By Avelino Maestas, Congresspedia Assistant Managing Editor
Negotiations between the House and Senate regarding the 2007 Farm Bill reauthorization broke down on Thursday evening. That forced lawmakers in both houses to approve a one-week extension of the 2002 version, which had already been extended one month.
The debate remains the same: how to offset $10 billion in increases, and whether to enact a $2.5 billion tax package. House members have balked at tax breaks, while questions remain over the support for farm subsidies.
Attention shifted to earmarks again last week with new revelations about the Coconut Road earmark, which was inserted into legislation—already approved by both chambers of Congress—on its way to President George W. Bush. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), whose office admitted to changing the bill’s language, faced a storm of questioning, while the Senate sought to involve the Department of Justice in an investigation of the earmark.
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said the House Ethics Committee is capable of investigating any wrongdoing related to the project (which was not requested by a member of Florida’s congressional delegation).
There's some possible movement on a trade agreement with South Korea, with talks between the White House and that country's president, Lee Myung-bak, expected this weekend at Camp David. If Bush can convince Myung-bak to lift a ban on U.S. beef, it could pave the way for congressional action on the trade deal (one of several negotiated by the Bush administration).
Finally, citizen journalists are still keeping track of the Democratic Presidential nomination, including updates on the Superdelegate Transparency Project. Since April 11, the following Superdelegates have made endorsements:
Endorsing Hillary Clinton:
- Brendan Byrne
- Jim Florio
- Aleita Huguenin
- Rep. Tim Ryan (D-O.H.)
- Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Betty Sutton (D-O.H.)
- Taling Taitano
Meanwhile, endorsing Barack Obama: