Congress holds the purse strings, but who holds Congress these days when it comes to farm policy: the meatpackers and Monsanto? So it seemed last week as lawmakers sent the White House an updated budget for the Agriculture Department complete with industry-backed orders on how Secretary Tom Vilsack should run the place.
The Post-it notes from the packers were hard to miss.
Alarmed that automatic spending cuts this month will slow plant operations, the meat lobby won a last-minute Senate amendment that cuts from a new White House-backed school breakfast program in order to ensure there will be enough money to keep food safety inspectors on the job this summer and avoid disruptions. Read More