Party-line committee split may not halt vote on BLM nominee
President Biden’s choice to run the Bureau of Land Management will face a confirmation vote in the Senate without the committee endorsement given to nearly all nominees. After a heated debate that one senator called “a skunk fight,” the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee split, 10-10, along party lines on whether to recommend Senate approval of Tracy Stone-Manning as director of the Interior Department agency.
Big coronavirus increases in SNAP and farm spending
The food stamp program will cost $145 billion this year, more than double its pre-pandemic total, due to expansion to combat the pandemic, estimated the CBO in updating its budget outlook. Mandatory agricultural spending was forecast at $48 billion this year, an increase of $17 billion from 2020.
Today’s Quick Hits
Longer than the Dust Bowl: The U.S. West is seeing “a more prolonged drought” — nearly two decades — than the drought of the 1930s that created the Dust Bowl in the central and southern Plains, said climatologist David Simeral. (E&E News)
Challenger for Grassley: Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, 32, from eastern Iowa is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, 87, in 2022, saying Grassley has lost touch with working families. (Associated Press)
Dicamba complaints, again: Now in its fifth year of use, dicamba continues to be blamed for herbicide damage to crops and pastures, although cases of damage from 2,4-D also are being reported, said state regulators. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)
Action on USDA nominees: A Monday vote is scheduled on the nomination of Jennifer Moffitt to be agriculture undersecretary for marketing. On Tuesday, there will be confirmation hearings for Robert Bonnie to be undersecretary for farm production and conservation and Xochitl Torres Small to be undersecretary for rural development. (Senate Agriculture)
Climate change and cattle: Analysis of six decades of cattle DNA found that genes associated with higher productivity and fertility have improved over time, but that genes connected to environmental adaptations have faded, say University of Missouri researchers. (EurekAlert)