Current Week

Congressional Agenda

December 11, 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -  

Last week, I attended the beautiful service at the National Cathedral for our 41st President George H.W. Bush.  On the radio, I talked about the George Bush that I knew.  This week, we will move on.  Here is where we are right now.

We are more than two months into our new fiscal year and 30% of our federal government agencies have only temporary funding until December 21st.  70% of our government operations, including Defense and welfare programs are funded.  However, the Justice Department, Homeland Security, Transportation, and Agriculture are not funded after December 21, and will be shut down if the Congress fails to act.  There are a number of political differences concerning what those bills should include.  President Trump has said that he might veto the legislation if it doesn’t include $5 billion for a border wall.

The House bill provides for the full $5 billion, but the Senate bill has only $1.6 billion, and that money can only be used for security – no wall.  Those two bills will have to be negotiated.  Find some middle ground.  Then the question is if President Trump will sign, or do we see a partial shut-down of our government over Christmas?

Another subject fighting the ticking clock – we don’t have a farm bill.  The last bill expired on October 1 and the Congress has not passed a new bill.  The differences between the House and Senate have been ironed out.  Pass our farm bill this week! 

Some positive news – the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement has been signed by each country.  However, the Agreement must now be confirmed by the legislators.  That may not be so simple.  There are some Democrats that don’t want President Trump to get a victory on this.  I still believe we can get it done.

A big surprise that may hurt our chances of negotiating a positive trade deal with China came out of nowhere.  Well – it came out of Canada where their government, at our request, arrested the Chief Financial Officer of a powerful Chinese technology company.  I guess that company was on our list for stealing technology and improper trade deals.  This new development could result in a huge Chinese backlash against the U.S – just when we were hoping for an end to the trade war.

Stay tuned – we have 90 days to make some progress.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to www.johnblockreports.com

Until next week, this is John Block reporting from Washington, D.C.

Previous Weeks

President Bush

December 5 2018

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The passing of President George H. W. Bush has brought the whole nation to focus on his life and the contributions that he made to our country.  President Reagan brought…

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South Africa

November 28 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -  

If someone had told me two months ago that forest management would be holding up a new farm bill, I would have just laughed at them.  But since the wild fires in…

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Elite Food Standards and More

November 21 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -  

Thank you, God, for all of our blessings.  Look at the turmoil, poverty, and destruction around the world.  On this Thanksgiving Day, let’s not fail to appreciate our…

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Busy Week

November 15 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary -  

Last week was really busy.  Three days at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention in Kansas City.  If you listen to farm radio, your broadcaster was…

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Mid-Term and More

November 8 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

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Yes, I have something to say about the mid-term elections, and I will get to that in a minute.  But first, we have been worried about the trade disputes with China and how…

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Election and Hate Crimes

November 1 2018

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There has been a lot going on in the last week.  I will focus on some of those topics.

One of the saddest happenings would be the deadly attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue…

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Debt

October 25 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

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Some good news – President Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires in November. Can they jump start a process to resolve our trade…

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Issues and Opportunities

October 18 2018

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When President Trump announced a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, he said: “It is a very big deal for farmers. The new NAFTA, which is USMCA, has a very good ring.…

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Gopher Frog

October 11 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

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I want to talk about a frog today, but before the frog hops up on the table – just a few words on the subject of trade. The U.S. trade deficit rose in August to $53.2 billion.…

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NAFTA and More

October 4 2018

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

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Issue number 1 – China is very unhappy that President Trump has imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese exports. Tensions have escalated. When I was in China with the Farm…

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