Congressional briefing: Brownback praises Giuliani, but no endorsement
Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:
Sen. Sam Brownback (R)
(AP) Brownback and Giuliani Discuss Abortion: Sen. Sam Brownback pronounced himself "much more comfortable" with Rudy Giuliani's position on abortion after the one-time rivals for the Republican presidential nomination discussed the issue Thursday. Giuliani flew to Washington for a meeting he requested with Brownback in the Kansas senator's Capitol Hill office. Brownback dropped out of the race last week, citing poor fundraising, and his former rivals have been seeking his endorsement. The two men spoke briefly to reporters afterward. "I'm much more comfortable," Brownback said. "Justices are key. He's stated publicly many times about his support for strict constructionists like, I believe he said Roberts. John Roberts is a personal friend." But there was no endorsement.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R)
(Washington Post) Senate Panel Moves $288 Billion Farm Bill: The Senate Agriculture Committee, under pressure to make changes in decades-old subsidy programs, voted yesterday to offer farmers an alternative safety net that lawmakers said will provide better protection against falling incomes and will save as much as $4 billion over the next five years. Farmers who choose the plan would get a government payment on a portion of their acreage if average crop revenues in their state fall below a historic norm because of low prices or bad weather. But to get the coverage, farmers would have to forgo several supports that have been pillars of farm programs for years. Although still modest in scope, the plan was adopted only after fierce infighting involving farm groups and industries affected by the vast agricultural subsidy system. The committee, dominated by lawmakers representing traditional farming interests, backed away from a more far-reaching plan supported by Midwest corn growers after strenuous objections from the private crop-insurance industry and some farm organizations. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who led the fight to scale back the plan, called it "a pretty good compromise." But Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), reflecting the concerns of a dry wheat state where farming is inherently risky, warned that the committee was still moving too fast. "We could be buying a pig in a poke here," he said.
Rep. Jerry Moran (R)
(Harris News Service) Meat inspection part of debate on new farm bill: Farm and consumer groups, food inspector unions as well as Kansas Agriculture Secretary Adrian Polansky are backing a U.S. Senate farm bill provision to help farmers sell meats across state lines. U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, supports the concept, the Senate bill's language could prove too restrictive, he said, denying states flexibility in conducting meat inspections. The measure would allow for state-inspected meats to cross state lines on the condition there is federal oversight of the plants. "As written, the Senate bill could diminish the benefit to small businesses in Kansas and other states."
Congressional briefing appears semi-regularly, Monday through Friday. If you've seen a news story or other blog entry about the Kansas Congressional delegation that we've missed, do let us know.