Hardwood Federation Provides Industry-Focused Updates in August 31st “D.C. Cheat Sheet”

The Hardwood Federation produces a “D.C. Cheat Sheet” newsletter to keep the industry up-to-date on the latest news from Washington D.C. Check out the August 31st edition below and sign up to receive your copy.

Farm Bill Timing

The Hardwood Federation team participated in a meeting late last week with Majority staff of the House Agriculture Committee to discuss status of the Farm Bill rewrite. House staff reported that they hope to have a discussion draft available sometime in September, although reports from Senate sources suggest that timeline may not be realistic. The Senate is on track to have a draft Farm Bill measure for review available next month. In any event, a new Farm Bill will not be enacted before the current law expires September 30. While an extension of current law will not be necessary immediately, if Congress cannot pass a Farm Bill before the end of the year a short-term extension will be necessary as draconian cuts to farm programs will be triggered in 2024. The Hardwood Federation team continues to meet regularly with House and Senate Members and staff on our Farm Bill priorities and will keep you updated on our progress.

Government Funding

When Congress returns to Washington next month, its one immediate deliverable is funding the federal government past September 30, when the current funding measure expires. The Senate is back in town next week and the House returns the following week—setting up a tense situation where not a lot of time is available to find consensus on even a short-term funding extension. The House Freedom Caucus released a list of demands last week that any measure to fund the government include provisions on border security, Department of Defense policies on reproductive health and other social issues—all of which are non-starters in the Senate. We will know more about prospects on a funding deal later next month.

New Leadership at FRA

The Forest Resources Association (FRA) recently announced the appointment of Keith Gray as its next president, effective November 1, 2023. Gray succeeds Deb Hawkinson, who is retiring after leading FRA for the past 11 years. Gray brings extensive experience to the role, including time with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency and the Alabama Farmers Federation. He also served as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill and as President of Gray Matter Consulting. The Hardwood Federation has worked closely with FRA over the years and looks forward to continuing our relationship with Gray at the helm.

Source: Hardwood Federation

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