COVID relief, Vilsack confirmation vote on Congress’s schedule this week

Washington has a busy week ahead.

The House Budget Committee is marking up the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief package today. The Ag Committee has already asked for $16 billion dollars to assist farmers of color and increase SNAP benefits.

Committee Republicans oppose the bill because the ag and nutrition portions were “drafted behind closed doors without any Republican input.” There is pressure for Congress to finish the legislation by March 15th, before some existing provisions expire.

On the plate for tomorrow, the full Senate will vote to confirm Agriculture Secretary nominee Tom Vilsack. He received unanimous approval from the Senate Ag Committee earlier this month. The floor vote was held up by former President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings.

Vilsack laid out his goals to address COVID-19 recovery and climate change, including the use of the Commodity Credit Corporation to create a carbon bank.

On Thursday, a Senate Committee will question Katherine Tai, who is set to become the U.S. Trade Representative. Supporters say that she has the experience needed and a record of supporting American workers. Tai previously served in the Obama administration as the Trade Rep’s Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement.


Sen. Fischer talks COOL with Ag Sec. nominee Tom Vilsack

Sen. Moran on Tom Vilsack nomination for Ag Secretary

AFBF on Vilsack nomination for Ag Secretary

Sen. Grassley to question Katherine Tai on her perspective on current trade deals