Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 6.7

Monday, June 7th, 2021


June 7, 2021

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

Big Picture Outlook

As Senators return from the Memorial Day recess this week, the list of pending legislation is long and the legislative calendar is limited.  The House and the Senate are considering legislation on infrastructure, elections reform and voting rights, gun control, the Equality Act, and others.  Plus, Congress will need to address appropriations, a debt ceiling debate, and several expiring authorizations in the months ahead.  And, the Senate is continuing to move nominations as the Biden Administration continues to fill vacant agency slots and judicial vacancies.  In summary, the summer legislative work period is going to be an active one.

Biden Releases Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request- President Biden released his FY 2022 budget request on May 28. Projected fiscal spending is $6 trillion with $1.52 trillion of new appropriations requests, $1.7 trillion discretionary spending controlled by appropriations and $4 trillion of mandatory spending programs. This request includes $27.9 billion for USDA, a nearly 17% increase, with significant funding for climate research. The Food and Drug Administration request is almost $1.2 billion, up from $1.1 billion last year, with priorities on food safety efforts such as infant and maternal health and nutrition, shortages and supply chain, capacity building, and infrastructure.  This week, a series of House and Senate budget and appropriations committee hearings will offer Biden Administration officials, including the Acting OMB Director, EPA Administrator, and the Acting FDA Administrator, the opportunity to highlight the requests and respond to questions about their priorities.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Sends Letter to Agriculture Secretary on COVID Relief Funds- Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack on May 26 urging quick implementation of funding for food and agriculture provisions from the Covid relief plan.On June 5, USDA announced an investment of up to $1 billion in food security, including $500 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program, $400 million to help disadvantaged farmers, and $100 million for infrastructure needs. The funds will come from the recent American Rescue Plan Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, with the first $900 million used to buy food for domestic distribution programs.

Biden Continues Negotiations with Senate Republicans on Infrastructure- Negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans on the President’s infrastructure package continue as the group attempts to reach a bipartisan agreement. The White House offered a $1.7 trillion proposal on May 21, and the Senate GOP countered with a $928 billion response on May 27 that focuses on a more traditional definition of infrastructure. This counteroffer prolonged the discussions past the White House’s initial Memorial Day deadline.  Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to markup the $547 billion INVEST Act, the five-year reauthorization bill for federal investments in roads, bridges, transit, and rail.  Recall, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously passed their version of the surface transportation reauthorization bill just before the Memorial Day recess.

The Week Ahead 

Tuesday, June 8

  • 11:00 AM EST: Senate Committee on Budget holds a hearing to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2022

Wednesday, June 9

  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies holds a hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2020 for the Environmental Protection Agency
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure holds a full committee markup on the INVEST Act
  • 11:00 AM EST: House Committee on Budget holds a hearing on The President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

Thursday, June 10

  • 9:30 AM EST: Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies holds a hearing to examine the proposed budget estimates and justification for the fiscal year 2022 for the Food and Drug Administration
  • 12:00 PM EST: House Committee on Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services holds a hearing on Ending Child Hunger: Priorities for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization

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

MTA In Action

MTA Welcomes Summer Intern – MTA welcomes Carlos Flores as our 2021 summer intern. A Puerto Rico native, Carlos is currently a student at the Inter American University School of Law. He received an undergraduate degree in agricultural economics from Kansas State University in 2018 and has served in internship roles with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Puerto Rico Farm Bureau, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, and U.S. Representative Roger Marshall.  Welcome to the team!

A Quick Look Back 

“China’s Imports of U.S. Goods Slowed in April” Bloomberg

“U.S. Begins USMCA Enforcement Action on Canada’s Dairy Commitments Politico

“USDA Wants to Measure Climate Benefit of CRP Practices” Agri-Pulse

“China Can Actually Meet Its Phase 1 Pledge” American Farm Bureau Federation

“USDA Announces Pandemic Insurance Premiums for Cover Crops” Politico

“Farmers Sentiment Starts Cooling Off” CME Group

“Chinese Demand for Milk Grows, but China Lacks Enough Cows” Reuters

“USDA to Spend $1B to Diversify Food Bank Sourcing” Politico

“Cyberattack on Food Supply Follows Years of Warning” Politico

Contact the Team 

Feel free to contact Michael TorreyTara Smith, Danielle Nelson, Cassandra KuballJames Glueck, Jessica KuneyBarbara Patterson, Trey Forsyth, Perry Harlow, or Brandon Barnett with any questions or comments.