President Biden signed $460 billion bipartisan spending package over the weekend.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

March 11, 2024

2 Min Read
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture finally has a 2024 budget. After months of delays, Congress managed to pass six spending bills funding government agencies through the end of the fiscal year. President Biden signed the $460 billion bipartisan spending package on Saturday. Lawmakers will now turn their attention to passing a second set of six appropriations packages before a March 22 deadline.

An additional $1 billion was allocated to USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Commonly known as WIC, the program provides health and nutrition assistance to low-income mothers and young children. Program supporters had warned that eligible recipients might be turned away if new funding was not approved.

Also included in USDA’s budget were new tools to monitor foreign agricultural land ownership. The Agriculture Department will now be represented on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. USDA will be required to report foreign agriculture land transactions. The agency also received additional funding to improve its foreign land ownership tracking and reporting processes.

“While this legislation is not perfect, it advances a number of priorities important to cattle producers, including critical investments in electronic animal ID tags for producers and strengthening oversight of lab-grown protein,” National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Mark Eisele said last week before the final vote. “Further, a government shutdown would unnecessarily harm farmers and ranchers by restricting their access to federal personnel, essential market information, and delaying access to critical disaster assistance programs.”

This won’t be the last word on federal budgets. While Congress still needs to finalize half of this year’s budget, President Biden is already releasing his budget proposal for fiscal year 2025.

Congress is ultimately responsible for budget matters. A president’s budget typically serves as a starting point. It’s also a preview for what the administration and his party will likely prioritize in the coming year.

Fiscal year 2025 begins on Oct. 1.

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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