Cory Booker is on a mission to fix what he calls the “broken American food system.” As one of the newest members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, the New Jersey Democrat and vegan is positioned to shape the next farm bill.
Lawmakers are steering $346 million in USDA funding to their home states and districts this year as earmarks returned for the first time since Republicans took control of the House in 2011 and then-President Barack Obama vowed to veto bills that had such designated spending.
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.
It’s now up to the Senate. The House on Friday voted 246-175 to block the newly enacted $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package from triggering deep cuts in government programs. The cuts become automatic if Congress doesn’t waive PAYGO requirements under a 2011 budget law that was intended to limit deficit spending.
House Democrats are gearing up to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act to reform the H-2A visa program and legalize undocumented workers. But the path ahead in the Senate for an ag labor bill is as difficult as ever, especially with the surge of migrants at the border.