Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 8.9

Monday, August 9th, 2021


August 9, 2021

The following newsletter will likely arrive on September 13, after the recess.

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

Big Picture Outlook

Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill on Path to Final Senate Passage- The Senate closed debate on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on August 8 with a 68-29 vote. The final passage is expected today or tomorrow. The Congressional Budget Office released a report estimating that this bill will add $256 billion to the deficit. While Senate passage is imminent, it faces an uncertain timeline in the House as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many Democratic progressives want to wait to take up the bipartisan bill until the Democratic-only bill passes the Senate.

Senate Democrat-Only Budget Reconciliation Text Released – The recently released budget reconciliation resolution text includes significant investments in climate-friendly farming, with a focus on reducing carbon emissions, farmland forestry conservation, and preventing wildfires. Agricultural climate research and the Civilian Climate Corps will also receive boosts in funding. Senators led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) aim to give small agricultural producers farm debt relief to stem the tide of farm bankruptcies. The introduced text is not final, so that additional changes are possible. This resolution will likely pass along partisan lines, with a tiebreaker vote from the Vice President.

After the resolution is passed, the Agriculture Committee will be tasked with drafting specific policies to meet the reconciliation instructions provided by September 15.

Senate Appropriations Committee Marks Up Ag Appropriations Bill – The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up its agricultural appropriations bill with minimal conversation or amendments. The Committee released the appropriations bill language on August 5, including increased funding for disaster assistance, FSA, Rural Development, FDA, and Agriculture Research.

The Week Ahead 

With both Chambers on or nearing recess, there are no hearings of interest this week.

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

MTA in Action

Departing MTA Intern Shares His Summer Reflections– MTA bids farewell to Carlos Flores, a fantastic summer intern who has returned to Puerto Rico for his final year of law school at the Inter American University School of Law. Before leaving, Carlos shared his thoughts about the summer with our team and how, even with the difficulty of the pandemic and remote working, he was able to make the most of his time in D.C. Thank you for all of your hard work, Carlos!

A Quick Look Back 

“FSA Says 75% of Dairy Farms Enrolled in Margin Program” The Hagstrom Report

“Senate Ag to Vote on USDA Under Secretary Nominee Robert Bonnie” Politico  “Record Needed for Corn to Hit Trendline Yield” AgWeb

“E15 Court Ruling Could Stall Future Ethanol Demand Growth” Farm Progress

“Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021 Introduced in House and Senate” Politico

“Producers Concerned Farm Input Costs Will Sharply Rise” Purdue and CME Group

“USTR Pushing Mexico on Biotech, Still Formulating China Plan” Agri-Pulse

“More Than Half of Americans Receive COVID-19 Vaccine” US News

“CBPP Outlines Benefits of Child Nutrition and Assistance Programs” CBPP.org

Contact the Team 

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