Congressional Democrats will use this week to advocate two main priorities: a multi-trillion dollar climate and infrastructure package and a re-approve child nutrition bill that could increase the number of children enrolled in school and get free meals a year. round.
Also this week, the Senate is due to vote on Monday on the appointment of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as Labor Secretary, who will be responsible for enforcing wage and occupational safety standards and administering the H-2A visa program for imported farm workers .
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Administrator Michael Regan will chair the annual Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit, which will focus on “Climate Risks, Rewards and Uncertainties”. The online conference starts on Monday and lasts until Wednesday.
On Monday, the Supreme Court hears arguments in a dispute over a farm over a California law that gives union officials access to private property for organization purposes.
The Senate Agriculture Committee, expected to propose a child nutrition bill this spring, will hold a hearing on Thursday to help prepare the legislation.
“We need to ensure that children have access to healthy food at breakfast, at lunch and after school, frankly when they are hungry, and that they are not ashamed of food guilt,” said Debbie Stabenow, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee , D. -Me., Said last week during the online conference on Fighting Hunger.
Congress has not approved feeding programs for children since 2010, when the 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Children Act was passed – including the national school feeding and breakfast programs, summer feeding programs, and the Nutritional Aid Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a Democratic Congress , which was legally signed by then President Barack Obama.
The School Nutrition Association and anti-hunger advocates urge Congress to make lunch and breakfast free for all students regardless of income, or at least increase the number of schools with low-income students where meals are available for free.
Nutrition advocates will also campaign for lawmakers to raise nutritional standards for school meals by lowering sodium limits and limiting added sugar for the first time.
Meanwhile, Democrats are also preparing to draft a bill – or a series of bills – to deliver on President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” pledge to pour money into infrastructure and clean energy, with funding through tax hikes should take place. The estimated cost of the package is up to $ 4 trillion.
Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia who is holding a critical vote in the 50:50 Senate, welcomed discussion of breaking the package into pieces so that Democrats could work with Republicans on elements of the spending plan. “It is time we did something non-partisan,” Manchin told reporters last week.
Presumably, the tax increases used to pay for the package would go through the budget voting process that would not require Senate GOP votes.
On Monday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on an infrastructure plan known as the Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act or LIFT America Act, which will be backed by senior House Democrats, including the chairman of the committee, Rep. Frank Pallone, DN. JJ
The bill would approve $ 80 billion for broadband expansion and $ 70 billion for broadband expansion Measures for clean energy infrastructure and energy efficiency; and $ 42 billion for electric vehicle infrastructure, including developing batteries and installing charging stations, and improving ports.
On Thursday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on the Biden administration’s infrastructure priorities.
In the California case that the Supreme Court is considering Monday, Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Co. claim that state law that allows organizers to visit real estate three times a day, 120 days a year, is a “revenue” represents requires compensation. The US 9th Court of Appeals dismissed this position, ruling that there was no takeover as there was no “permanent physical occupation” of the property.
The effects of a decision in favor of the company are hotly debated. Five US Senators speaking out against the corporations said that “expanding the doctrine on Supreme Court revenue would threaten a variety of federal, state, and local public safety and welfare laws that threaten the.” Require government access to private property “.
However, Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Damien Schiff says the ordinance “has nothing to do with ensuring producers comply with health and safety regulations or labor protection laws.” Instead, it is “an unconstitutional gift of access to one.” well-connected non-governmental party that wants to expand its own membership “. PLF represents the petitioners.
Ag groups, including the Western Growers Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation, have filed briefs in support of the companies.
Here is a list of agriculture-related or rural-related events scheduled for this week in Washington and elsewhere (all times EDT):
Monday March 22nd
Fifth annual Agri-Pulse Ag and food policy summit by Wednesday.
10 a.m. – The Supreme Court hears arguments against Hassid at Cedar Point Nursery.
11:00 am – House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on LIFT America Act Infrastructure.
Tuesday March 23rd
10 am – Hearing of the sub-committee for the interior decoration of the house: “Wood innovation: Sustainable forest products to stimulate the rural economy”.
10:00 am – House Subcommittee on Natural Resources Hearing: “Better Degradation: Examining the Future of America’s Public Areas.”
11:00 am – House Transport and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on Implementation of Water Resources Development Act 2020, 2167 Rayburn.
2:00 pm – Consumer Federation of America’s Virtual Food Policy series, “A New Day at USDA for Food Safety?”
Wednesday March 24th
2:00 p.m. – House Budget Subcommittee on Rural Economy hearing with Farm Credit System Insurance Corp. Chairs. and the Farm Credit Administration.
2:30 p.m. – Senate subcommittee on energy and natural resources hearing on western water infrastructure. 366 Dirksen.
Thursday March 25th
9:00 a.m. – USDA publishes monthly Food Price Outlook.
9:30 am – Senate Agriculture Committee hearing to re-approve child nutrition programs. 106 Dirksen.
11:00 am – House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on Biden Administration’s infrastructure priorities, 2167 Rayburn.
Hearing of the Noon – House Agriculture Committee to review the condition of the black farmers.
Friday March 26th
8:30 am – USDA publishes weekly export sales report.
2:00 p.m. – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks to a National Press Club virtual headlining event.
Steve Davies contributed to this report.
You can find more news at www.Agri-Pulse.com