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HOUSE AG COMMITTEE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE UPCOMING HEARINGS
POLITICO reports:

House Agriculture Democrats are planning a wide-ranging series of hearings now that they're in the majority, and farm bill implementation will be the top priority of each subcommittee.

Here are some other highlights and potential flashpoints, per a list of oversight priorities and potential hearings circulated among members this week:

SNAP waivers: The nutrition subcommittee, which will be led by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), plans to review the Trump administration's rule making on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program work-requirement waivers. The subcommittee is being expanded to include oversight and department operations, and on its list of potential hearings is one on the "status of USDA Civil Rights situation for customers and employees." The House on Thursday adopted the Democrats' rules package for the new Congress, which includes instructions for the House general counsel to "immediately explore all possible legal options" for responding to USDA's new SNAP proposal.

ERS, NIFA relocation: The panel that oversees ag research will dig into Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's controversial plans to move the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of the Beltway by the end of 2019.

Trade aid: Several subcommittees are planning hearings on USDA's trade relief program for farmers and ranchers. Some lawmakers and commodity groups have criticized USDA's effort as inadequate, and many have questioned the payment rates for specific ag products under the direct payment program.


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