Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he’ll make sure the Treasury Department understands the importance of stepped-up basis to farm groups. Vilsack was pressed about that issue during an appearance Wednesday before the House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee.
House Democrats hold a fragile majority in Congress, and and party moderates, many in rural districts, say they hold the key to keeping that majority in 2022 because of their connection with Republican voters.
Former Sen. Bob Dole, who is 97, starts treatment on Monday for stage four lung cancer. “While I certainly have some hurdles ahead. I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own,” Dole said in a statement he posted Thursday.
The Department of Agriculture expects U.S. farm exports to hit a record $157 billion for fiscal 2021, an increase of $21 billion over the year before, as the global economy recovers and China increases its already strong demand for U.S. corn, soybeans and meat.
Tom Vilsack’s return to USDA has been on hold for reasons because of delays in getting the 50-50 Senate organized. But incoming Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow tells Agri-Pulse she hopes to get Vilsack’s nomination for agriculture secretary approved “as soon as possible” once she takes over the committee.
The House Agriculture Committee is adding seven new Republican members. All but one, Texas Rep. Michael Cloud, are first-term members. The others: Kat Cammack of Florida, Randy Feenstra of Iowa, Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota, Tracy Mann of Kansas, Mary Miller of Illinois and Barry Moore of Alabama.
President-elect Joe Biden is out with a $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal that includes some significant new food assistance provisions, including an extension through the summer of the 15% increase in SNAP benefits provided by the COVID aid package enacted in December.