President-elect Joe Biden is out with a $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal that includes some significant new food assistance provisions, including an extension through the summer of the 15% increase in SNAP benefits provided by the COVID aid package enacted in December.
Congress faces a midnight deadline to keep the government funded. As of Thursday evening, it wasn’t clear whether lawmakers would be asked to pass a very short-term stopgap spending bill to provide the time they need to pass a massive bill that would include both government funding for fiscal 2021 as well as a big new COVID aid package.
A key senator involved in developing the Republican coronavirus relief package for farmers defended the broad authority it gives to USDA to spend $20 billion in farm aid, but he said the Trump administration likely will need to provide assurances about how the money will be spent.
The Democratic Party’s draft 2020 platform calls for directing more farm subsidies to small and medium-size farms while making the agriculture sector the first in the first world to eliminate net carbon emissions.
Talks on a coronavirus relief package will heat up this week as Senate Republicans prepare to bring out their proposal this week with an eye toward getting the massive legislation passed ahead of the August recess.
Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are now getting emergency benefit increases totaling $2 billion a month nationwide that Congress authorized to address the unemployment surge and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Congressional leaders have reached agreement on a $2 trillion economic rescue package that would replenish the Agriculture Department’s Commodity Credit Corp. authority and earmark additional money for livestock and specialty crop producers as well as local agriculture.