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Washington Week Ahead: Lawmakers face FY25 spending rush amid Biden drama

Monday, July 8, 2024 • 1 PM

Lawmakers return to Washington to try to focus on fiscal 2025 spending bills even as Democrats face an ongoing debate about whether President Joe Biden should end his re-election bid.

House Ag Committee member Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., announced on Saturday that she believes Biden should drop out of the race.

In a statement released by her campaign, she said that “given what I saw and heard from the President during last week’s debate in Atlanta, coupled with the lack of a forceful response from the President himself following that debate, I do not believe that the President can effectively campaign and win against Donald Trump.”

But Biden continues to insist that he’s not dropping out of the race, saying in a ABC News interview that he would only step aside, “if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that.”

Biden also dismissed a report that Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is organizing a group of colleagues to urge him to step aside. Biden insisted he has the full support of the Democratic congressional leadership.

Biden, meanwhile, is hosting a NATO conference and is expected to hold a press conference this week.

Amid the Democratic turmoil, both the House and Senate are set to advance FY25 spending bills important to agriculture and food policy. The House and Senate are in session for just one week before the Republican National Convention starts July 15 in Milwaukee.

The House Appropriations Committee will debate the Interior-Environment and Energy-Water measures on Tuesday, and will then turn to a trio of bills, including the Agriculture-FDA and Labor-HHS measures, on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will debate its version of the FY25 Agriculture bill.

The House’s Agriculture bill, which is far more partisan than the Senate version is likely to be, contains an array of GOP policy priorities, including provisions to block USDA’s implementation of new regulations on the meat and poultry industry and to slow down new food traceability requirements at FDA.

The bill would also authorize a pilot program testing food purchasing restrictions for SNAP benefits, an idea that is a priority for the subcommittee’s chairman, Andy Harris, R-Md.

Provisions in the House’s Interior-Environment bill include one that would block the EPA from implementing regulations on light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles intended to accelerate a shift to electrification of surface transportation. The Bureau of Land Management would be prevented from carrying out new regulations that put conservation on a par with grazing and other uses of BLM land. 

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday focusing on concerns with EPA regulations, while the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing the same day on regulation of digital commodities with CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam.

Later Wednesday, a Senate Ag subcommittee will hold  a hearing on concerns about rural infrastructure  

Also this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the June Consumer Price Index amid continued voter concern about inflation. The CPI for food eaten at home was unchanged in May after falling 0.2% in April.

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