Ag Policy Blog

A Busy Week Ahead for Agriculture in Washington

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
As Congress turns its attention to appropriations bills, a bill in the Senate to continue funding the government after September 30 will not have language in it to extend some farm-bill programs, a spokesperson for the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee stated Friday. This week is expected to start a busy stretch in Washington.

With the Senate Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2024 on the Senate floor and three ag-related groups holding events in Washington, this will be a busy week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has also filed cloture to proceed with the "minibus" of three appropriations bills: the Agriculture and FDA bill and the military construction and transportation and housing bills.

Perhaps the most controversial issue on the Ag apropos bill will be the provision for funding the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., have pledged to provide enough funding to make sure that all eligible families will be served.

But the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said, "The Senate is set to consider next week a bill that funds WIC. Disappointingly, it doesn't include enough funding for WIC to keep providing current food benefits to all eligible applicants. More is needed to ensure no one who is eligible is turned away."

Last week Murray and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, submitted the minibus and it was published in the Congressional Record.

Separately, the Continuing Resolution that congressional leaders are planning to use to fund the government after the fiscal year ends on September 30 will include "anomalies" for USDA that the Biden administration has requested, not an extension of some farm bill programs, a spokesman for Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said Friday.

The White House has published a full list of its requests for anomalies, which are differences from extending the current funding levels, which are the normal levels in continuing resolutions.

The House returns Tuesday as well. According to the schedule released by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., the main item of business scheduled to come to the House floor is the fiscal year 2024 Defense appropriations bill beginning Wednesday.

The House Rules Committee has scheduled a business meeting on the Defense appropriations bill at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Neither House Rules nor Scalise said anything about the fiscal year House Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration bill that failed to make it out of the Rules Committee before the August recess.

Meanwhile, the National Farmers Union is scheduled to begin its fly-in to Washington on Monday as well. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small and other USDA officials are scheduled to speak to the Farmers Union members this morning at USDA.

On Tuesday the Consumer Federation of America holds its annual National Food Policy Conference in Washington. Vilsack and Rachel Levine, the Health and Human Services assistant secretary for health, are scheduled to speak.

Also on Tuesday, the International Fresh Produce Association is scheduled to begin its annual Washington conference, which continues through Friday. Agriculture Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt is scheduled to give the keynote address at the meeting on Wednesday and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa., are scheduled to speak at breakfast on Thursday.

White House Section 123 Apportionments Under Continuing Resolution…


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the National Turkey Federation and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council late Friday praised the resolution of the dispute between the United States and India over India's tariffs on certain U.S. farm products.

The agreement came as President Biden met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Trade Representative Katherine Tai said, "Resolving this last outstanding WTO dispute represents an important milestone in the U.S.-India trade relationship, while reducing tariffs on certain U.S. products enhances crucial market access for American agricultural producers."

"These announcements, combined with Prime Minister Modi's state visit in June and President Biden's trip to New Delhi this week, underscores the strength of our bilateral partnership," Tai said. "I look forward to continuing to work with Minister Goyal to deliver inclusive economic opportunities for our people."

Tai said India agreed to reduce tariffs on certain U.S. products, including frozen turkey, frozen duck, fresh blueberries and cranberries, frozen blueberries and cranberries, dried blueberries and cranberries, processed blueberries and cranberries, chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts, apples, boric acid, and diagnostic reagents.

Vilsack said in a news release, "Today's announcement, leading into President Biden's participation in the G20 leaders' summit in New Delhi, follows the lifting of India's retaliatory tariffs on U.S. apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds and walnuts, a development that had been announced earlier this summer and took effect this week."

"While important progress has been made, significant tariff and nontariff barriers to American agricultural products accessing the Indian market remain. I look forward to continuing to work with Ambassador Tai to address these barriers and strengthen the trade relationship between the United States and India."

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport


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