Business groups and congressional Republicans are ready to remake the administrative state following the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision overruling the Chevron doctrine, the 40-year-old precedent that required courts to defer to federal agencies in interpreting ambiguous laws. 

On Capitol Hill, the conservative Republican Study Committee issued a memo ahead of the decision saying that House committees “have an opportunity to review any regulatory action that was justified by Chevron deference toward agency interpretation.”

President Biden’s regulatory agenda “has impacted everything from the economy to America’s energy and agricultural production to Title IX,” the RSC staff memo says. “Each House committee should scour Biden-era regulatory actions and highlight any that should be considered for judicial review post-Chevron. Similarly, House conservatives should seek opportunities to advocate for Congress to repeal or defund such regulations.”

Take note: A National Association of Home Builders official told the Washington Post he would be sending the opinion to a federal judge overseeing litigation in Texas challenging the Biden administration’s “waters of the U.S. rule” to “remind the court now there is no deference to the agency.”

Numerous critics of the decision, however, say Congress is not up to the task of crafting specific regulations. Dissenting Justice Elena Kagan said the decision “gives courts the power to make all manner of scientific and technical judgments.”

“What actions can be taken to address climate change or other environmental challenges? What will the nation’s health-care system look like in the coming decades?” she asked.  

“In every sphere of current or future federal regulation, expect courts from now on to play a commanding role,” Kagan said. “It is not a role Congress has given to them, in the [Administrative Procedure Act] or any other statute. It is a role this court has now claimed for itself, as well as for other judges.”

U.S. dairy scores win: Chile agrees to use of product names

The Biden administration says it has reached an agreement with the government of Chile that will ensure continued market access of specialty cheese and meat products from the United States.

The U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Chilean Undersecretary of International Economic Relations Claudia Sanhueza have exchanged letters that the USTR says “ensures that current and future U.S. exporters of certain cheeses and meats will continue to be able to use those terms in Chile going forward.” 

The text of the letters wasn’t released, but the issue stems from a Chilean trade agreement with the European Union that includes protections for geographic indicators claimed by the EU. Those names typically include products like Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. The letters are expected to detail the products exempted from the GI protections in the EU-Chile trade deal. 

Take note: A source familiar with the U.S.-Chile agreement says it won’t just apply to existing exporters to Chile but will cover future exporters as well. 

“This represents an important strengthening of our bilateral trading relationship, and will provide real and tangible benefits for American agricultural producers and Chilean consumers,” Tai says in a statement.

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By the way: USDA also should have more news for the U.S. dairy industry today. Today’s the deadline for the department to release its proposal for reforming federal milk marketing orders. The plan is expected to overhaul the pricing formula for milk while also updating make allowances, the deduction for processor manufacturing costs. 

Avian flu spreads to two more herds in Iowa

The announcement of two more infected herds in Sioux County, Iowa, brings to 13 the number of herds in the state in which H5N1 has been detected. Most of those herds are in Sioux County.

The announcement by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship came two days after the state’s congressional delegation called on USDA to do more for dairy and poultry farmers. USDA has tapped more than $800 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to reimburse farmers for testing and the lost value of milk production, as well as for implementation of biosecurity measures.

Iowa Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, along with the rest of Iowa’s congressional delegation, called for a streamlined process for reimbursement and compensation for culled cattle. In a call with reporters Thursday, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department is comfortable with the level of assistance being provided, which includes – as the letter requested – compensation for up to 90% of the value of lost milk production, but no reimbursement for culled livestock.

According to USDA’S Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, more than 130 infected herds have been found in 12 states since that first herd was confirmed in Texas in late March.

Study evaluating irrigation alternatives, if Snake River dams breached

The Bureau of Reclamation has begun an analysis on future supplies of water that could offset the lost access irrigators could face should four dams along the Snake River be breached.

In a public meeting last week, agency officials laid out a timeframe for the report. The agency plans to hold information sessions, interviews and site visits in June and July, and roll out sections of the study throughout the summer and fall.

A draft report should be available by December. The final report is slated for mid-2025.

Take note: The study stems from a $1 billion agreement that’s aimed at resolving a longstanding legal dispute over salmon declines along the river.

Philip Brasher and Noah Wicks contributed to today’s Daybreak