Farmers who were facing a steep drop in government payments in 2021 will instead see a third round of coronavirus relief payments and other producers and ag processors left out of previous aid programs this year will get help this time, under a massive stimulus package and government funding bill.
It’s official. Georgia Democrat David Scott will chair the House Agriculture Committee next year. The full House conference voted to approve Scott as recommended by the House Democratic steering committee.
Democrats have watched rural voters drift away for decades, but current and former top officeholders in the party argue some of that lost support can be won back this year by focusing on the ailing farm economy and gaps in health care and broadband.
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.
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.
House Democrats failed to stop Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue from relocating the Economic Research Service and National Institute for Food and Agriculture. But members of the House Appropriations Committee continue to raise concern about the agency moves.
The next few weeks in Washington could be the most consequential of the year, certainly until the election. Neither the House nor the Senate have any regular sessions scheduled over the next two weeks, but senators are privately discussing the shape of the next coronavirus relief package.
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.