John R. Block Reports from Washington October 30, 2019 “Congressional Circus”

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

The U.S. ag industry is riding a rough road right now.  President Trump says a Phase I “trade deal with China is ahead of schedule.”  If we can get that done, China will have every reason to buy “big time” in our market.  They can’t get enough meat.  With African Swine Fever still killing their pigs, their pork prices are up more than 70%.  They are buying beef also and now U.S. chicken.

Our corn farmers are not at all happy with the demand for ethanol.  EPA has given special exemptions to our small refineries.  Some of our ethanol plants in the Midwest have had to close. But here is some good news.  China may come in the door and buy a lot of ethanol.  China wants their fuel to be 10% ethanol like ours.  But they don’t have enough corn to process.  Their ethanol production capacity comes up short.  They cannot even come close to producing enough to reach their 10% target.  Their logical solution would be to buy more corn or ethanol from us.

I was on my farm last week.  What a relief to escape this circus of a federal government that we have here in DC.  Instead of passing necessary legislation, every conflict, every decision is all politics.  Nancy Pelosi won’t bring the USMCA trade deal up for a vote.  Every day Democrats come up with one more demand.  We must insist on an inspection of Mexican factories to ensure that they meet our labor rules.  They must build new infrastructure to present cross-border pollution.  Now they want to add some language to the trade bill to protect pensions of union members.

Our Congress has serious work to do.  The current resolution to keep our government open for business expires November 21.  Not much time and we don’t have a House-Senate spending agreement.  We could get one, but the clock is ticking.  They could pass another resolution to extend the time to keep the government in business.  Or they could fail and close down the government.  What a dysfunctional nightmare.  They don’t have time to do their job.  They are too busy trying to impeach President Trump.

Until next week, this is John Block reporting from Washington, D.C.  If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to