This Week in DC
The partial government shutdown that has shuttered much of USDA, the Interior Department and other agencies heads into its third week, but President Donald Trump expressed optimism Sunday that there would be "serious" negotiations on his demands for border wall funding.
USDA announced that it had canceled release on Friday of the annual Crop Production report and the closely watched World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, which are released monthly. USDA officials said they would not have time to prepare the reports even if funding is restored before Friday.
The shutdown had already halted USDA's preliminary work on implementing the 2018 farm bill and stopped the processing of loan and grant programs, including the Market Facilitation Program set up to compensate farmers for commodity price drops that resulted from the president's trade policy.
Trump sent mixed signals on ahead of a meeting Saturday between Vice President Mike Pence, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and congressional staff. Trump told Democratic leaders on Friday that he was prepared for the shutdown to go on for "months or even years" but he later told reporters that the government would reopen “sooner than people think.”
A summary of Saturday’s meeting provided by Pence’s office described the session as “productive” and said Nielsen provided “a full briefing on the crisis at the Southern border” but that there was no in-depth discussion about funding amounts.
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