The Congressional Western Caucus wants information regarding oversight of the Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program.
In a letter this week to the Biden administration, the caucus outlined concerns regarding the program, which was created with no direction from Congress. The lawmakers want answers to questions about how the Department of Agriculture created the program, weighed submitted proposals, and intends to ensure the federal funding does not displace private sector investments.
The letter states, “We are dismayed by the lack of transparency and congressional consultation throughout the development of this process,” further adding, “In no way can $3.5 billion be considered a ‘pilot program.’”
USDA awarded $2.8 billion in funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation for the pilot program with plans for an expected second tranche that would bring total funding for 2022 to $3.5 billion.
Representatives Dan Newhouse, a Washington state Republican, and Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, led the effort.