Washington, D.C. Update

March 22, 2024
USDA and EPA appropriations bills signed into law

On Saturday, President Biden signed into law a six-bill appropriations package containing the funding bills for both the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fiscal year (FY) 2024. The bill included about $26.3 billion in discretionary funding for USDA and included $1,000,000 for the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service for a project on water-smart rice in Texas. This project was requested by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX). For EPA, the bill includes $9.2 billion in funding. It also directs EPA to consider the best available science when implementing regulations for pesticide licensing and directs EPA to brief the Appropriations Committees on potential revisions to its pesticide rule regarding plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs). It also directed EPA to brief the Appropriations Committees on how the Agency is complying with the recent court decision on its chlorpyrifos rule. The bill text for the appropriations package can be found here. The explanatory report for USDA can be found here and the explanatory report including EPA can be found here, with the EPA section beginning on page 34.

White House releases 2025 Budget Request

On Monday, the White House sent Congress its FY2025 budget request. In total, the budget requested $7.3 trillion in spending across the federal government, an increase of 5.6% over the FY2024 budget request. The budget requested $29.2 billion in funding for USDA and $10.994 billion for EPA, both increases over FY2024 levels but less than what was included in the President’s FY2024 budget request. The budget also outlined the Administration’s priorities for the next farm bill, which included protecting and enhancing investments in conservation programs and opening new market opportunities for U.S. producers. It also includes support for improving the crop insurance program to help producers proactively protect against risk. It also outlined tax proposals to increase revenue to offset the increases in spending, including recommendations to allow the step-up in basis and estate tax provisions to expire at the end of 2025. The full budget request can be found here. The budget request for USDA can be found here and the EPA budget request can be found here.
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