Agricultural Legislation in 2024: What’s in store when Congress returns from their holiday break?

Lawmakers will have a tight turnaround for much of the same legislation when they return from their holiday break next week as when they recessed in 2023. Here’s a list of their top priorities.

Congress will start the New Year in much the same way it ended 2023 — with an unresolved standoff over appropriations. For now, a continuing resolution is funding the USDA, FDA, and several other agencies through January 19. Four bills need to be passed there.

Lawmakers will have until February 2 before the rest of the budget expires, and eight bills require passage at that point.

And of course, agriculture stakeholders are hoping for progress on the extended Farm Bill. Congress has until the end of the year to pass or extend the legislation.

The Biden Administration has a lot in store regarding agricultural regulations for 2024.

Some of the key items include “Product of USA” Labeling. The USDA plans to finalize it and require meat with the label to come from an animal born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States.

Many ag groups and farmers specifically will be watching the Environmental Protection Agency and its release of the Pesticides and the Endangered Species Act in May. It could reduce pesticide use near habitats of 27 endangered species.

Another major effort underway with the EPA is the guidelines for water quality at meat and poultry processing plants. Public hearings on the proposed rule are scheduled for the end of the month.

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