With Midterms Done, Agriculture Hopes for Some Movement from New Congress
After many weeks and months of speculation and projections, the November 6 midterm elections are finally over with (except in Arizona and Florida, where recounts are taking place). Everyone now knows that the Congress going into 2019 will be split, with the Republicans in control of the Senate and the Democrats having the majority in the House of Representatives.
Of course, even when the Republicans controlled the entire Congress, there were many in the agricultural community who were frustrated with the lack of progress on several key pieces of legislation important to the industry. In particular, efforts to pass a new Farm Bill in 2018 have barely moved forward.
In fact, a week before the election took place, Mary Kay Thatcher, Senior Lead, Federal Government Relations for Syngenta, offered up her assessment of the Beltway at the Syngenta Media Event. “Right now, it’s next to impossible to get anything done in Congress,” said Thatcher, blaming the inability of both parties to come to agreement on virtually any issue.
Naturally, industry trade associations are reaching out to the new Congress in an effort to at least come to some agreement when it comes to ag-related topics. According to a statement by Chris Jahn, President and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute, “ensuring the world can grow food, fuel, and fiber it needs” should be the No. 1 priority of everyone on the U.S. government. “No matter what side of the aisle we sit on, we all like to eat,” wrote Jahn. “And that’s made possible by fertilizer.”
John Heisdorffer, the President of the American Soybean Association (ASA), also offered up a hopeful note to the new Congress. “Agriculture has always depended on support from both sides of aisle, and now that the midterm elections are over, ASA expects that longstanding bipartisan cooperation to be renewed,” wrote Heisdorffer.