Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 3.15

Monday, March 15th, 2021


March 15, 2021

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

Big Picture Outlook

President Biden Signed the American Rescue Plan Into Law – On March 11, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law. The package includes $22.1 billion for food and agriculture spending, including an extension of the 15 percent temporary increase in SNAP benefits, $3.6 billion to fund commodity purchases and improve food supply chain resiliency, and debt relief for qualifying minority farmers among other provisions. It also includes $1,400 stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, state and local aid, and COVID-related healthcare funding.

Senate Agriculture Committee Held Hearing on Climate – The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing on climate change on March 11. The topics discussed revolved around climate programs, carbon, and the importance of research. Each Senator present agreed that climate change is an issue. Read a summary here.

House Agriculture Committee Held Hearing on US Food Insecurity- On Thursday, March 11, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to discuss the state of food insecurity in the United States, particularly in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Members and witnesses discussed the successes of various government programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TFAP), Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), and others, as well as the challenges that the hunger community and those who are food insecure face in America. Read a summary here.

Senate Agriculture Subcommittee Rosters Announced – The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry released the Subcommittee rosters for the 117th Congress. Sens. Warnock (D-GA), Marshall (R-KS), and Booker (D-NJ), all new members on the committee, have been given leadership roles in a Subcommittee.

Farm Labor Bill Returns to House Floor – H.R. 1603, a sweeping farm labor bill that would provide a path to legal status for many of the nation’s farmworkers and make it easier for farmers to hire employees through the H-2A program, will receive a vote this week is expected to pass after it received bipartisan support in the previous session of Congress. No Senators have introduced a similar measure in the Upper Chamber yet.

The Week Ahead 

Monday, March 15
  • The full Senate will hold a vote on the nomination of Deb Haaland to be the Secretary of the Interior.
Wednesday, March 17
  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing to examine recent Federal actions to expand broadband.
  • 11:00 AM EST: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on “The Business Case for Climate Solutions.”
Thursday, March 18
  • 2:00 PM EST: House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law will hold a hearing on Reviving Competition, Part 3: Strengthening laws to Address Monopoly Power.
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 Patterson, Trey Forsyth, Perry Harlow, or Brandon Barnett with any questions or comments.