Cabinet members will be back on Capitol Hill this week, this time in the Senate, where they will face questions as lawmakers and appropriators mull 2023 budgets for the federal agencies.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday will appear before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for a hearing on budget priorities for DOT, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for a hearing on resources and authorities needed to protect the country.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will also have a hearing on the fiscal 2023 budget with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
The Senate’s Appropriations Committee will host a slew of budget hearings this week, reviewing the budget proposals for the Forest Service, Energy Department, Homeland Security Department and the Health and Human Services Department.
Elsewhere in the Senate, broadband executives and advocates will testify before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee on preparing and supporting the broadband workforce.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is pushing for quick action on President Joe Biden’s $33 billion supplemental request for aid to Ukraine. Biden’s request includes $500 million in incentives and increased loan rates to encourage U.S. farmers to increase the production of crops like soybeans and wheat to help alleviate global food shortages.
Schumer said last week he would “make sure the Senate prioritizes this important funding package so we can get help to the Ukrainian people fast."
Biden, in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said it will “build countries' resilience to global food supply and price shocks, and provide lifesaving aid to people displaced by or otherwise impacted by Russia's War in Ukraine,” and “support the production of United States food crops that are experiencing a global shortage due to the war in Ukraine, for example, wheat and soybeans helping to address rising food prices here at home and around the world."
Samantha Powers, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said on ABC's This Week on Sunday that the food aid funding included in the bill also was critical.
"We really do need this financial support from the Congress to meet emergency food needs so we done’t see the cascading, deadly effects of Russia’s war extend into Africa and beyond,” she said.
The House, meanwhile, is not in session this week, but a conference on sprawling legislation to increase U.S. competitiveness on the global stage is set to formally begin.
The Senate on Thursday passed 67-27 a motion from Schumer to begin the conference, the last step in initiating the negotiations.
House sponsors of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act are hoping to see that bill be included in the conference, so the provisions dropped in the Senate-passed version can be negotiated back in.
South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson, a lead GOP sponsor in the House, said on Agri-Pulse Newsmakers it’s “far more likely that we’re going to reach some middle ground in a larger package like the China bill than we’ll just take the Senate package on its own.”
At USDA, a deadline is approaching for farmers to apply for the first round of funding in the new Climate-Smart Commodities program.
Here is a list of agriculture- or rural-related events scheduled for this week in Washington and elsewhere (all times EDT):
Monday, May 2
National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Washington Watch, through Wednesday.
4 p.m. — USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report.
Tuesday, May 3
9 a.m. — World Resources Institute holds a webinar on visualizing and analyzing integrated deforestation reports.
9:30 a.m. — Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee hearing on preparing and supporting the broadband workforce. 430 Dirksen.
10 a.m. — Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on the fiscal 2023 budget for DOT with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 253 Russell.
Wednesday, May 4
9:30 a.m. — Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies hearing examining the proposed budget estimates and justification for HHS. 138 Dirksen.
10 a.m. — Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security hearing examining the proposed budget estimates and justification for DHS. 106 Dirksen.
10 a.m. — Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies hearing examining proposed fiscal 2023 budget estimates and justification for the Forest Service. 124 Dirksen.
10 a.m. — Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development hearing on fiscal 2023 proposed budget estimates and justification for the Energy Department. 192 Dirksen.
2:30 p.m. — Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on resources and authorities needed to protect the homeland with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 342 Dirksen.
10 a.m. — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will speak at the Center for American Progress on building a fairer tax system.
Noon — Resources for the Future hosts a webinar, “Working Forests: A Path to Climate Solutions.”
Thursday, May 5
8:30 a.m. — USDA releases Weekly Export Sales report.
10 a.m. — Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on fiscal 2023 budget request for the Energy Department with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. 366 Dirksen.
Friday, May 6
Application deadline for large-scale proposals for USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program.
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