Senate negotiators look to finalize and advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill this week, while the House debates a package of appropriations that would sharply increase funding for USDA, EPA and other departments and agencies important to agriculture.
Now that farmers and the companies and consultants who support them have embraced the need for field-level data collection and have adopted myriad methods for gathering it, ag leaders say the industry has reached the critical juncture of figuring out what to do with all that information.
The House Agriculture Committee unanimously advanced a bipartisan bill Wednesday authorizing $43 billion to expand rural broadband service nationwide by dramatically increasing USDA's expiring loan and grant program.
A recent broadband coverage map released by the White House further illustrates rural America is in dire need of faster internet speeds, but at least one rural state is doing better than most, thanks to a commitment by local providers.
The House is pressing ahead with a partisan infrastructure bill this week at the same time there is uncertainty about the future of a freshly minted, $1.2 trillion agreement between President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators.
A bipartisan infrastructure deal that President Joe Biden is endorsing would provide a dramatic increase in spending for rural broadband while also pouring new money into roads and bridges and U.S. waterway improvements.
President Joe Biden this week releases his first full budget, detailing both his short-term and long-term spending priorities, while he remains far apart from Senate Republicans on a deal around infrastructure spending.
The Senate Finance Committee is focusing today on how to fund a massive infrastructure package. The witnesses at today's hearing will include Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, who will be offering some options for structuring funding mechanisms.