“The bill, introduced Monday by House Democrats, sparked frustration in the GOP-controlled Senate. Partisan tension is running high after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said he would move to swiftly fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death Friday of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The government’s current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1.
The Journal writers explained that, “[House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.)] and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had agreed earlier this month to pass a short-term spending bill devoid of any contentious measures, referred to as ‘clean‘ on Capitol Hill. But the bill became controversial Monday when Democratic leaders opted not to include a request from the White House to replenish early a program President Trump has tapped as aid to farmers.
McConnell weights in on House Dems CR. It's likely he'll amend the bill once it gets to the Senate and send it back to the House. https://t.co/VyYM1HQHbp
“Negotiators had been discussing pairing an infusion of farm-aid funds with a provision sought by Democrats to extend a program expiring at month’s end for families of school-age children, according to aides from both parties. The program enables families to buy groceries, replacing the free or reduced-price meals they would have received at school. But the spending bill released Monday left out both.”
Very disappointed to see that the House CR does not include funding for CCC. Ag producers rely on this funding. The 2018 Farm Bill passed the Senate with a strong bipartisan vote (87 yeas) but now House Dems want to withhold funding for these programs? That’s not right.
Peterson and Newman added that, “The White House had requested $21 billion for the Agriculture Department’s Commodity Credit Corp., or CCC, a Depression-era program designed to stabilize farm incomes. It permits borrowing as much as $30 billion from the Treasury to finance its activities.
House D’s have objected to reimbursing the CCC in the CR text they released today. Farmers & ranchers need the safety net that farm bill programs provide so we’re going to keep working to ensure our ag producers receive this support.
“The Trump administration has tapped the CCC to help finance trade relief for farmers as well as the first round of coronavirus-related aid to farmers. However, Congress included some funding to reimburse it in previous relief legislation passed in March,” the Journal article said.
Politico writers Caitlin Emma and John Breshahan noted on Monday that, “Democrats have opposed throwing money at a problem that they believe Trump created through his trade policies, and in exchange, they have wanted at least $2 billion to help families with school-aged children buy groceries during the pandemic.”
Emily Cochrane explained in Tuesday’s New York Times that, “Because Congress has failed to reach agreement on the dozen annual spending bills required to fund the federal government, a stopgap bill is necessary to avoid a shutdown. Republicans and Democrats had been nearing agreement on such a measure on Friday before the aid to farmers emerged as a sticking point.”
And Washington Post writer Erica Werner pointed out on Monday that, “Although a large portion of the federal budget — including programs such as Medicare and Social Security — runs on autopilot, funding for multiple government agencies and programs must be renewed annually by Congress.”
HOGWASH alert: House Dems filed funding bill notably excl Commodity Credit Corp $$. Replenishing CCC has long been noncontroversial &is necessary support 4our farmers House Dems shld b ashamed for leaving our farmers in the lurch Sen Ernst & I hv ur back + will fight for farmers
“‘We do prefer additional farm aid in the CR. Most of all we want a clean CR, keep the government open,’ Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, told reporters Monday.
“Pelosi said on ABC’s ‘This Week’ program Sunday that ‘none of us has any interest in shutting down government.'”
The Bloomberg article also noted that, “Senate Republicans from farm states pushed for the $30 billion to replenish funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corp., a government-owned entity that aims to stabilize farm income. Trump announced $13 billion in new aid to farmers, drawing from the CCC, at a rally in Wisconsin on Thursday, and the corporation had already projected an increase in demand for agriculture-risk coverage, price-loss coverage and marketing-assistance loans.”
*** NOTE that Tweets from Congressional reporters Tuesday morning indicated that the planned vote on the Continuing Resolution (CR) would be delayedas discussions continue:
Apparently today's scheduled vote in the House on a continuing resolution to keep government open past Sept 30 may be delayed , as they try to get a bipartisan deal (R's oppose CR as filed)
“At some point in the next day or two we expect that there will be a continuing resolution on the floor ... It’s my hope that that continuing resolution will be bipartisan in nature. That remains to be seen at the moment.”
Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.