Rod Snyder has been picked to be the Environmental Protection Agency’s new agriculture adviser, and former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small has been confirmed by the Senate to become the Agriculture Department’s undersecretary for rural development.
We now have the details on the $28 billion plan that Democrats have developed for funding climate-smart agriculture. According to a summary circulating on Capitol Hill and obtained by Agri-Pulse, the plan features a new $5 billion program to provide direct payments to farmers who plant cover crops.
The Senate passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill that would provide $550 billion in new funding to repair America’s roads, bridges ports and waterways, while dramatically increasing high-speed internet access.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is set to hold a vote this morning on the nominations of Robert Bonnie to be USDA’s Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm Production and Conservation and Xochitl Torres Small for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development.
Robert Bonnie, President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee USDA’s farm and conservation programs, insisted Thursday that the administration has the legal authority to use the Commodity Credit Corp. to incentivize climate-friendly farming practices.
The Biden administration is filling Senate-confirmed positions at the Agriculture Department at a slow pace similar to Donald Trump’s first year in office and well behind the rate at which Barack Obama stocked his sub-Cabinet positions.
The $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that Senate Democrats are putting together could have significant implications for agriculture when it comes to taxes and climate policy. One aspect to watch: A proposed border adjustment tax on carbon.