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Crypto and Commodity Policy Is on the Line in Three Tight Races

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Billions of dollars in subsidies to farmers and the future of cryptocurrency regulation are at risk in the hands of the new subcommittee chairman, no matter which party wins control of Congress next year.

Even if Democrats defy history and retain a majority in the House, lawmakers leading panels dealing with commodities and risk management may not return.

Democrats Sean Patrick Maloney (New York) and Angie Craig (Minnesota) are in the race for reelection and are being rated tossapps by Congress. Cook Political Report with Amy Walter. that’s right Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade.

If they get the gavel in the next Congress, they will influence US policy at a crucial time.

Congress reviews the Farm Bill’s Commodity Act every five years. It is a multi-faceted measure that determines how much federal money is approved to keep the country’s food supply stable and food prices affordable, including through subsidies to producers. is. The 2018 edition (Public Law 115-334) spent about $428 billion over five years.

“The biggest business right in front of us in the new session is crafting the 2023 Farm Bill,” said soon-to-retire Congressman Cheri Bustos, who heads the General Agricultural Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee. (Democrat, Illinois) said. Craig is the next senior on that panel, and “if Angie is chairing it, I’m sure that will be her main focus,” Bastos said in an interview.

All three Democrats face headwinds, and Republicans hope to flip at least one Congress.The White House party won only seats in the House of Representatives 3 times in 22 midterm elections From 1934 to 2018, it lost an average of 28 seats in the House and 4 seats in the Senate. The Senate fared better, winning six seats for him.

(Photo by Yara Nardi-Pool/Getty Images)

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (DN.Y.) at the 2019 congressional hearings.

“I think it’s more of a Republican-leaning environment than a neutral one,” said Kyle Condick of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. When Craig, Maloney, and Warnock were campaigning about their agricultural achievements, “considering how red many places in the countryside are,” he said, “every little bit helps.”

Digital asset monitoring

Unless the Democrats enact something in the lame duck session, next year could also be a big year for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency companies, some of which will be subject to competing government regulators.

The Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit Subcommittee, led by Maloney, is considering oversight of digital assets.

Maloney’s subcommittee and members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are separately considering whether to proceed with a bill to consolidate digital money regulation into the Commodity Futures Trading Commission rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission.

2018 Federal Judges Upheld CFTC jurisdiction About virtual currency trading. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has said most digital assets are securities subject to his agency’s rules.

read more: Pressure for CFTC to Gain Momentum in Crypto Trading (2)

The committee, which may be led by Craig, is focused on the crop insurance portion of the Farmers Bill, which includes subsidies to help farmers afford the safety net policy premiums. A future decision will be whether to extend that support to those who grow more types of crops.

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Angie Craig (D., Minnesota) shown at a press conference on Dec. 14, 2021.

Rep. Mike Conaway, Texas Republican, lobbyist and former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said: “There will be a lot of work to fine-tune it and introduce new concepts.”

On the legislative website, Craig lists “a strong farm safety net” as a top priority. She also sponsored measures (HR7675) attempted to create a USDA task force to address disruptions to farm supply chains.

Anyone writing that part of the Farm Bill will be asked to examine the impact of inflation on essential agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, whose prices have risen significantly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Conaway said. Underwriters Association.

“That’s Nuts”

Each endangered legislator has a local constituency, and their work on agricultural policy is a way to show voters their bipartisan achievements.

For example, Warnock’s work as chairman included work on Debt Relief for Minority Farmers in 2021 (Public Law 117-2). discriminatory.

The Democratic Tax, Climate, and Health Care Package (Public Law 117-169) ultimately included $2.2 billion in funding for farmers who experienced discrimination from the USDA, as well as those struggling to pay their bills. included $3.1 billion in debt relief for farmers

Farmers receive $800 million in debt relief under contested program

In his re-election campaign against former football player Herschel Walker (R), Warnock’s campaign aired as follows: TV advertising pitch bipartisan letter Last year, he led Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in calling for the removal of trade barriers facing peanut farmers in the South. The ad shows the senator standing on a pile of legumes and showing off the state’s robust peanut market. “That’s crazy,” Warnock says on the spot.

Maloney’s campaign responded to inquiries about his subcommittee work by introducing him to Chris Pauleski, a vegetable and fruit farmer in the district.

Pauleski, who calls himself a grassroots public policy advocate, urged Maloney to help farm debt relief and said he worked with lawmakers on trade and flood mitigation issues. “Having someone on the approval committee helps a lot,” says Pawlesky. “It makes what I do a lot easier.”

Of course, if the historical trend continues and the Republican Party takes power in the November 8th election, it will be the Republicans with the gavel and decision-making power. Agricultural subsidies, nutrition policy, cryptocurrency regulation.

Overall, the current ranking members of the Agriculture Subcommittee are well positioned to slip into the role of Chair. Only Rep. Don He Bacon, Republican Nevada, head of nutrition, oversight and departmental operations, competitive elections.

In Conaway’s view, there weren’t enough commissions to lay the groundwork for a bill affecting 10% of the country’s economic output.

“You can learn a lot in a very short period of time,” he said.

To contact the writer of this article: Zach C. Cohen in Washington zcohen@bloombergindustry.com; Maeve Sheehay in Washington msheehey@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this article: Catherine Rizzo and krizzo@bgov.com; Anna Yukhanov and ayukhananov@bloombergindustry.com

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