21st Century Global Trade Agreements

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Earlier this year U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, “It seems like the politics of trade have become rather toxic” referring to the anti-trade mood in the U.S.  Strong protectionism views went on to become major themes in the presidential campaigns of the two major political parties.  This is a striking contradiction for the U.S. that has long championed itself as a supporter of free trade.…

Leadership on Congressional Committees 115th Congress

US Capitol

US Capitol

We have reviewed the potential impacts of the 2016 elections on pertinent congressional committees that are important to our clients’ issues.  Here’s what we’ve found:

U.S. House

UPDATE 12/01/2016

Today the House Republican Steering Committee met and recommended the Members below for committee chairs in the 115th Congress:

Agriculture: Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Appropriations: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Armed Services: Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)…

Incoming Freshman Members of the U.S. Senate

After the 2016 general elections Republicans maintained majority control of 131017083507-house-floor-shutdown-vote-620xathe U.S. Senate with (currently) 51 of the 100 seats. Democrats currently hold 48 seats.

To date, there remains one undecided Senate race in Louisiana.  This race will be decided in a run-off election on December 10.

Below is a list of incoming freshman members of the U.S. Senate:…

Lame Duck Session Begins With Lots of Unfinished Business

When Congress returns on November 14 they are Capitol in fall iStock_000000663877XSmallscheduled for 16 legislative days in the lame duck session with a planned adjournment on December 16.  There remain multiple, big-ticket issues to resolve upon their return and with each passing day, it becomes more uncertain if they will have enough time to pass all the measures.  Some of the measures include:

Annual Appropriations:  Prior to adjourning for the general elections on September 28, Congress adopted a continuing resolution that funds federal government agencies until December 9. To date, Congress has only adopted one of the 12 annual spending bills. Lawmakers had planned to address these spending bills after the election in small packages containing three or four of the bills, known as “minibuses.” It was assumed minibuses would be more affable to lawmakers as opposed to one omnibus spending bill containing all 11 of the remaining appropriations bills.…

GMO: It’s Time to Move On.

Cansler Consulting Washnigton DCThe House & Senate have approved GMO labeling legislation and the President will soon sign it into law. While a few legislators were unhappy, this compromise is in the best interest for the country. Republicans and lawmakers from rural states overwhelmingly supported the legislation. Agriculture groups have backed it, hoping it will bring more certainty to farmers who grow genetically modified crops.  According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, U.S. farmers have adopted genetically engineered (GE) crops widely since their commercial introduction in 1996.

About the GMO Legislation

USDA will have two years to write the rules of the new legislation, which will cover foods created with conventional recombinant DNA techniques. It will not extend to plants or other food products created with CRISPR, a new and more precise gene-editing technology. Foods that consist primarily of beef, poultry, pork or eggs will not be required to carry a GMO label, even if they ate feed containing GM corn or soybeans.

As The Hill noted, the initiative would force food companies to “create QR codes that consumers scan with a smartphone to find out if a product contains GMOs.” The aforementioned states require labels to identify goods “produced with genetic engineering.”…

U.S. House & Senate Release Schedule For Second Session of 114th Congress: 2016


U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have released their respective chamber’s legislative calendars for the 2nd session of the 114th Congress in 2016.

NOW is the time to get your views heard!

FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Set for Final Passage

F 22 Raptor iStock_000014803758_MediumProcedural action in the House and Senate on November 3 has cleared the path for final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  On October 22, the President vetoed the previously adopted NDAA, H.R. 1735 stating, “While there are provisions in this bill that I support, including the codification of key interrogation-related reforms from Executive Order 13491 and positive changes to the military retirement system, the bill would, among other things, constrain the ability of the Department of Defense to conduct multi-year defense planning and align military capabilities and force structure with our national defense strategy, impede the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and prevent the implementation of essential defense reforms.“…

Boehner Announces Resignation, McCarthy Launches Bid To Become 54th Speaker of the House

McCarthy Photo

Cansler Consulting with clients and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

On Friday, September 25, Speaker of the U.S. House John Boehner (R-OH) stunned everyone in Washington with his resignation from Congress at the end of October. The news came as Republican leaders were deciding the appropriate legislative route to take to pass a federal spending and keeping the federal government operating while appeasing a small group of right-wing ideologues in their party.…

Government Shutdown: Could It Diminish Republican’s Chance @ Re-taking the White House?

