia for oil. We even tried to cut a deal with Venezuela for oil. We just keep begging.

Last subject of interest – the EPA tells us that food waste in the U.S. is responsible for twice as much greenhouse gas emissions as commercial aviation. One third of food in the U.S. is unsold or uneaten.

Next week Randy Russell will fill in for me.

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The views expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not necessarily those of nor the Southern Farm Network.