Public Policy

4/2/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump held a more than 2-hour press conference beginning at about 5:20 Thursday evening. It was broken into two segments. In the first segment the President was joined by Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.  In the second segment he was joined by Vice President Pence, …

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4/1/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump held a nearly 2-hour press conference beginning at about 5:35 this evening. It was broken into two segments.  The first included Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley, Attorney General William Barr, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday.  In …

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3/31/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence held a more than 2-hour press conference beginning at about 5:35 yesterday evening. They were joined by White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci. Summary of the President’s remarks and questions: The President thanked the American …

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3/30/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump held a 1-hour press conference beginning at about 5:12 this evening. He was joined by HHS Secretary Alex Azar, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Seema Verma, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and …

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3/29/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a 90-minute press conference beginning at about 5:40 this evening. They were joined by Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and several executives of private health …

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3/27/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a 1 hour and 40-minute press conference beginning at 5:56 this evening. The President left the conference after about one hour.  They were joined by newly-named National Defense Production Act Policy Coordinator Peter Navarro, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Denton Global …

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3/26/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a 70-minute press conference beginning at 5:27 this evening. The President left the conference after about 40 minutes.  They were joined by White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci. Summary of the President’s remarks …

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Fresh produce sold at a market by farmer

Food and Agriculture in the Phase 3 Coronavirus Bill

By Julia Johnson Food and agriculture continues to be a priority for Congress and the Administration as the government tackles the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. After tense negotiations, the Senate passed a third stimulus bill late last night. Here is what is in it for food and agriculture. Before the second coronavirus stimulus …

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3/25/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a 75-minute press conference beginning at 5:54 this evening. The President left the conference at approximately one hour.  They were joined by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx, and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony …

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Young woman in medical mask in grocery store because of Covid 19

Food Security is National Security in a Time of Crisis – Phase One and Phase Two Coronavirus Stimulus Bills

By Julia Johnson The Coronavirus Pandemic has dramatically changed life as we know it in the United States. Government from the local to the federal level, the private sector, and non-profit organizations alike are practicing unprecedented levels of partnership and cooperation to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, or COVID-19. Recent bills passed by Congress and …

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3/24/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a 45-minute press conference beginning at 5:42 this evening. They were joined by White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow. Summary of the President’s remarks and questions: The …

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3/23/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a more than 2-hour press conference beginning at 6:10 this evening. They were joined by Attorney General William Barr, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx, and FEMA Supply Chain Task Force Leader Rear Admiral John Polowczyk. Summary of the President’s remarks and questions: The President …

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3/22/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a 90-minute press conference beginning at 5:56 this afternoon. They were joined by Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor, White House Coronavirus Task Force Member Peter Navarro, Centers for Disease Control Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, and Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, MD.  …

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3/21/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held an approximately 90-minute press conference beginning at 1:00 this afternoon. They were joined by Assistant Secretary of Health Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor, and Secretary of House and …

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3/20/20 OFW Law Daily COVID-19 News Conference Summary

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a 90-minute press conference beginning at 11:50 this morning. They were joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx, and National Institute of Allergy and …

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Little boy finishes meal

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Moves Forward

Reauthorization of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 has been stalled since 2015.  Even though the Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee reported their respective bills, the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 (S. 3136) and the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. …

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Government shutdowns – Who dreamed up this crazy idea?

In all the drama and commotion over the government shutdown, now in its third week, with 800,000 federal employees going without paychecks and services disappearing by the day, all prompted by President Trump’s insistence on funding his proposed Mexican border wall and Congressional Democrats’ refusal to provide it, has anyone stopped to notice how frankly …

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Measuring tape on white table

Opinion: The Obesity Equation Calories in; Calories Out

During this Holiday Season, we all enjoy those extra calories and special desserts. It is part of giving thanks and enjoying family. There is no need to give that up, but let’s also keep an eye on the obesity equation. Food labeling regulations and guidelines, such as the USDA- HHS Dietary Guidelines for for Americans, are …

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Report from Uganda

Uganda is in the final stages of debating biosafety legislation that will make it possible for the country to begin using genetically modified (GM) agricultural plants, such as bacterial wilt-resistant bananas, brown streak virus-resistant cassavas and insect-resistant maize.  As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Uganda must have a biosafety law in …

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Mid-Term and More

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block. Yes, I have something to say about the mid-term elections, and I will get to that in a minute.  But first, we have been worried about the trade disputes with China and how their tariffs have cost us.  Finally, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are going to …

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Opinion: The EU Gene-Editing Decision: Parliament Should Not Let it Stand

The European Union Court of Justice’s (ECJ) recent decision that new gene-editing techniques must go through the same lengthy approval process as traditional transgenic genetically modified (GM) plants has sent shock waves around the world and its greatest impact will be on those who are hungry and food insecure. The decision will have a direct …

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Opinion: Africa Rising

In the two years since the last African agriculture forum in Ethiopia, the momentum has fundamentally changed. The pace of advancement has quickened significantly; the world has discovered that Africa is the future. That was sure the impression one got from attending the African Green Revolution Forum hosted last week by President Paul Kagame in …

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Labor Day

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block It’s hard to believe, but summer is all but gone. We are looking at harvest season. Get that combine ready to go. Labor Day is next Monday. Speaking of Labor Day, I want to say how much respect I have for the hard-working men and women that labor …

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Jack Block: Farm Bill

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block The current Farm Bill runs out at the end of September. Will we get a new one? If so, when? Thanks to the efforts of Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow, they have negotiated a bill. With the leadership of Congressman Mike Conaway, the …

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Back From China

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block 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 healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you. And now for today’s commentary …

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Jack Block: China

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block Next week, I am going to China. Last November, I was asked by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters to lead a team of farm broadcasters and ag leaders to visit China. At that time, we all knew how important China is to our industry. We knew then that …

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John Block: Issues

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block It could be announced any time, but we still don’t know. Will the EPA provide a waiver to allow the sale of E15 ethanol blended fuel during the summer? Right now, the sale of E15 is restricted June 1 through September 15. National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes …

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Jack Block: This and That

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block President Trump and Conservative Members of Congress have been trying to cut back on wasteful spending. The President wants a more efficient government by reforming civil service rules – a “merit system” doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Our federal government has 2 million public sector employees. Because of …

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