The top Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee is alleging the Biden administration improperly revised financial incentives to lure lenders to apply for the Conservation Reserve Program and that the resulting contracts may turn out to be invalid.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow says she’s “very optimistic” that substantial new funding for farm bill conservation programs will be included in the $3.5 trillion spending agreement that Democrats have announced. Stabenow has been seeking $50 billion in new conservation funding to promote climate-friendly farming practices.
Lawmakers return to work with Senate Democratic leaders determined to move both a bipartisan infrastructure package as well as an even bigger, partisan reconciliation bill ahead of the long August recess.
The beef industry will face scrutiny this week from senators who are under pressure to curb the pricing power of big meatpackers, while the full Senate is nearing a vote on a bill to accelerate the development of ag carbon markets.
The Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday easily approved the nomination of Janie Simms Hipp, a long-time agricultural law specialist and member of the Chickasaw Nation, to become the Agriculture Department's general counsel.
A veteran senior Senate staffer, Fitzhugh Elder, will be taking over as GOP staff director for the Senate Agriculture Committee next month, sources tell Agri-Pulse. He will replace Martha Scott Poindexter, who’s moving to the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
Climate and infrastructure continue to be front and center on Capitol Hill. The Senate Finance Committee will debate a package of clean energy tax incentives today, while Republicans prepare a new counter-proposal on infrastructure spending ahead of the upcoming Memorial Day break.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow is working to secure a historic increase in conservation spending as part of a climate and infrastructure package, creating a rift with the panel’s top Republican, who says she is prematurely trying to reshape farm bill programs without GOP input.