In a victory for progressives, House Democrats delayed passage of a bipartisan infrastructure deal as President Joe Biden also insisted Friday on passage of a more ambitious package of social spending and climate priorities. He conceded privately that the latter plan would be cut significantly.
The huge budget reconciliation bill that Democrats are trying to agree on would reshape a large section of the farm bill ahead of schedule, angering farm-state Republicans who fear it will be difficult to alter the dramatically increased spending allocations for conservation programs.
Over 2.5 million out of 3.9 million acres submitted have been accepted by USDA in this year’s Grassland Conservation Reserve Program enrollment, with additional priority zones for elk migratory paths and the Dust Bowl region.
Key USDA watershed programs that fund agricultural waste management, water quality, and flood prevention projects would get $918 million through the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package awaiting a final House vote.
The Agriculture Department is taking new steps to shore up the dairy industry by putting $400 million into the distribution of surplus dairy products to needy families while also boosting payments to farmers under the Dairy Margin Coverage program.
Democrats on the Senate Agriculture Committee have started meeting privately to start dividing up $135 billion in new spending that would be authorized by the partisan, fiscal 2022 budget resolution the Senate is considering.
Senate Democrats released a fiscal 2022 budget resolution that calls for $3.5 trillion in new spending, including as much as $135 billion for agriculture and child nutrition programs, funded largely by a border carbon tariff and tax increases on capital gains and high-earning individuals.