Pat Roberts

Two of the nation’s most influential players in agriculture policy, at a meeting in the heart of the country’s Grain Belt on Wednesday, tried to ease worries about the pending farm bill and a budding trade war with China.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File Photo

Sen. Pat Roberts says the level of federal subsidies for crop insurance will dominate this years farm bill discussion. Roberts, who chairs the Senate agriculture committee, talked about the issue on Friday.

At a farm convention in Kansas City, Roberts said a federal budget deal that included protections for dairy and cotton farmers against catastrophic losses could make passing a farm bill simpler.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Lawmakers in Congress are running out of time to pass immigration reform legislation before the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program expires next month.

American Farm Bureau/Twitter

The legislation that governs farm policies, nutrition programs and rural development, known as the Farm Bill, is set to expire in September.

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas is leading the effort to get a new Farm Bill passed, and he received support this week from President Donald Trump.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File Photo

After pushing for changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), President Donald Trump earlier this year kicked off negotiations among the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Any major changes to the agreement could have a big impact on Kansas.

Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts and Sen. Jerry Moran have said they’re open to updates but emphasize that the agreement needs to preserve or expand export opportunities.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Local governments and school boards are worried about the possible effects on infrastructure and other projects if Congress passes a tax bill that eliminates exemptions for certain refinancing of bonds.

The Kansas Association of School Boards, which includes most of the state’s 286 boards of education, is urging its members to contact Sen. Jerry Moran and Sen. Pat Roberts — both Kansas Republicans — about voting against the bill.

55Laney69, flickr Creative Commons

A U.S. Senate committee passed a bill Wednesday to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Federal funds were only approved through the end of September, putting 37,000 Kansas kids at risk of losing coverage if the program isn’t renewed.

nostri-imago / Flickr / Creative Commons

One order of business for Congress after the Labor Day holiday: re-upping the Farm Bill, which expires next year. Currently, there is hope for a bipartisan success this fall.

The farm bill provides subsidies for farmers and governs the food stamp program, and it has traditionally skirted the worst of partisan politics.

But vacancies at the top of the Agriculture Department mean fewer leaders working on the farm bill.

Laura Ziegler / Twitter

With the rising incidence of terrorist attacks in recent years, concern is growing about potential threats to the nation’s food supply. Sponsors of a new federal law to address the risk of agro-terrorism talked with officials about best practices and policies on Friday, Aug. 21, in Kansas City.

It was a roundtable of military, political and academic officials who might find themselves responding to such a threat.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas wants to see the North American Free Trade Agreement improved, but not terminated.

Roberts says he supports modernizing and fixing NAFTA, but he doesn’t want to do away with the trade pact.

Agricultural products are among the state’s top ten export commodities, and Canada and Mexico are consistently the top two export markets for Kansas.

Roberts is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He says he spoke to President Donald Trump about NAFTA recently.

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