Farm Bureau's Mary Kay Thatcher Provides the Good, Bad, and the Impossible for CongressThu, 07 May 2015 21:08:15 CDT
Getting Trade Promotion Authority passed is taking time and work, but progress is being made. American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director of Congressional Relations Mary Kay Thatcher said she thinks Congress is getting closer to getting TPA passed.
“I think in the end, we are going to prevail on this, Thatcher said. “It’s one of so few issues that the President and House and Senate leadership agree upon.”
Congress is also making progress with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Thatcher said she has heard Darci Vetter, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative Office, speak several times on the agriculture provisions of TPP. Recently the Japanese Prime Minister was in Washington D.C. and Thatcher said it was reassuring to hear him state that they need to reform their agricultural provisions.
Another one of the top priorities for 2015 is tax reform. Thatcher isn’t as confident that tax reform will be addressed this year. The Senate has held several work groups lead by members of the Senate Finance Committee. She thinks they have come to the conclusion that we will have to "kick that can down the road".
“When you think about taxes, when you think of the major things like immigration reform, lots of things we would like to get accomplished, but it’s getting down to the wire already and it’s only May,” she said.
With a Presidential election in 2016, campaigning has already started. With several Senators running for President, she said their focus on what happens in the Senate will be lacking. She said they know that if Congress doesn’t get it done before the August recess, they will be in trouble as the Presidential "silly season" has already started.
Thatcher also addresses what Congress can do to stop the ‘Waters of the United States’ proposed rule along with details on a new advocacy website that provides farmers and ranchers with information on GMOs.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Mary Kay Thatcher this week at the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit in Kansas City. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
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