Brushing aside an outcry from anti-hunger advocates and congressional Democrats, the Trump administration on Wednesday finalized regulations that will make it harder for states to exempt able-bodied adults from work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The Trump administration’s trade assistance payments have become so critical to farm profits that some growers could take a hit to their income if the program is discontinued in 2020 because of a trade deal with China.
Lawmakers return from the Thanksgiving break with a long to-do list important to agriculture that includes keeping the government funded and potentially debating the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, all of which is competing for attention with the House impeachment battle.
Net farm income is projected to rise more than 10% this year, but nearly one-third of producer earnings will come from a combination of crop insurance benefits and direct government payments, including the Trump administration's trade assistance.
Senior political leaders at USDA, which has been accused of downplaying the climate issue, say helping farmers address climate change is a priority for the department, asserting that sustainably increasing food production to feed a growing global population is a matter of “world security.”
House Democrats have proposed a sweeping package of green energy tax incentives that includes a multiyear extension of the expired biodiesel credit, but it’s unclear that the House and Senate can agree on a tax deal before the end of the year.
Congress must pass a new stopgap spending bill this week to avoid a government shutdown ahead of the Thanksgiving break, while House Democrats look to nail down a deal with the White House to clear the way for approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.
Starting Monday, the Agriculture Department will start providing farmers their second tranche of payments under the 2019 version of the Market Facilitation Program, the Trump administration's effort to compensate farmers for the impact of retaliatory tariffs.