Joe Biden’s farm policy relies heavily on ramping up conservation spending as a way to support farm programs. But former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tells Agri-Pulse that he thinks the Biden administration, working with Congress, could act quickly next year to shore up farm income, possibly through a new stimulus bill.
Senate Republicans are circulating a trimmed-down coronavirus aid package that leaves out additional aid for farmers as well as the $1,200-per-person stimulus checks included in their earlier, $1 trillion HEALS Act.
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 House will vote on a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that likely has no future in the GOP-controlled Senate but does provide a blueprint for what Democrats may try to do if they win control of the Senate in November.
The Senate returns to action this month under pressure to pass another major coronavirus relief package, but a more immediate priority for GOP leaders will be to agree on fixes to the Paycheck Protection Program, a lifeline to many small businesses and farms.
The Trump administration is expressing confidence that the worst of the meatpacking disruptions is behind us. At a meeting in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue predicted packing plants would be fully operational within 10 days. “I think we've turned the corner,” he said.
The door’s open. For the first time, the Small Business Administration is taking applications from farms for grants of up to $10,000 and low-interest loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.