Key House Republican groups have reached agreement on a month-long stop-gap spending bill that includes tougher border security measures. But the Democratic-controlled Senate is certain to reject the measure, so a government shutdown is still possible in October. 

The continuing resolution reflects a deal between the GOP Main Street and Freedom caucuses and a “broad cross-section of other members from across the Republican conference,” according to a Main Street Caucus statement Sunday.

Some House Republicans have been openly predicting a government shutdown next month amid the party’s divisions over a continuing resolution that’s needed to keep agencies funded when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

“I am expecting a shutdown,” Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., told ABC News’ This Week on Sunday. She downplayed the impact, noting that many essential government functions would continue, even if Congress doesn’t pass a continuing resolution by Sept. 30.

But, but, but: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Fox News that shutting down the government was a losing strategy for Republicans. “I’ve been through shutdowns, and I’ve never seen somebody win a shutdown. Because when you shut down, you give all the power to the administration.”

By the way: Mace also said she expects McCarthy to survive any intraparty challenge to his leadership that occurs. “I do think he will continue to be speaker, but I do think it’s going to be a long, a long rest of the year,” she said.

Don’t miss: Nothing has been publicly announced yet, but USDA is moving forward with plans to pump $2.5 billion into foreign market promotion efforts and international foreign aid. The money will come out of the Commodity Credit Corporation and relieve some budget pressure on farm bill writers. Read our report here.

McKalip heads to Oakland port to emphasize labor agreement

Chief U.S. Agricultural Trade Negotiator Doug McKalip is heading to the Port of Oakland this week following ratification of a new six-year labor contract for union workers at West Coast ports by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.

President Biden gave the Labor Department some credit for the deal that ended uncertainty at the ports that ship a wide range of ag commodities. And McKalip made the same point Friday at an event hosted by the International Fresh Produce Association.

“For me it is a joy to see the Department of Labor get the West Coast port situation resolved,” he said.

Oakland is key to farmers’ ability to ship almonds, walnuts, rice, hay and many other commodities to Asia and around the globe.

Senators introduce ag and rural cybersecurity bills

Sens. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., have introduced two bills aimed at helping prevent cyberattacks on rural and agricultural businesses.

The Cybersecurity for Rural Water Systems Act would add cybersecurity assessments and protocols to the Agriculture Department’s Circuit Rider Program, which provides technical assistance to rural water systems. Only about 20% of water and wastewater systems across the U.S. have some form of cyber protection, according to a press release from Rounds’ office

The Food and Agriculture Industry Cybersecurity Support Act would create a hub to help agricultural producers obtain cybersecurity technology and hardware within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. 

FDA could take samples at CAFOs under new bill

New legislation would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to conduct microbial sampling at concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

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Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., have introduced the Expanded Food Safety Investigation Act, which would allow for the sampling “as necessary to facilitate a foodborne illness outbreak investigation, determine the root cause of an outbreak of foodborne illness, or address other public health needs.”

The lawmakers cited connections between cattle operations and contamination of lettuce in past foodborne illness outbreaks.

Mitzi Baum, CEO of Stop Foodborne Illness, said “the fact that these officials do not have access defies logic and flies in the face of consumer protection and food safety. Regulatory authorities must have access to these farms to conduct root cause analysis investigation.” 

Customs finds fiendish new use for ice cream machines

Ice cream machines unpacked by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Puerto Rico contained ingredients that should never be included in frosty summer treats. Officers say they discovered 71 pounds of cocaine in six of the machines being sent on a ferry from the Dominican Republic.

“Our CBP officers use technology, as well as their training and expertise to discover the concealment methods and avoid these dangerous drugs from reaching our communities,” said Roberto Vaquero, director of field operations for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. CBP estimated the street value for the cocaine at $768,000.

Philip Brasher, Jacqui Fatka, Bill Tomson and Noah Wicks contributed to this report

Send comments to Associate Editor Steve Davies.