Welcome Back from Recess
September 16, 2022
This week, the House of Representatives and Senate are each in session for the primary time for the reason that finish of the August Congressional recess. Although the Senate might be in session for 2 weeks in October, the ultimate weeks of September would be the final main burst of Congressional exercise in Washington, D.C. earlier than all consideration shifts to the upcoming midterm elections. The subsequent a number of weeks are filled with exercise in Congress and the Administration and can go a great distance towards framing the beginning of the 118th Congress and its reauthorization of the farm invoice.
Funding the federal government
Current authorities funding – courtesy of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 (PL 117-103) – will expire on October 1, 2022, giving Congress simply over two weeks to barter, finalize, and approve a Continuing Resolution (CR) with a purpose to stop a authorities shutdown. Congress is presently contemplating a CR by means of mid-December 2022.
Congressional observers know all too effectively that, in idea, CR’s will not be a part of federal appropriations common order. However, in recent times Congress has discovered it more and more difficult to approve all twelve appropriations payments on schedule. Consequently, CR’s have develop into the brand new regular. This yr, the House of Representatives managed to approve six of the twelve fiscal yr (FY) 2023 appropriations payments by means of the House Appropriations Committee and the House flooring. Meanwhile, the Senate has solely been in a position to launch the legislative textual content of its FY2023 appropriations payments.
The House’s FY2023 Agriculture Appropriations invoice – which NSAC analyzed earlier this yr – would significantly improve funding for Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) by greater than $125 million and ramp up funding by $5 million for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension (SARE) program. Many different key packages acquired “flat” funding. The Senate’s FY2023 Agriculture Appropriations invoice equally will increase funding for CTA and SARE, though falls wanting growing investments in some packages, just like the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. Our up to date appropriations chart reveals that though neither invoice is ideal, they each nonetheless embody vital funding will increase to key packages that won’t be part of a CR. By their very nature, CRs create a scarcity of stability in funding for federal packages that may have actual world impacts along with delaying will increase in funding which can be important to creating a extra simply, sustainable, and resilient meals and farm system.
Yet, the most important remaining hurdle to passage of a CR earlier than October 1 is the continued negotiation on allowing reform, the federal approval course of for power initiatives, together with oil and fuel pipelines. Although it presently appears unlikely that Congress will flirt with a authorities shutdown so near the midterm elections, negotiations within the weeks forward on allowing reform would be the deciding vote.
White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
While Congress makes a closing push to fund the federal government past September 30, the White House will host its Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on September 28. The Conference – which goals to finish starvation and improve wholesome consuming and bodily exercise by 2030, in order that fewer Americans expertise diet-related illnesses like diabetes, weight problems, and hypertension – has been months within the making.
The first White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health was held in 1969 throughout the Nixon Administration. That convention in the end resulted in additional than 1,800 suggestions that spurred progress in federal meals and vitamin coverage, together with key expansions of the Food Stamp Program and School Lunch Program, authorization of the Supplemental Feeding Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC), and enhancements to vitamin labeling and ingredient labeling.
The 2022 Conference is a essential alternative to energise efforts to finish starvation and promote vitamin and well being heading right into a farm invoice reauthorization. NSAC believes that the trail to long run success in decreasing starvation, malnutrition, and diet-related illness requires a complete strategy to the meals and agricultural system. To that finish, in coordination with the Meridian Institute, the World Wildlife Fund, Bread for the World, and Farm, Food Environmental Policy Consulting, NSAC not too long ago known as on the Biden Administration to make sure that the Conference displays the necessity for a complete strategy. The full letter is right here, with an excerpt beneath:
The White House’s September Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health is a vital second to provoke efforts to cut back starvation, malnutrition, and diet-related illness in America. But to make lasting progress on these fronts, complete meals and agricultural system transformation is required. The backside line is that we can’t have wholesome folks with out wholesome farming, and we can’t have wholesome farming with out a wholesome planet. We reap what we sow.
We should seize the chance to rework the U.S. meals and agricultural system to handle starvation, vitamin, and illness. Doing so won’t solely assist our nation develop into more healthy, however it’s going to additionally unlock options to different interconnected and important challenges of our time like curbing climate change, restoring biodiversity, advancing racial fairness, bettering native and regional meals methods, and strengthening farm, ranch, and rural economies.
Making significant strides towards constructing a more healthy future for folks and the planet
requires an all-hands-on-deck strategy that capitalizes on the promise and ingenuity of
American agriculture. Building a extra sustainable, resilient meals and agricultural system that fosters wholesome, thriving communities is inside our grasp — as long as we work throughout sectors and decide to aligning behind shared priorities and insurance policies that may get us there.
2023 Farm Bill Reauthorization
Amid the transferring items highlighted above, Congress and coverage advocates proceed to march in the direction of the early levels of the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization.
Farm invoice reauthorization won’t take off in earnest till after the upcoming midterm elections, but each the House Agriculture Committee (HAC) and Senate Agriculture Committee (SAC) have been laying the groundwork for reauthorization for months by means of Committee hearings and direct requests for enter. For instance, the House Agriculture Committee (HAC) will host a listening to in mid-September on the Conservation Title of the farm invoice. The HAC can be requesting farm invoice suggestions by means of a web based portal. Throughout the course of 2022, the Senate Agriculture Committee has additionally held quite a lot of hearings targeted on making ready for the farm invoice, together with subject hearings in Michigan and Arkansas, the house states of the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee, respectively.
In conjunction with the pre-farm invoice exercise on Capitol Hill, many organizations are ramping up their very own advocacy as reauthorization approaches. Later this month, NSAC will host farmers from across the nation as they journey to Washington, DC to advocate in help of key federal packages. Many of NSAC’s member organizations are additionally internet hosting farm invoice “fly-ins” throughout September. Furthermore, coalitions and advocates are more and more weighing in on objectives for the upcoming farm invoice – for instance, NSAC not too long ago joined over 170 organizations in calling for a farm invoice that facilities racial justice and local weather resilience, amongst different priorities.
The closing weeks of September might be filled with fiscal negotiations, coverage advocacy, and conferences, all of which is able to assist set the stage for the 118th Congress and the subsequent farm invoice reauthorization. Yet the end result of the upcoming midterm elections would be the key issue that defines the scope of the alternatives throughout the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization.
Budget and Appropriations, Carousel, Farm Bill, Nutrition & Food Access