09.21.20

Ranking Member Stabenow Statement on USDA Provisions in the Continuing Resolution

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provisions in the continuing resolution. 

“Farmers have been hurting due to multiple disasters – and those hit the hardest need support from USDA. Whether it’s using USDA dollars to bail out Big Oil or favoring certain farmers over others, the Trump Administration has proven they cannot be trusted to distribute payments fairly without additional Congressional oversight. Unfortunately, Republicans have refused to add more accountability into the Commodity Credit Corporation funds.

“Fortunately, USDA does not need an advanced refill in order to meet important Farm Bill obligations. The Department will receive its annual reimbursement In November and it has the resources it needs in the meantime.”

Under current law, unchanged by the continuing resolution, the Commodity Credit Corporation will receive its normal reimbursement in mid-November after filing financial reports for the fiscal year as required by law.

Congress has provided USDA a total of $44 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funds this year —and an additional $9.5 billion in direct producer assistance. This will give USDA enough money to spend on Farm Bill programs through October, if managed appropriately—including additional COVID-19-related disaster programs authorized under the CARES Act. If there are additional needs, the Secretary has tremendous flexibility to transfer unspent funds to fully fund Farm Bill programs. 

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