Public Policy

More Budget Cliffs – Get Ready for Weeks of Bungee Jumping

The fiscal cliff is behind us, or over us, depending on your point of view.  But with deadlines looming for extension of the debt limit, for avoiding the across-the-board cuts required by sequestration, and the need to extend the Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government operating, it certainly looks like we have weeks of …

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New Bill would Authorize Voluntary “Carcinogen-Free” Labeling of Food and Consumer Goods

By Mark L. Itzkoff A new bill introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives last month could eventually result in new labeling for food and other consumer products.  H.R. 6601, The Carcinogen-Free Label Act of 2012 (CFLA) introduced last month by Rep. Theodore Deutch (D-FL) and Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), would require the U.S. Food and …

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PCAST Report

Today, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released its Report to the President on Agricultural Preparedness and the Agriculture Research Enterprise.  The report outlines the importance of agricultural research as well as the top seven scientific challenges facing agriculture: The need to manage new pests, pathogens, and invasive plants; increase the …

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An Idea for Barack Obama: Why Not Pick Sen. Dick Lugar as Secretary of State?

By Kenneth D. Ackerman, as published on The Huffington Post So, President Obama, you need a new Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton, but you don’t like any of the choices sitting on your desk? You think Susan Rice deserves it and would do a great job, but she comes with too much controversy? You feel …

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Block Grants: Over Sold – Under Thought

By Marshall L. Matz and Roger R. Szemraj, as published in Agri-Pulse There has been a lot of discussion lately about converting various food assistance programs from their current status as entitlement programs into a block grant.   This is not a new idea.  It was part of the “Personal Responsibility Act” included in Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 1995-1996 Contract …

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Marcia Fudge, Member of House Ag Committee, to Chair Congressional Black Caucus

On November 14th, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) unanimously elected Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) to serve as Chair during the 113th Congress.  Rep. Fudge is the first member of the House Agriculture Committee to serve as CBC chair. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), for whom we are the U.S. representative, is delighted by the election of …

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History Suggests Grand Bargain to Avert Fiscal Cliff

By Kenneth D. Ackerman, as published in Bloomberg News. The “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax increases and severe spending cuts scheduled to kick in next year, is a product of multiple deceptions. Both the expiration date on the Bush-era tax cuts and the trillion-dollar “sequesters” that were enacted as part of last year’s debt- ceiling …

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The Waiting Game

It’s been a weird week.  The “Frankenstorm” also known as Sandy blew through Washington, closing everything from the stalwart federal government to the Metro system.  OFW Law weathered the storm pretty well, though the view outside my window of the muddy, debris-filled Potomac is an ever-present reminder that our problems pale in comparison to those …

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