Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 10.25

Monday, October 25th, 2021


October 25, 2021

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

Big Picture Outlook

Social Spending Bill Almost Ready for a Vote

Democrats have almost reached an agreement on a social spending bill that is a pared-down version of President Joe Biden’s priorities and plan to vote on that and an infrastructure bill in the coming week. Democrats have struggled to agree on a framework of $2 trillion or less that will allow the House of Representatives to move forward next week on a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and set the stage for passage of Biden’s larger “Build Back Better” package. The divisions threatened to derail Biden’s agenda on social spending and climate change as the president prepares to attend the opening of a global climate summit in Glasgow that begins on Oct. 31.


Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Challenges

Democrats will aim to bring votes on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill this week, which has already passed the Senate with the support of 19 Republicans. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus say they will vote against the infrastructure bill if it comes up in the House before they reach an agreement and a vote on the reconciliation social spending bill. Lawmakers may temporarily extend the highway funding deadline again if they cannot complete their consideration of the reconciliation bill and infrastructure bill before Oct. 31.


Debt Ceiling Remedy

Congress earlier this month approved an extension of the nation’s debt limit through December 3, averting an economic crisis only to have to deal with it again in a few more weeks. On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that the budget reconciliation process could be one way toward raising the debt ceiling in December. Republicans have insisted that Democrats act alone to address the debt limit by using reconciliation, allowing senators to bypass the typical 60 vote threshold to break a filibuster and advance legislation. Another concern for Democrats raising the debt limit through reconciliation is that it would require Democrats to vote for exactly how much they want to raise it by — an incredibly tough vote for Democrats running for reelection.


Secretary Vilsack Met with Counterpart from Mexico in Iowa

The Department of Agriculture released a joint statement following bilateral meetings between Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Mexico’s Agriculture Secretary. The discussions highlighted the importance of continuing to work together to advance rural prosperity and to fulfill a shared responsibility to protect agricultural systems and producers. The two also addressed climate change and expressed confidence that the U.S. and Mexico agriculture sectors will be a key part of the solution.

The Week Ahead 

Tuesday, October 26

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture holds a hearing to discuss Agricultural Biotechnology: 21st Century Advancements and Applications

Wednesday, October 27

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands holds a legislative hearing to discuss Wildland Firefighter Workforce Reforms
  • 2:00 PM EST: House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis holds a hearing on How the Meatpacking Industry Failed the Workers Who Feed America

To see a full list of House and Senate Committee business, visit here.

A Quick Look Back 

“USDA to Make Up to $1.15 Billion Available to Help People Living in Rural Communities Access High-Speed Internet” USDA

“Biden-Harris Administration Launches Plan to Combat PFAS Pollution” The White House

“Ethanol output is back to pre-covid level in U.S.” Farm Progress

“Mexico’s agriculture minister say Mexico will not limit GMO corn imports from U.S.” Reuters

“As U.S. and China Reengage on Trade, China Remains Far Behind on Phase One Targets” Farm Policy News

“Grains-Soybeans Set for Biggest Weekly Gain in 2 Months” Successful Farming

“House Agriculture advances cattle market transparency bill” Politico

“NASA Launches Tool That Measures Western Water Loss” U.S. News

“Global Agricultural Productivity Report” Virginia Tech

” ‘People are hoarding’: Food shortages are the next supply chain crunch” The Seattle Times

“Covid-19 Safety Fight Heats Up Between Biden Administration and States” The Wall Street Journal

Contact the Team 

Feel free to contact Michael TorreyTara SmithDanielle NelsonCassandra KuballJames GlueckBarbara PattersonTrey Forsyth, Julie McClure, Perry Harlow, or Brandon Barnett with any questions or comments.