Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 11.29

November 29, 2021


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

Big Picture Outlook

Government Funding

Government funding runs out Friday, and the parties have not been able to agree to a yearlong appropriations bill. Neither side wants a shutdown, so Congress is expected to fall back on another stopgap measure to preserve funding at current levels into the new year. The federal government is currently functioning at levels agreed to during the Trump administration after Congress passed a stopgap bill in September. Democrats are eager for a new budget, but they need Republican support because the legislation is subject to the 60-vote filibuster rule in the Senate.

Debt Ceiling

The estimated deadline to raise the debt ceiling is Dec. 15, as set by the Treasury Department, before the U.S. risks depleting its borrowing authority to pay its bills. Treasury Secretary Yellen has cautioned that breaching the ceiling could push the country into default and trigger a recession. The debt limit was raised last month on a short-term basis. Democrats insisted that it be done on a bipartisan basis, and Republicans, after weeks of brinkmanship, allowed it to come to a vote. It’s not clear whether Democrats will lift the debt ceiling on their own or demand another bipartisan vote in the next few weeks.

Build Back Better

The $1.7 trillion legislation is Biden’s top priority, and the Democrat-controlled Congress appears determined to send it to his desk by the end of the year. The House passed the bill—with all but one Democrat vote—on Nov. 19, just before the Thanksgiving recess, on a vote of 220-213. The bill is pending Senate action, where Democrats need all 50 votes in their caucus to pass it. That won’t be easy. Some provisions, such as paid leave and higher limits on state and local tax deductions, are likely to change to win support. Other policies, such as changes in immigration law, risk running afoul of budget rules that limit the process to matters of spending and taxes.

The Week Ahead

Thursday, December 2

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing to discuss Supporting U.S. Workers, Businesses, and the Environment in the Face of Unfair Chinese Trade Practices

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

A Quick Look Back

“Historic immigration reform included in House-passed spending bill” The Hill

“US to release 50M barrels from strategic oil reserve amid soaring gas prices” USA Today

“U.S. Farm Exports to Set a Record, but Not as Big as Expected” Successful Farming

“Logistics woes threaten ethanol supply needed for gasoline” Reuters

“Booker reintroduces farmworker pesticide bill” The Fence Post

“USDA Invests $32 Million to Strengthen U.S. Food Supply Chain; Solidifies Commitment to Helping the Meat and Poultry Sector Recover from the Pandemic” USDA

“USDA Begins Accepting Applications for $1.15 Billion in Loans and Grants to Help People Living in Rural Communities Get Access to High-Speed Internet” USDA

“USDA Announces $90.2 Million in Grants Awarded to Strengthen Local and Regional Markets for U.S. Agricultural Products” USDA

Changes in Producer Price Indexes, 2019 through 2022USDA ERS

“Lawmakers ask Labor Department for help with truck driver shortage” Rep. David Scott

“China’s Phase One Purchases Slow” Farm Policy News

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