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As Trump meets with biotech CEOs, farm advisers fret over empty USDA spot:
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has left the agriculture secretary as the last department head to be named to his Cabinet, while a meeting with the chief executives of two agribusiness giants gave a hint at a roster of farm issues the incoming president will face [Reuters].
AG Scott Pruitt prepares for EPA hearing:
Starting Wednesday, Pruitt will go before the Environment and Public Works Committee for a grueling, hours-long questioning barrage [News 9].
Senators introduce resolution to roll back WOTUS:
The EPA’s “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule has proven largely unpopular since it was enacted in May of 2015. Now, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) say they have introduced a resolution that “expresses the need to vacate” the rule [AgWeb].
House moves CFTC reauthorization with spending freeze:
House Republicans pushed through legislation to curb Dodd-Frank regulations on the futures industry and freeze spending at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [Agri-Pulse].
Elaine Chao emphasizes private funds for Trump’s promised transportation fixes:
During her low-key and genial Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for transportation secretary maintained some of that earlier skepticism that a big bout of “traditional” government spending is the best way to rebuild America [Washington Post].
Latest to disagree with Donald Trump: His Cabinet nominees:
In their first week of grilling before congressional panels, Mr. Trump’s cabinet nominees broke with him on almost every major policy that has put Mr. Trump outside Republican orthodoxy, particularly in the area of national security [New York Times].
Oklahoma lawmakers face huge budget hole, huge budget requests:
McCall, R-Atoka, takes over the top job in the House at a time when lawmakers are expected to have $868 million less to appropriate than they did in 2016. Yet the five agencies combined to request $660 million more than they received a year ago [The Oklahoman].
Oklahoma House speaker endorses $6,000 teacher pay increase:
New House Speaker Charles McCall is endorsing a pay increase for Oklahoma teachers that would phase in a $6,000 pay raise during a three-year period [NewsOK].
Drought creeps back into Oklahoma as dry fall leads to waterless winter:
Drought is back in Oklahoma. More than half the state now falls in the extreme drought category, and normally water-rich southeast Oklahoma is bearing the brunt of a very dry fall and winter [StateImpact Oklahoma].
AFBF economic team gives strategic view of agricultural sector:
While farm income is down across the board, today’s farm economy is noticeably different than it was in the 1980s, according to Dr. Bob Young, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation [AFBF].