TSCRA government and public affairs staff were back in full force this week and working on a variety of issues.
Nationally, approval of USMCA continues to dominate agricultural news despite being overshadowed in mainstream media by tensions with Iran and the impeachment saga.
The U.S. House approved the agreement late in December, putting the ball in the Senate’s court. This week, the first of several Senate committees passed the enacting legislation, with the others expected to follow suit next week.
Impeachment remains a wildcard and could delay Senate action on USMCA depending on when and if the House transmits the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Even with the uncertainty of the timeline, USMCA is expected to pass handily.
This week the administration announced beneficial reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Largely unchanged since 1986, NEPA requires ranchers, especially those leasing public lands, to undergo environmental studies for a variety of reasons. The proposed revisions aim to streamline and reduce the burdens of those reviews for cattle producers and other industries.
TSCRA will monitor the proposed rules closely as they make their way through the process.
2020 is a major election year, and campaigns are in full swing. The primary election will be Mar. 3, 2020, but early voting begins Feb. 18.
In addition to the presidential election, the U.S. House of Representatives and one of Texas’ two U.S. Senate seats will be up for grabs. The entire Texas House of Representatives and about half of the Texas Senate will also be on the ballot along with various other state and local races.
Stay tuned. The TSCRA Political Action Committee is finalizing voting recommendations for the primary election that will be released in the coming weeks.
Fake meat has been in the news quite a bit this week thanks to meatless product announcements by McDonald’s and Burger King. Also, the CEO of Impossible Foods, one of the largest purveyors of fake meat, called the meat industry “the most destructive technology on earth by far,” during a speech at a huge consumer technology show in Las Vegas.
TSCRA has been and will continue to be on the front line of fighting these types of absurd claims. In case you missed it, just this week, TSCRA president Robert McKnight released an op-ed disputing an earlier article in two of Texas’ largest newspapers. Check it out here.