Tom Vilsack’s return to USDA has been on hold for reasons because of delays in getting the 50-50 Senate organized. But incoming Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow tells Agri-Pulse she hopes to get Vilsack’s nomination for agriculture secretary approved “as soon as possible” once she takes over the committee.
Congressional leaders reach agreement with the White House on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that will include a new round of aid to various agriculture sectors while also ensuring the deductibility of expenses used to get forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program loans.
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.
Congressional leaders spent Tuesday evening behind closed doors working on a sweeping year-end deal that would include a new coronavirus relief package as well as funding for the federal government for the fiscal 2021.
A bipartisan group of senators negotiating a $908 billion coronavirus relief package is circulating a summary of the plan that allocates $13 billion for the agriculture sector. The document was obtained by Agri-Pulse.
The House is back in session this week along with the Senate, and lawmakers face a lengthy to-do list, which includes passing a stimulus bill as well as an omnibus appropriations measure to fund the government through the rest of fiscal 2021.