Leadership of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association say moderates will control the power in Washington, D.C. over the next few years. The comments were part of the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention Winter Reboot Tuesday
Democrats control the House, Senate and the White House, along with new leadership overseeing the Senate and House Agriculture Committees.
However, NCBA Government Affairs Vice President Ethan Lane stated moderate voices will be in control. “Despite what you see in the newspaper, despite what you hear on cable news or on your favorite blog, the real power is concentrated right now in Washington amongst the moderates. There is just no debate about that, they are going to control what happens over the next couple years here in Washington D.C.,” according to Lane.
Lane says Democrats, such as those in the Blue Dog Coalition, have a stronger voice in Congress now. “A few years ago, the comment was that the Blue Dogs are no longer with us, the blue dogs are dead. But, you’ll remember back to the first couple days of this new Congress, the Democratic Caucus meeting in the house erupted in moderate Democrats saying you have got to provide us the ability to have some moderate conversations, to have a voice that doesn’t support the Green New Deal and things like that because my district just won’t tolerate them.”
Lane says that rings true for agriculture, which is a bipartisan industry with no place for “partisan warfare”. “We’re going to have to help them understand where they can be helpful to us and we’re going to have to probably push them a little bit every once in a while to buck the party when the Democratic leadership is feeling like they need to placate their own wing of their party and then, quite frankly, we’re going to push back on Republican leadership, when we see the Freedom Caucus doing the same thing on our side. I mean, I’ve seen as many losses dealt to the cattle industry on Capitol Hill at the hands of the Freedom Caucus, as I have Democrats. And that’s not a new thing, the extremes of either party don’t really help American agriculture, it’s the middle where those issues come together and that’s where we’re going to have to focus in the next few years.”
Speaking to extremist in the Democratic party, NCBA CEO Collin Woodall says moderate messaging starts with the White House. “The President did not spend 47 years in Washington, D.C. as an extremist and ultimately get to the point where he’s at. He knows, through his role as a senator through Vice President, how to build coalitions, he knows how to negotiate. And I think that is what is going to be extremely important is how those voices work together to keep the AOC’s of the world at bay, because she’s going to come at us. There’s no doubt about, she’s going to come at us, Cory Booker is going to come at us, he’s now on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and they are going to use all of their HHS us funded and supported talking points to hit us and hit us hard, but I don’t think that they are going to just have full rein of their party’s messaging.”
Those comments came during Tuesday’s “State of the Industry” session during the event.