Nominations, Farm Bill conservation provisions and disaster aid are all key Ag topics on Capitol Hill this week.
The Senate Ag Committee will hear from the presidentâ€™s USDA nominee for Undersecretary for Trade on Thursday, though Ag Senator Chuck Grassley says Alexis Taylorâ€™s pick took too long. Grassley; â€œAnd this position being open for almost 20-months is a disregard for trade.â€
And what about full Senate confirmation of Doug McKalip for Biden Chief Ag Negotiator? Grassley says; â€œThereâ€™s some talk around here that weâ€™re not going to be in session the two weeks that they originally scheduled. So, this needs to be done, next week.â€
On the House side, a subcommittee hearing on the next farm billâ€™s conservation title, with possible next Ag Chair Glen GT Thompson ready to curtail billions in climate spending if the House flips. Thompson;Â â€œNow I donâ€™t feel bound by the amount of funding or to the specific program allocation passed in the partisan IRA bill. Second, I will not prioritize climate over every other natural resource concern, period.â€
Witnesses like Wheat Growers President Nicole Berg had issues with Natural Resource Conservation Service programs. Berg said;Â â€œThe NRCS programs continue to be oversubscribed, with less than half of all applicants receiving NRCS funding, nationwide.â€
And Shayne Wiese for the National Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Association commented;Â â€œRecently, my familyâ€™s cattle ranch applied to receive EQIP cost share funding, but after months of waiting, we gave up and completed a water infrastructure project, without the assistance of the USDA.â€
Finally, Lawmakers hope to pass a continuing budget resolution, including Ag and other disaster aid, before the end of the fiscal year, September 30, to keep the government operating.