Congress Races Again to Avert a Government Shutdown, USDA Nominees to Advance

Congress is again racing to avert a government shutdown at midnight Friday, while also looking to confirm three presidential picks for top posts at USDA.

It’s another stopgap bid to keep the government from shutting down, this time through December 16, well after the midterm elections. Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley; “Government can’t shut down, so we’re going to be operating for the next few weeks under a continuing resolution, which means, continued spending now at the level we had in the present fiscal year.”

Barring one possible hurdle according to Grassley is; “A Senator Manchin amendment to speed up permitting for infrastructure projects, that is controversial. But whether that ends up being in the bill, I don’t think that’s going to keep us from passing a continuing resolution.”

And one, key for rural and other areas. Grassley; “For the typical disasters that we have, from hurricanes, floods, derechos, things of that nature, I don’t think there’s any doubt that it’s going to be.”

American Farm Bureau Federation’s Emily Buckman on the broader bill; “Monies for Ukraine, the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, Afghan refugees, a whole suit of riders that might be attached.”

Separately, Senate Ag did advance Biden nominees Alexis Taylor for Undersecretary for Trade, Jose Emilio Esteban for Undersecretary for Food Safety, and Vincent Garfield Logan for the Farm Credit board on Tuesday, with the goal of final Senate confirmation by the end of the week.