Farm groups are appealing to the Agriculture Department to relax payment rules and extend the signup deadline for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, citing the lagging pace of payments to farmers.
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.
Senate Republicans unveiled a coronavirus relief package Monday that would give the Agriculture Department broad authority to spend an additional $20 billion to compensate agricultural producers and processors for the impact of the pandemic.
The Democratic-controlled House approved a package of fiscal 2021 spending bills Friday that would provide about $1 billion for rural broadband expansion while blocking the Trump administration from cutting food stamp rolls and carrying out key regulatory relief measures.
Federal research agencies need to do a better job of coordinating studies into how to address Americans’ nutrition deficiencies, which have been highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis, according to a study by leading nutrition experts.
Farm groups and their Senate allies are making their final pitches to Capitol Hill for billions in additional aid as lawmakers look to pass what is expected to be the last major coronavirus relief package this year.
Former Vice President Joe Biden issued a $2 trillion environmental plan that makes some wide-ranging proposals for agriculture and land use, including a pledge to offer financial assistance for adoption of new climate-friendly farming practices and technologies.
The 2018 farm bill isn’t due to expire until 2023, but there is a growing possibility that Congress could revisit the law as soon as next year either to deal with the slumping farm economy or to address climate change.