On Tuesday it was announced Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), and House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) have reached an agreement for topline funding levels for the fiscal year 2023. The federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR) set to expire on Dec. 16. On Wednesday evening, the House voted to extend the CR through Dec. 23 as negotiations continue.
Ag Labor and Immigration Legislation Update
Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) have been working for months on a compromise to the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA), but this past week it was announced that Sen. Crapo walked away from negotiations and will no longer be continuing the effort as the Republican leadership. At this time, Sen. Bennet still plans to move forward with the legislation. The House passed the FWMA in March 2021 on a bipartisan 247-174 vote. Since then, the legislation has been held up in the Senate, where it would need ten Republican votes, as well as the entire Democratic Caucus’ support to pass. The current legislation being proposed would include wage stabilization, limitations to employer liability, increases for year-round visas, and E-Verify provisions. Floor consideration and the path forward are extremely uncertain at this time.
USDA Announces $325 Million in Awards for Climate-Smart Commodities PartnershipsOn Monday, Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $325 million in awards for 71 projects through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities effort. This effort is aimed at expanding markets for America’s climate-smart commodities; leveraging the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production; and providing direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers. In September, USDA announced $2.8 billion in awards for 70 projects through this effort. The list of projects receiving funding can be found here.