White HouseOne of the main items hindering agreement in Washington’s budge battles is Planned Parenthood. The questions:

  • Are Republicans so locked on to this item that they will risk a government shutdown? and
  • Will a government shutdown diminish Republican’s chances to re-take the White House next year?

Talk about penny wise and pound foolish….With the best chances in years to take control of the White House, a few Republicans in Congress are contemplating actions that could diminish their party’s chance to win in 2016.

Government Management by Continuing Resolution

Continuing-ResolutionIn the last 38 years, there have only been 4 years where there wasn’t a Continuing Resolution at the end of the Fiscal Year. That means 90% of the time, we have an extension to the budget.

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) since 1977 there have only been four years in which Congress did not need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded beyond the end of the federal fiscal year (September 30). Those years were 1977, 1989, 1995 and 1997.

While that is an interesting fact, the CRS statistic most hard to believe is that “Since FY1997, …, continuing resolutions have been enacted on average about six times per fiscal year.”…

Follow the Leader…

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

As disclosure for this blog post: I have known, supported and learned a lot from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) since the late 1980’s. He is emphatically one of the most astute and cunning politicians of the modern era.  He’s been re-elected five times in Kentucky, a Commonwealth where the number of registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. This last election cycle (2014) McConnell carried 110 of 120 counties.

Cansler & Senate Majority Leader McConnell

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell


Tim Cansler, senior strategist of Cansler Consulting, photographed with the new U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell just after his big win in the general election in November 2014. Cansler Consulting has a long time relationship with Senator McConnell who is supportive of agriculture and business issues.

Senator McConnell has been praised by National Down Syndrome Society and Autism Speaks for his leadership on the ABLE Act. He has also sponsored a (now-passed) bi-partisan bill to assist Kentuckians with disabilities, which is headed for the White House to be signed.…

Wyoming’s Senator Mike Enzi Likely To Head Budget Committee

It is widely believed by many in Washington that U.S Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) will exercise his seniority over current ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Mike_Enzi,_official_portrait,_111th_Congress and take the gavel of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee in the upcoming 114th Congress.

The chairman of the US Senate Budget Committee will have an important role in the new Congress as it will be his responsibility to develop and navigate a budget resolution on the Senate floor by the end of Spring.  Incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made it a priority to return the federal budget process to normal order under the republicans new majority.  The Budget Committee is important in the majority because it has the responsibility for outlining priorities and laying the groundwork for both consideration of spending bills and the reconciliation process. …

Preliminary Rosters For US Senate Agriculture & Appropriations Committees

The U.S. Senate has announced the preliminary rosters for Committee assignments in the upcoming 114th Congress. 06507_StabenowHearingRoom05142013 Below is the membership list for the Agriculture Committee and the Appropriations Committee.  The rosters for the U.S. House remain only partially complete.  The Senate committee chairmen will be officially named in January after the 114th Congress is sworn in however it is widely believed that the chairmen of these two committees are set.  These rosters are preliminary and are subject to change.…

Cromnibus Spending Plan Signed Into Law

Washington Lobbyist firm at CapitolPresident Obama has signed into law the fiscal 2015 hybrid spending plan, HR 83.  HR 83 is dubbed “CRomnibus” because it contains a combination of a continuing (spending) resolution only for the Department of Homeland Security through February 27, 2015 and an omnibus spending plan for the remaining government agencies through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2015. HR 83 passed the US House 219-206.  67 conservative republicans joined 139 Democrats to unsuccessfully oppose the spending measure.  In the U.S. Senate 18 republicans joined 12 democrats to oppose the CRomnibus. These votes in both legislative chambers will be useful in forecasting votes in the upcoming 114th Congress.  Other important issues in/out of the CRomnibus include:…