The Senate late Thursday easily cleared the bill suspending the debt ceiling, 63-36. Forty-six Democrats and 17 Republicans voted for the bill. 

No one gets everything they want in a negotiation, but make no mistake: this bipartisan agreement is a big win for our economy and the American people,” President Biden said in a statement after the vote. Read our coverage here

SNAP work rules ‘settled,’ Stabenow says

House Republicans are now saying they may take another look at tightening SNAP work requirements, but Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow tells Agri-Pulse the issue is settled and won’t be addressed again in the upcoming farm bill. 

“We’ll have discussions but what’s been agreed to has been agreed to. As far as I’m concerned, this piece is settled. We have a lot of other issues in the farm bill to address,” said the Michigan Democrat.   

Under the agreement between Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the age limit for SNAP work rules is being raised to 54, but there will be new exemptions from the requirements for veterans, homeless people, and young adults aging out of the foster-care system. The provisions are a key part of legislation to increase the debt ceiling. 

Keep in mind: Republicans were put on the defensive when the Congressional Budget Office estimated those SNAP provisions would increase – not cut – SNAP participation. House Ag Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson disputes the CBO cost estimate. But after the Wednesday night vote on the debt deal, he also wasn’t ruling out using the farm bill to revisit the new exemptions

Cramer likes permitting reform language in debt deal

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., tells Agri-Pulse the permitting reform measures in the debt ceiling bill are “pretty significant.” He points specifically to deadlines for federal agencies to complete National Environmental Policy Act reviews and a provision to enforce those deadlines by going to court. “My oil guys in North Dakota are really impressed with it,” Cramer said. 

The legislation requires agencies to complete environmental assessments within one year and be no more than 75 pages. Environmental impact statements, which are generally done for more complex projects, get two years and 150 pages.

Keep in mind: Cramer also wants to see Congress tackle comprehensive permitting reform and require expedited judicial review for NEPA challenges.

USDA sets action plan for federal milk marketing order reforms

USDA has laid out an action plan to move toward a national hearing based on the National Milk Producers Federation proposal to overhaul the federal milk marketing orders. The first step is a pre-hearing scheduled in two weeks on June 16, setting up a potential full hearing on Aug. 23. 

“Dairy producers have proven throughout this process that, with unity and careful attention to each other’s needs, we can achieve impressive things,” says NMPF Chairman Randy Mooney, a dairy farmer near Rogersville, Missouri. “Dairy’s strength comes from its farms, and producers ready to face challenges and seize opportunities.” 

Take note: The industry remains divided over what USDA should do. Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, the third largest cooperative in the country in terms of milk volume, said the hearing should be delayed until after the farm bill discussion. The International Dairy Foods Association has a significantly different proposal before USDA. 

Lawmakers push USTR for action on Mexico’s GM corn ban

U.S. lawmakers are losing patience with the continued delay by the Biden administration in deciding whether to formally challenge Mexico’s dispute ban on genetically modified white corn. 

The U.S. and Mexico held preliminary sanitary and phytosanitary discussions under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement without a resolution and now the U.S. must decide whether to call for a dispute process.

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“Mexico’s failure to adhere to its agricultural commitments under USMCA must be addressed with the same vigor that USTR has approached other aspects of the agreement, including labor,” 62 House members say in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. “USMCA must be enforced in its entirety.”

New state tax credit could boost E15 sales

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen has signed into law a bill that’s aimed at expanding the availability of E15 through tax credits for fuel retailers.

American Coalition for Ethanol Chief Marketing Officer Ron Lamberty hopes other states will follow Nebraska’s example and use the legislation as a template to encourage retailers to offer higher ethanol blends. He also called on legislators at the national level to pass the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act which provides permanent, nationwide access to E15.

Lamberty believes the law will encourage more Nebraska stations to start selling E15.

They’ve moved: USDA Farmers Market opens at new site

The USDA Farmers Market opens for the summer season today at a new location closer to the Washington Monument. The new site is on Independence Avenue at 14th Street SW. 

“It's just a really great opportunity to connect with farmers here in the area, as well as other local food producers,” Jenny Lester Moffit, USDA’s undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, says in an interview for this week’s Agri-Pulse Newsmakers. 

Newsmakers will be available today at

He said it. “I'm sure that there will be continued efforts by some powerful special interests to limit this, but I believe that what we've done has been validated in the marketplace.” – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., saying he expects further attacks on the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax incentives. The measures survived GOP efforts to kill them as part of the debt limit negotiations, but Wyden says there is strong investor interest in the incentives.