Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 1.11

Monday, January 11th, 2021


January 11, 2020

Programming Note: Welcome to the New Year! Our next publication of this newsletter will be Monday, January 25, after the Presidential Inauguration.

  • Big Picture Outlook
  • The Week Ahead
  • A Quick Look Back
  • Contact the Team

Big Picture Outlook

Congress Passes Another Round of Pandemic Aid on December 27- Significant provisions in the bill included $600 direct payments, additional unemployment benefits, $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), many pandemic-related tax breaks, billions for vaccines, testing, and tracing, an extended federal eviction ban, and $7 billion for broadband expansion. Agricultural provisions include a $13 billion increase to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and an additional $13 billion for direct payments to farmers and ranchers.

Democrats Win Both Georgia Senate Elections and Take Control of Senate- Two days after the 117th Congress convened, both Democratic candidates from Georgia won their run-off elections. Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff cement the Senate Democratic majority by the slimmest margin since 2001. This majority makes Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) the Majority Leader and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) the Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman. Combined with the Democratic House majority and Presidency, this development will likely expand the Biden Administration’s scope of action. The legislative priorities on healthcare, climate, labor, the economy, and taxes will have a higher chance of becoming a reality. Another coronavirus relief bill, including $2,000 checks to individuals, is now more likely to gain traction.

President-Elect Joe Biden’s Victory Certified by Congress- Following the mayhem in Washington, DC on January 6, Congress continued its process of counting the Electoral College votes. This process ended in the early hours of January 7 and certified Biden’s win.

Impeachment Threatens to Derail Biden Transition- The expected impeachment trial will alter the course of Biden’s transition and Presidency. If held and sent to the Senate immediately, it could delay the confirmation of Cabinet members and additional COVID-19 relief legislation for weeks, pushing back all other agenda items as well.

USDA Acting Officials Selected for Administration Transition- A recently released memo designates which officials will be in charge of USDA divisions when Trump administration officials leave on January 20.

The Week Ahead 

The House and Senate are in recess until Inauguration Day, January 20.
To see a full list of House and Senate Committee business, visit here.

A Quick Look Back 

Contact the Team 

Feel free to contact Michael TorreyTara SmithCassandra KuballJessica KuneyBarbara PattersonPerry Harlow, or Brandon Barnett with any questions or comments.