Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 3.14

March 14, 2022


  • What We’re Watching
  • Team Torrey in Action
  • Upcoming Hearings
  • Contact the Team

What We’re Watching

FY202 President’s Budget

What is it? President Biden unveiled his 2024 budget, which is a nonbinding document that provides Congress with recommended spending levels for programs, projects, and activities that are funded through appropriations and other budgetary legislation. In short, it provides an

outline of the current administration’s priorities.

What is included this year? This year, President Biden’s budget calls for a 7 percent increase in nondefense discretionary spending and a 3 percent boost in national security funding. In addition, he is aiming at cutting the deficit by $3 trillion over the following decade through a series of proposed tax increases.

What does this mean moving forward? While proposals under the budget are not expected to be supported by Republicans, it will offer a starting position for Democrats as lawmakers begin hashing out their visions for government spending before the fiscal year ends on September 30.

What is the ag community saying? Four hundred ag-related groups joined together to send a letter to the Senate and House Budget Committees asking for sufficient budgetary resources to support a bipartisan farm bill. The full letter can be read here.

What are highlights? During the announcement, President Biden made significant mentions of farm bill policy and noted that he looks forward to working with Congress to creating “opportunity and new revenue streams for American farmers, ranchers, and producers of all sizes through climate-smart agriculture and forestry, biobased products, renewable energy, local and regional food systems, and other value-added opportunities.” While implemented by agencies, Congress pens the bills, so the mention of it in the budget signified the Administration’s interest in getting a bill across the finish line. Additionally, the team at Torrey Advisory Group has broken down key parts of the proposal:


Reversal of the 2017 tax cuts through:

  • Increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent
  • Restoring the top tax rate of 39.6 percent for single filers making more than $400,000 a year and married couples making more than $450,000 per year

Includes a 25 percent minimum tax on those with wealth of more than $100 million

Raise the tax rate on U.S. multinationals’ foreign earnings from 10.5 percent to 21 percent

Proposes quadrupling the stock buybacks tax from 1 percent to 4 percent

Proposes taxing capital gains at the same rate as wage income for those with more than $1 million in income

Closes the “carried interest” and “like-kind exchange” loopholes

Raises the Medicare tax rate on earned and unearned income and the NIIT rate from 3.8 percent to 5 percent for the wealthiest Americans

Hunger & Nutrition

Requests a total of $137 million in discretionary funding to address specific commitments made as part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and corresponding

National Strategy

  • This includes funding: to conduct nutrition research; to expand CDC’s State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program to all States and Territories; to improve labeling to empower consumers to make good food choices; to enhance dietary and physical activity guidelines for Americans; and to increase support for senior nutrition programs

Highlighted that the 2023 Farm Bill provides an important opportunity to reconsider strengthening cross enrollment capabilities across Federal Assistance programs and eliminating barriers to food assistance for vulnerable groups


Invests $2.3 billion, an increase of $430 million above the 2023 enacted level, in the Department’s worker protection agencies (e.g. address the misclassification of workers as independent contractors)

Proposes instituting and meaningfully increasing penalties at DOL, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board for employers that violate workplace safety, health, wage and hour, child labor, equal opportunity, and labor organizing rules


Includes $230 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program to strengthen maritime freight capacity on top of the $450 million in the Bipartisan Infrastructure

Law for 2024

  • Expands on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s already significant investments toward improving the safety and efficiency of the Nation’s rail network

Food Safety

Provides an increase of $102 million above the 2023 enacted level for the USDA

Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for a total of $1.3 billion

Strengthens FDA’s ability to ensure that food is safe, particularly for infants and children

Invests in enhanced inspections of food manufacturing facilities, including infant formula facilities, and requires enhanced testing and reporting for Cronobacter contamination

Requires increased environmental monitoring with reporting to FDA

Invests in food supply chain continuity and FDA’s smarter food safety initiative to strengthen data access and analysis capabilities to better target inspections

What are the next steps? The release covers the main budget proposal and some high-level agency figures but the more granular details, such as agency justifications, will be released by agencies individually. FDAUSTR, and USDA have released their justifications.

In Congress, committees have started to meet to discuss their own budget requests. House Ag Committee approved their bipartisan budget views and estimates letter, focusing on the economic benefits of investing in farm bill programs and the need for a strong safety net for farmers. Republicans are expected to present a competing budget in the coming weeks that is expected to cut as much as $150 billion in the upcoming fiscal year from domestic programs.

The House and Senate appropriations subcommittees will be holding hearings on the segments of the budget under their jurisdiction. They will focus on the details of the agencies’ justifications, which provide supporting materials for the budget submission.

Upcoming Hearings

Wednesday, March 15 

  • 10:15 AM EST: Senate Budget hearing to examine the President’s proposed budget request for fiscal year 2024
  • 3:00 PM EST: House Ag Farm Bill Listening Session in Waco, TX hosted by Chairman GT Thompson

Thursday, March 16 

  • 9:30 AM EST: Senate Ag hearing on oversight of the US Department of Agriculture

Contact the Team

Feel free to contact Michael Torrey, Tara Smith, Cassandra Kuball, James Glueck, Barbara Patterson, Katie Naessens, Caroline Snell, Danielle Nelson, Julie McClureJacqueline MuhammadAshley Willits, Perry Harlow, or Tracy Boyle with any questions or comments. 

Food and agricultural organizations that need the right results in Washington, D.C. can trust Torrey Advisory Group to put its relationships, reputation, and expertise to work on your issue. Since 2005, the firm has successfully provided legislative and regulatory guidance, issues management, and association management services to a wide variety of clients. Learn more about us at torreydc.com. 

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