Congressional Democrats will use this week to build their case for two major priorities, a multi-trillion dollar climate and infrastructure package, and a child nutrition reauthorization bill that could be used to increase the number of kids getting free meals.
The Senate is set to OK President Joe Biden’s nominees for Interior secretary and U.S. Trade Representative this week, while the House looks to jump-start a congressional debate over immigration reform and farm labor.
Many ag jobs got designated “essential” at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, masks and other safety precautions have become common in fields and packing houses. Food continues to move from the farm to the consumer. But impacts on the people making that happen have been significant.
Democrats win Senate approval of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package after modifying some provisions to assuage party moderates but preserving historic debt relief for minority farmers that Republicans tried to strip from the bill.
A key Republican says the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill Democrats are pushing through the Senate will lead to automatic cuts in farm programs and other forms of federal spending. Sen. John Boozman, the top Republican on the Senate Ag Committee, is referring to the Congressional Budget Office’s determination that the legislation would trigger the budget sequestration process under the 2011 budget law.
Labor advocates and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., called for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19 that likely would require employers to adopt programs to prevent transmission in their workplaces.