The Environmental Protection Agency proposed Friday only a minimal increase in U.S. biofuel usage, reflecting modest growth in production of next-generation cellulosic ethanol, and the decision was immediately slammed by biodiesel producers.
The House Ways and Means Committee advanced a tax bill that would extend the biodiesel tax credit and other items related to blending infrastructure and wind, but the legislation will face objections in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Senate Republicans are expressing optimism that President Donald Trump will sign a fiscal 2019 spending agreement that would avert another partial government shutdown and fund USDA, the Interior Department and agencies such as EPA and FDA through Sept. 30.
Congressional negotiators are struggling to close a deal that could increase border security funding while funding USDA, FDA and other agencies important to agriculture for the rest of fiscal 2019 and provide disaster aid for farmers hit by the 2018 hurricanes.
With a new farm bill enacted and trade wars ongoing, the eyes of U.S. agriculture will shift to the Senate Finance Committee, where farm groups will have a critical ally at the top in new Chairman Chuck Grassley and several more in the panel’s membership.
Lawmakers face a packed agenda when the new Congress begins on Thursday, starting with finding a resolution to the government shutdown that hit USDA, the Interior Department and other departments and agencies in December.
Farm bill negotiators plan to roll out the eagerly anticipated details of their agreement early this week with an eye toward getting the legislation to President Donald Trump's desk ahead of a showdown over his demands for funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall.