Page 8 - December2018
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Post Midterm Election Outlook
The midterm election on Nov. 6 changed the face of the U.S. Con- gress in signi cant ways — the result is a divided Congress with Democrats taking control of the
U.S. House of Representatives and Repub- licans retaining and expanding their grip on the United States Senate.
Although a new Congress will not be seated until 2019, the election results will impact legislation currently slated to be considered by Congress in the lame duck session that will close out the 115th Congress. These include appropriations bills, potential action on immigration and potentially a new Farm Bill.
Although the 2014 Farm Bill has expired, the effect of the expiration has not yet impacted the produce industry because existing policy remains in place. However, Congress must act before the new year or must restart the process all over again when the 116th Congress is sworn in this January. The incoming Chairman of the House Agri- culture Committee, Collin Peterson (D-MN), has indicated his preference to pass a bill during the lame duck session, but that likely will mean House Republicans will have to accept the nutrition title included in the bipartisan Senate bill.
With all the change taking place in Washington, many other questions remain unanswered. With the Senate remaining in Republican control, no changes are expected to occur at the highest levels of leadership in either the Republican or Democratic caucuses — Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will continue to serve as Majority Leader, and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will continue to serve as Democratic Leader. Given the importance of immigration reform, it should be noted that there may be a potential change in
Chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as current Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) may take the gavel on the Senate Finance Committee, likely making Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) the new chair.
In the House of Representatives, there is much that is left to be determined. With Democrats taking control, many questions remain both in leadership and with regards to questions of who will chair various
committees of interest to the produce industry. The same is true for the current Republican majority as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) leave Capitol Hill and many other key Republicans either retired or lost their re-election bids.
With a new Congress prepared to take the reins in 2019, the produce industry is well positioned to work with these new group of leaders to advance our agenda.

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