Long to-do list and little time for Congress

Several issues important to ag could be addressed in the limited time Congress has left this year.

In the House, Democrats and U.S. Trade Ambassador Lighthizer are reportedly close to finalizing the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement so it can be voted on.

Following a meeting with Lighthizer Wednesday, Mexico’s chief trade negotiator praised the changes Democrats have been seeking and said there’s been progress across the board.

Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig, a member of the House Ag Committee, says she’s ready for USMCA to cross the finish line.

“I am optimistic those negotiations are close, and I am prepared and ready to move forward.”

Craig made those comments at the Minnesota Farmers Union Convention last weekend.

Lawmakers are also trying to avoid another government shutdown as appropriators negotiate 2020 spending ahead of the expiration of a short-term stopgap that expires December 20th.  Funding for President Trump’s border wall remains a major sticking point, just as it was a year ago when a record-long shutdown closed the USDA and FDA.

And legislation that involves the biodiesel tax credit and farm labor could be on the table as well, but it remains to be seen how much the House impeachment process will get in the way.

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