The House this week will debate a package of six spending bills that includes funding for departments and agencies critical to agriculture, and Republicans are pushing for votes on amendments aimed at highlighting key parts of President Joe Biden’s regulatory agenda.

Also this week, top officials from the Food and Drug Administration are scheduled to be grilled at a Senate hearing about their oversight of food safety.

Democrats' legislative agenda is rapidly shrinking with the August recess and fall campaign looming and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., apparently killing Democrats’ hopes for anything but a relatively narrow budget reconciliation bill. Manchin reportedly objects to including anything but some health care measures. That would dash chances for passing new clean energy tax incentives and funding for farm bill conservation programs.

“If the Senate will not move to tackle the climate crisis and strengthen our domestic clean energy industry, I will take strong executive action to meet this moment,” Biden said in a statement on Friday. It’s unclear what he intends to do by executive action; his options are limited without additional authorization and funding from Congress or tax incentives.

Still, House Democratic leaders are aiming to win passage of all their fiscal 2023 spending measures ahead of the August recess, although they have no agreement with the Senate on spending levels, and Senate Republicans have made it clear they won’t agree to a spending deal until after the November elections.

The House Rules Committee meets Monday to decide which amendments will get floor consideration for the first of the FY23 spending packages, which will include the Agriculture and Interior-Environment bills that fund the Agriculture Department, FDA, Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency.

Republicans would like to use the floor debate to put Democrats on the spot on a wide range of issues, and have filed scores of amendments. But most are certain to be scrapped by the Rules panel.

The amendments that have been introduced include one by Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., that would block the Biden administration from continuing to develop a new “waters of the U.S.” rule for defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.

A pair of amendments are aimed at slashing the proposed funding for USDA and FDA. One offered by Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., would cut the USDA-FDA portion of the spending package by 22%. Another one proposed by Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., would make a 5% cut. The $27.2 billion spending provisions for USDA and FDA would provide significant new funding for conservation technical assistance, rural broadband and food safety.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., filed an amendment that would bar the Army Corps of Engineers from doing any work toward breaching dams on the lower Snake River, an issue that has raised alarms among wheat farmers. The National Marine Fisheries Service said in a draft report last week that removal of four dams on the Snake River is “essential” to bringing the river’s imperiled salmon populations back to harvestable levels

Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., is proposing to block the listing of the gray wolf as threatened or endangered.

Wednesday’s FDA hearing in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee comes as FDA is under fire for its role in the infant formula shortage and widespread concerns that food safety isn’t getting enough attention in the agency.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf will be accompanied at the hearing by Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response; Susan Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition; and Michael Rogers, assistant commissioner for human and animal food operations.

The senators also will hear from Brian Ronholm, director of food policy for Consumer Reports, and Sarah Gallo, vice president of product policy for the Consumer Brands Association.

Last week, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., introduced a bill that would move Mayne’s division as well as the Center for Veterinary Medicine and Office of Regulatory Affairs into a new Food Safety Administration.

Durbin isn’t a member of the Appropriations subcommittee.

The global food crisis that has been worsened by soaring market prices and the war in Ukraine gets a focus on Capitol on Wednesday. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will have a hearing with USAID Administrator Samantha Power, UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and UN World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley.

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The hearing comes as negotiations continue to open up Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to export wheat and corn stocks that have been stranded by the war. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed optimism last week that a deal would be struck soon.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have been pressuring Power to act more quickly to deliver food aid to countries most affected by the crisis. Congress passed $10 billion in humanitarian and food aid in separate packages in March and May, but USAID hasn’t spent all of the first tranche and is leaving half the second to the next fiscal year, the senators say.

“Stopping Russia’s military campaign across Ukraine is a security necessity; preventing a large-scale humanitarian crisis prevents global unrest, mass migration, widespread starvation and preserves American safety and prosperity here at home,” the senators wrote.

Also this week, Growth Energy and the EPA are expected to file a consent decree agreement requiring the agency to propose the 2023 renewable volume obligations by no later than Sept. 16 and finalize the targets no later than April 28, 2023.

Here is a list of agriculture- or rural-related events scheduled for this week in Washington and elsewhere (all times EDT):

Monday, July 18

10:30 a.m. — USAID Administrator Samantha Power will deliver a keynote address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, co-hosted by the Eleanor Crook Foundation, on the growing global food security crisis. Livestream is available here: CSIS Event Page

1 p.m. — House Rules Committee meeting to consider a package of six spending bills, Transportation-HUD, Agriculture, Energy-Water, Financial Services, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction.

4 p.m. — USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report. 

Tuesday, July 19

10 a.m. — House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, 2167 Rayburn.

10 a.m. — Farm Foundation forum, “Customer Demand for Environmental Reporting: A Look at Environmental Impact Measurement.”

2 p.m. — House Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing, “Regenerative Agriculture: How Farmers and Ranchers are Essential to Solving Climate Change and Increasing Food Production,” 2154 Rayburn.

Wednesday, July 20

10 a.m. — House Agriculture subcommittee hearing on crop insurance, 1300 Longworth.

10 a.m. — Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety.

10 a.m. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, “Global Food Security Crisis and The U.S. Response,” 419 Dirksen.

Thursday,  July 21

8:30 a.m. — USDA releases Weekly Export Sales report.

10 a.m. — American Enterprise Institute forum, “Can Billions of Dollars in Federal Grants Solve Broadband Access and Availability Throughout the US?” 1789 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Friday, July 22

3 p.m. — USDA releases monthly Cattle on Feed report.

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