Senate Agriculture advances USDA Deputy Secretary nomination
On Wednesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted to advance the nomination of Xochitl Torres Small to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) following her nomination hearing last week. Torres Small, who currently serves as the USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development, has received bipartisan support from the Agriculture Committee. Her nomination will now go to the full Senate for consideration.
House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee approves bill
This week, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee released its text for the fiscal year 2024. The bill would reduce USDA funding through cuts to climate programs, restrictions on the Secretary’s ability to use the Commodity Credit Corporation, and by expanding work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It included small increases in funding for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Food Safety Inspection Service as well as maintained funding for the Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency.
On Thursday, the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee marked up and approved the bill. During the markup, Subcommittee Chair Andy Harris (R-MD) discussed how the bill prioritizes the key functions of USDA and fiscal responsibility. Subcommittee Ranking Member Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Full Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-NY) said cutting spending would harm rural America and producers. The bill will now go to the full Appropriations Committee for markup.
Agriculture Committee hearings this week
On Tuesday, the House Agriculture Committee Forestry Subcommittee held a hearing with Chief of the U.S. Forest Service to discuss the National Forest System. A recording of the hearing can be found here.
On Wednesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee held a hearing on rural broadband. A recording of the hearing can be found here.
On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee held a hearing on animal agriculture stakeholder priorities. A recording of the hearing can be found here.