Earlier this month, the Senate took two major steps forward on the Biden Administration’s priorities for economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic. The bipartisan Infrastructure Bill includes $550 billion in new spending for roads, rails, bridges, commercial seaports, waterways and water infrastructure. It was passed 69-30 by the Senate and now faces an uncertain schedule in the House where Speaker Pelosi has indicated that she will not take up the bill until a larger Reconciliation Bill is passed.
“It is very positive that Republicans and Democrats in the Senate were able to join together to pass such an important priority for American agriculture and the economy as a whole. The potato industry is dependent on a modern infrastructure system in maintaining our competitiveness both domestically and internationally. We urge the House to move forward rapidly on a similar bipartisan basis,” said NPC President Dominic LaJoie.
Immediately following the bipartisan action on infrastructure, the Senate’s Democratic Majority moved forward on a partisan budget resolution that sets the framework for a coming debate on a Reconciliation Bill. This budget resolution, passed with only 50 Democratic votes, sets the overall spending levels across the government including agriculture where $138 billion will be dedicated to the jurisdiction of the agriculture committee. It is anticipated that attempts will be made to use this process of “reconciling” differences between current spending and the new budget resolution to also change federal policy in areas such as immigration and tax reform.
NPC is strongly opposed to the undermining or elimination of beneficial tax provisions that family farms rely upon to maintain their competitiveness. The NPC Board met in late July an unanimously passed a resolution in regard to that opposition.