DC Insider Steve Kopperud Harbors Mixed Emotions on the Political Agendas of Washington LeadersThu, 03 May 2018 11:20:09 CDT
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Steve Kopperud, a political consultant in Washington, DC that caters to various ag industry groups, during the Oklahoma Grain & Feed Association’s recent meeting. Kopperud remarked on several hot-button political issues related to agriculture that have been unfolding in recent weeks. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Regarding the next Farm Bill, Kopperud has taken a somewhat pessimistic stance on whether or not the legislation will be ratified before the 2014 version of the bill expires, saying that House Ag Chair Mike Conaway’s early to mid-May deadline seems unlikely with the level political polarization that has already enveloped the legislation.
“If I was a betting man, I’d say no. I just don’t see it happening. Maybe it’s a 60/40 chance, no,” he remarked. “The House just has some major mountains to climb before it gets a bill on the floor and approved and ready to reconcile with the Senate.”
While his view on the Farm Bill’s timeline may be pessimistic, his thoughts on a trade war with China aren’t.
“No, I don’t think there will be a trade war. That’s like both the US and China putting a gun to their head and pulling the trigger. I think it’s a lot of bluster,” he said commenting that China could not afford to cut off soybeans or sorghum and that the US could not afford to lose their business in those areas. “What I find very frustrating, though, is that the soybean guys, sorghum, pork - the guys that had nothing to do with the steel and aluminum issues - they’re the ones that are going to pay the price if we move forward.”
Kopperud also touched on some of the political strategy and climate in DC. It seems the opposition party has found a weak link in the Trump Administration and is focusing its efforts now at attacking Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt at every turn to bring down a major Trump Cabinet player. Unfortunately, he says there is so much “sketchy stuff” on the record that it has made Pruitt “Ground-Zero” for Democrats’ push to oust another Trump supporter.
However, when it comes to our elected officials, Kopperud is again optimistic that if Republicans can secure a couple more legislative wins in the next few months, the GOP could probably maintain control of both Congressional bodies - and perhaps even strengthen its hold.
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