Charles's Feed
Apr 29, 2013

Meatpackers included in U.S. bill for new guest worker visa plan

WASHINGTON, April 26 (Reuters) – Meatpackers could hire
employees through an agricultural guest worker program for the
first time under a visa program proposed by the U.S. House
Judiciary Committee chairman on Friday.

Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who oversees the legal code, said he
would examine the immigration system issue by issue “to ensure
we get immigration reform right.” The Senate is working on a
comprehensive reform bill that includes a separate path to
citizenship for undocumented farm workers.

Apr 12, 2013

Pact is reached on immigration reform for U.S. farm labor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. growers, the United Farm Workers union and key senators agreed in principle on immigration reform for farm laborers, a grower coalition said on Friday, assuring the issue will be part of a comprehensive immigration bill to be unveiled next week.

The agreement calls creation of a new guest worker program to replace the current H-2A program and legal status for farm workers who entered the United States illegally.

Apr 11, 2013

U.S. senators aim to unveil immigration bill Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After months of negotiations, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators aims to roll out a comprehensive immigration bill on Tuesday, giving President Barack Obama new hope that one of his top priorities for 2013 will advance in Congress.

While the timing could still change, several congressional sources said the eight senators – four Democrats and four Republicans – plan to introduce their bill on Tuesday.

Apr 11, 2013

Senators get deal on farm worker wages in immigration bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senators negotiating an immigration bill have reached agreement on wages for foreign farm laborers working in the United States and a limit on visas for such workers, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said on Thursday.

Feinstein, of California, refused to provide details on the agreement and added that there were some other issues related to farm workers still to be negotiated.

Apr 10, 2013

Obama budget boosts embassy security spending, changes food aid

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
included $4 billion to improve security at hundreds of overseas
diplomatic posts in his budget proposal on Wednesday, in the
wake of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. mission
in Benghazi, Libya.

The money would secure overseas personnel and facilities,
including enough money to increase embassy security construction
to $2.2 billion, as recommended after an independent review of
the Benghazi attacks.

Apr 9, 2013

Senate negotiators close in on immigration deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate negotiators on Tuesday were putting the finishing touches on a bipartisan immigration bill as labor and agriculture groups argued about restrictions on immigrant farmworkers and their pay, lawmakers and officials involved in the negotiations said.

“We’re making progress. We’re trying to get it done this week,” Senator John McCain told reporters.

Apr 8, 2013

USDA asks White House to approve sugar-for-ethanol program

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) – The White House will decide
in coming weeks whether to attempt to blunt low prices in the
U.S. sugar market by buying hundreds of thousands of tons of
surplus sugar and selling it at a loss to ethanol makers.

If approved, it would be the first time the
sugar-for-ethanol program, created in 2008 and known as the
Feedstock Flexibility Program, has been put into operation.

Apr 5, 2013

U.S. hopes to donate cash instead of food to anti-hunger efforts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International anti-hunger activists expect the Obama administration to propose major reforms to its food aid efforts in which the United States would donate cash instead of shipping U.S.-grown food to trouble spots around the world.

The White House declined to comment on Friday on its plans. But people who have heard the plans said the administration has discussed the strategy with interest groups and lawmakers and touted it as a way to save money while still keeping the United States the global leader in food aid.

Mar 21, 2013

US meat inspector furloughs avoided as Congress approves funding

WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) – Congress approved $55
million on Thursday to prevent the furlough of all U.S. meat
inspectors this summer, a step that could have driven up meat
prices and created spot shortages in grocery stores and
restaurants.

The money for meat inspectors was part of a bill to pay for
federal operations through the end of this fiscal year. The bill
did not restore budget cuts that took effect on March 1,
however.

Mar 20, 2013

U.S. sharpening tools to dig out of impending sugar mountain

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. government is
readying a tool created during last decade’s biofuels craze – a
never-used program to sell sugar at a loss to ethanol makers -
as a way to whittle a looming sugar surplus down to an
affordable size.

The sugar-for-ethanol program could be a lower-cost way for
the Agriculture Department to meet its obligation, by law, to
assure a minimum price for U.S.-grown sugar. Due to large crops
worldwide, New York futures prices are below the federal
guarantee of 20.94 cents per lb.