Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 8.1

August 1, 2022


Contents

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

Big Picture Outlook

Appropriations

On Thursday, Senate Democrat appropriators released all twelve fiscal year 2023 appropriations bills including a $195 billion bill to fund the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration. With $27.1 billion in discretionary funding, the ag bill is a $2.3 billion increase over last year, but falls short of the White House’s original proposal. The draft bills were introduced without reaching a bipartisan agreement on funding levels and largely without the endorsement of Senate Republicans. Moving forward, it is unlikely that the House and Senate will be able to reconcile bill differences prior to the Sept. 30 deadline, which means that Congress is expected to put forward a continuing resolution to keep the government funded at least until after the November mid-term election.

McKalip Nomination Hearing

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing Thursday to consider Doug McKalip, President Biden’s nominee to be chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Throughout the hearing, McKalip noted that he would make expanding market access a top priority, regardless of the nature by which the administration engages on trade policy. McKalip emphasized his commitments to address issues with both Mexico and Canada on USMCA, achieving wins for ag exporters through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and holding China accountable for its unfair trade practices. While McKalip faced some heat from Republicans, his nomination is largely expected to be considered by the Committee and full Senate later this fall.

Budget Reconciliation

Last Wednesday evening, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced a deal had been reached with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on a budgetreconciliation package, also known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The package includes $739 billion dollars of revenue raised through various methods, including increased corporate taxes ($313 billion), prescription drug reform ($288 billion), IRS tax enforcement ($124 billion), and closing the carried interest loophole ($14 billion). The package includes nearly $40 billion in agriculture spending, including over $20 billion for climate-smart agriculture and conservation, $14 billion for rural development, and $5 billion for forestry. With the narrowest of margins in the Senate, and no Republican support for the legislation, Manchin’s support was essential as Democrats work to move this bill across the finish line. Now, the focus will turn to another Democrat who has been historically vocal about capping federal spending, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Moving forward, Sen. Schumer has signaled votes could happen as early as this week, but many remain skeptical due to process hurdles with moving a budget reconciliation bill in the Senate and the need for perfect attendance among Democrat senators who have seen a recent uptick in COVID- and other medical-related absences.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, August 2 

  • 3:00 PM EST: Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights holds a hearing to examine antitrust remedies, focusing on solutions to foster competitive markets.

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

A Quick Look Back

“Biden-Harris Administration Announces $401 Million for High-Speed Internet Access in Rural Areas” USDA

“USDA Extends Flexibility that’s Helping Manufacturers, States get Formula to WIC Families” USDA

“Biden-Harris Administration Announces $1 Billion in Community Wildfire Defense Grants from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” USDA

“Crop Insurance Performance by Crop Persists Over Time” farmdocDaily

“Deadline Extended and More Pre-Filled Forms For 2020 and 2021 Disasters on the Way” USDA FSA

“U.S. Senate Democratic Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Plan Faces Questions” Reuters

“Democrat Wildfire Bill Misses the Mark”House Ag Committee

“Scott Introduces Bill to Help Small Cattle Producers” Beef Magazine


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