Policy Brief – April 16, 2024

Home 9 Policy Briefing 9 Policy Brief – April 16, 2024


    • IFAI is co-hosting the facilitation of caucuses for the April 24 Farming, Ranching, and Conservation consultation and the April 26 Food, Safety, and Trade consultation.  
  • There are three congressional hearings coming up this week in Senate Appropriations Committee, House Natural Resource Committee and Senate Indian Affairs Committee this week that may have Tribal agriculture implications.  
  • Nominations for the Invasive Species Advisory Committee remain open until April 29.   
  • The Federal Register notice highlighted this week is about the Food Nutrition Service’s proposed study on Risk Assessments for SNAP improper payments.  
  • A court decision this week comes out of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.  

Key Policy-Related Dates

Title of Event: USDA 2024 Barriers Consultation 

About: USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations has scheduled its annual Barriers Consultation during the week of April 22, 2024, from 3-5:30 pm ET each day. Tribal caucuses precede each consultation session from 2-3 pm ET. Dear Tribal Leader letters have been issued, along with proxy letters and instructions on how to register.  


Congressional updates    

Looking Back: 

Hearings listed in last week’s brief failed to have Tribal agriculture/food-specific issues discussed.  

Looking ahead:  

Hearing: Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday, April 16th, 10:00 a.m. ET 

Topic: Review of the President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture 

Witness: Secretary Tom Vilsack 


Hearing: House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday, April 17th, 10:00 a.m. ET 

Topic: Improving Federal Forest Management Activities 


Hearing: Senate Indian Affairs Committee Wednesday, April 17th, 2:30 p.m. ET 

Topic: Pending Legislation- H.R. 1240 the Winnebago Land Transfer Act 


What is the nomination for? Invasive Species Advisory Committee  

Description: The Committee will serve to advise the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) on interdepartmental coordination, planning, and leadership for the Federal Government on the prevention, eradication, and control of invasive species.  

Deadline for submission? April 29, 2024  

Where can I submit a nomination? Nomination information can be found here.  

Regulatory/Rulemaking Actions:   

Title: Submission for OMB Review on Risk Assessment in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Payment Accuracy 

  • USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) seeks comments from the public, including from Tribal Governments, about its study on Understanding Risk Assessment (RA) in SNAP Payment Accuracy.  
  • One of the key research objectives is to determine if the RA tools create (or relieve) racial disparities.  
  • The subject of the RA focuses on FNS’ and the SNAP State agencies’ ability to monitor the program for improper over or underpayments.  
  • Comments must be received by May 9, 2024. 

Posted: Week of April 15 


Title: Agency Information Collection Activities re SNAP Demonstration Projects and State Options Report 

  • USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) invites members of the public, including Tribal Governments, to submit comments on collection activities about SNAP Demonstration Projects and SNAP State Options Report.  
  • Demonstration projects allow State agencies to do approved pilots or experimental projects meant to improve the program.  
  • FNS also wants to improve the SNAP State Options Report which is published annually.  
  • Comments are invited on whether FNS’ process of collecting information on SNAP Demonstration Projects and State Options Report is practical, effective, and accurately depicts the amount of work needed to carry out activities.  
  • Comments must be received on or before June 7, 2024. 

Posted: Week of April 8

Title: Submission for OMB Review on Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery 

  • USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is seeking public comments about its process of collecting qualitative feedback from customers and stakeholders.  
  • Qualitative feedback focuses on the Agency’s primary function of protecting the public by ensuring that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, not adulterated, and correctly labeled and packaged.  
  • Tribal Governments are among the expected respondents.  
  • Comments submitted by May 3, 2024, will be considered. 

Posted: Week of April 8 

Title: Privacy Act of 1974; Notice of a Modified System of Records  

  • USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to modify an existing system of records; specifically, the APHIS Animal Health Surveillance and Monitoring System, USDA/APHIS-15. 
  • APHIS uses this system to monitor animal health data for disease and pest control and surveillance programs.  
  • The notice outlines several changes to the system of records, including updates to policies and practices for storage as well as retention and disposal of records in the system.  
  • Comments must be submitted by May 3, 2024. 

Posted: Week of April 8 

Agency: USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) 

Action: Submission for OMB Review on WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2024 & 2026 Study; Comments requested by April 26, 2024. 

Why it matters: This biennial data collection is being conducted to provide FNS information on a census of WIC participants in April of 2024 and 2026. Data used to produce the WIC Participant and Program Characteristic Study (PC) are collected from participants by State agencies and are used to evaluate topics such as the impact of the program, support State agencies, and identify research needs. There are 33 Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) that administer WIC.  

Posted: Week of April 1 

Agency: USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) 

Action: Submission for OMB Review on Employment and Training (E&T) Opportunities in The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Comments requested by April 18, 2024. 

Why it matters: States are required to provide case management services such as comprehensive intake assessments and individualized service plans. Their purpose (provided virtually, over the phone, in-person, or hybrid) is to guide E&T participants towards appropriate E&T components and activities based on the participant’s needs and interests, to support the participant in the E&T program, and to provide activities and resources that will assist the participant toward self-sufficiency. USDA will use this information to better administer the SNAP E&T Program and to provide improved customer service to SNAP E&T participants. 

Posted: Week of March 25.  

Court Decisions: 

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: 

Tamarisk Rd. Trust v. Prieto, No. 5:23-CV-01886 SPG, 2024 WL 1483815 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 4, 2024).  

 A California federal court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over a case involving two claims related the eviction of a Tribal Member from Indian Trust land because the claims arose under state law and the dispute did not involve a federal question.