Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 11.15

November 15, 2021


  • Big Picture Outlook
  • Thoughts from Team Torrey
  • The Week Ahead
  • A Quick Look Back

Big Picture Outlook

Infrastructure Bill Passed

On November 5, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed in the Senate earlier this summer. The roughly $1.2 trillion bill contains an estimated $550 billion in new spending above baseline levels. This spending touches every sector of infrastructure, from transportation and water to energy, broadband, and the resilience and rehabilitation of our nation’s natural resources. The Biden Administration continues to tout how the bill benefits communities across the country, with the President signing the bill into law today.

Reconciliation Bill

House Democrats continue working on the President’s Build Back Better social spending and climate package to win over both the progressive and moderate wings of their caucus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated the House will vote on the bill this week. However the future of the bill remains unclear, with Senate Democrats warning that it is likely to change once it reaches their chamber. House and Senate leadership have been trying to iron out details before passing the House to ensure support from moderates and smooth the path becoming law. Pending Congressional Budget Office scores, parliamentarian review of provisions, and schedule demands for appropriations activity and defense authorization will delay Senate consideration even if the House acts before the Thanksgiving recess.

UN Climate Change Conference

At COP26, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack underscored the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s support for President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to combating climate change and creating good-paying jobs and economic growth in the United States. At meetings and events throughout the conference, Secretary Vilsack highlighted USDA partnerships and initiatives that put agriculture, forestry and rural communities at the center of global solutions to address climate change. President Biden joined leaders from the United Arab Emirates in officially launching the Agriculture Innovation Mission (AIM) for Climate on Nov. 2. Nearly 80 countries and non-government partners have joined in support. AIM for Climate has garnered $4 billion in increased investment commitments for climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation, with the U.S. mobilizing $1 billion over the next five years.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, November 16

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing to discuss “A Look at the Renewable Economy in Rural America”
  • 10:30 AM EST: House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing to discuss “Securing America’s Future: Supply Chain Solutions for a Clean Energy Economy”

Wednesday, November 17

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture holds a hearing to discuss “Trade Policy and Priorities”
  • 10:30 AM EST: House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee holds a hearing to discuss “Industry and Labor Perspectives: A Further Look at North American Supply Chain Challenges”

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

A Quick Look Back

“Recap: A Farmside Chat with Tom Vilsack and Debbie Stabenow at COP26” s2gventures

“President Biden set to nominate Jose Emilio Esteban to head USDA food safety” Food Safety News

“Biden will nominate industry-friendly Califf to lead U.S. FDA” Reuters

“EPA Says Glyphosate, Atrazine Likely to Adversely Affect Endangered Species” Progressive Farmer

“Some troops are driven to suicide by hunger, experts say” Roll Call

“U.S. appeals court affirms hold on Biden COVID-19 vaccine mandate” Reuters

“American farmers are losing export sales as over two-thirds of containers leave California ports empty to rush back to Asia for reloading” Insider

“Analysis: U.S. oil refiners bet the farm Biden will back them on biofuels” Reuters

“U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s” US Department of State

“U.S. sets goal of net-zero aviation emissions by 2050” Reuters

“What to Expect From the Biden-Xi Virtual Summit” Foreign Policy

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