Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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This Week in DC

Farm bill negotiators are looking to wrap up talks that have become embroiled in a debate over forest management as well as longstanding issues such as eligibility rules for commodity programs.
The Senate returns to work on Monday, and House members on Tuesday, to start the remainder of a lame duck session. The farm bill is high on GOP leaders’ to-do list along with a funding measure to replace the stopgap spending bill that expires Dec. 7.
A Democratic member of the farm bill conference committee and former chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, slammed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke last week for demanding that Democrats agree to include provisions in the bill to make it easier for the government to overcome legal challenges to forest thinning projects.
“It is outrageous that House Republicans and the Trump Administration are continuing to hold up the Farm Bill negotiations over harmful and extreme forestry provisions,” Leahy said.
Perdue, who will be in California with Zinke on Monday to meet with survivors and view damage caused by the Camp fire, said that forest thinning can protect people and structures in and near federally owned forests. “These are disasters we can do something about … but we need the authority to do that,” he told reporters on a conference call with Zinke.
A source familiar with the negotiations said there were other issues, including the commodity eligibility rules, that still needed to be settled. 
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