Members of Congress arrived back in Washington this week to a packed agenda dominated by the need to cut spending and create jobs.

The “super committee” charged with finding the $1.5 trillion in reductions needed to go beyond the cuts required by the recent debt ceiling deal held its first meeting Thursday. 

While all eyes are on the nation’s debt and the economy, multiple other wheat grower priorities are also pending.

Issues NAWG is watching include:

• Consideration of long-pending free trade agreements, with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

• The FY2012 appropriations process, which will fund government operations after Oct. 1.

• Consideration of H.R. 872, which would eliminate the administrative boondoggle caused by a court ruling requiring new permits for every pesticide application, set to go into effect Oct. 31.

• Efforts to renew surface transportation laws.

• NAWG grower-leaders and staff are also closely following discussions related to timelines and policymaking for the 2012 farm bill, both of which could be heavily impacted by the super committee’s budget recommendations.